Passenger cast, filming locations and episode guide for ITV drama

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A new thriller is set to come to ITV later this week, with critics already comparing it to Stanger Things and praising its Bafta-wining cast.

Passenger explores what happens when a small-town community falls victim to the mysterious disappearance of local girl Katie Wells.

Having barely registered the girl’s absence, she turns up the next day, seemingly safe and sound.

The show’s protagonist and relative outsider, Riya, decides to ask the local townsfolk probing questions – but they apparently would prefer to leave the incident alone.

The makers of the show say that what follows, is a “series of strange happenings and increasingly shocking crimes”.

“As things become stranger,” they add, “Riya fights hard to convince the villagers that all is not as it seems. But what are they so afraid of?

“Riya is left confused… all is not as it seems, so can Riya get to the bottom of what’s actually going on?”

Who is in the Passenger cast?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star Wunmi Mosaku portrays ex-Met Police detective Riya Ajunwa, who delves into a string of “bizarre and puzzling crimes”.

Meanwhile, David Threlfall (Shameless) plays a manager of a local fracking site, upon whom residents pin their short-sighted theories on after so many strange things keep happening around them.

The little girl who disappears at the beginning of the show is played by Rowan Robinson, who also played a mysterious role in 2023’s Poirot movie A Haunting in Venice.

The rest of the cast includes:

  • Jo Hartley (After Life, In My Skin) as Chief Constable Linda Markel
  • Sean Gilder (The Gold, Shameless) as Tony Corrigan
  • Debbie Rush (Coronation Street, Brassic) as forensic analyst Terry Jackson 
  • Daniel Ryan (The Bay) as Derek Jackson
  • Barry Sloane (Six) as Eddie Wells
  • Natalie Gavin (Gentleman Jack) as Joanne Wells
  • Nico Mirallegro (My Mad Fat Diary, Rillington Place) as Kane Jackson
  • Hubert Hanowicz (This Is Going To Hurt) as Jakub Makowski

The six-episode series is the first writing project for Andrew Buchan, who you might recognise for his performances in Better and Carnival Row.

Back when the drama was originally announced Buchan said: “I’ve always loved shows where the known collides with the unknown… where you see communities faced with something horrifying and inexplicable, where, as a viewer, you’ve nothing in your kit-bag to explain it.

“When I started writing the scripts, I wanted to create something epic and unknown but also bed it somewhere close to home. Having grown up in Lancashire it felt like the perfect place for it. We’ll definitely see the residents of Chadder Vale pushed to their limits.”

Where was Passenger filmed?

The show is set in the fictional northern town of Cheddar Vale.

The Mercury Hotel in Westhoughton, Bolton was one of the filming locations, although the vintage canteen in the hotel lounge was created specifically for Passenger.

Filming crews were spotted in Greenfield, Oldham, as well, with residents being sent letters last summer, informing them of the show’s filming arrangements.

Residents mentioned that the Saddleworth village was completely transformed into a film set, with crews capturing scenes along Manchester Road.

In fact, the majority of the filming was centred around a single house on Manchester Road.

Wigan Today reported that another filming location was Haigh Hall in Wigan, where a wintry scene was apparently shot.

According to the Halifax Courier, scenes were also recorded in Todmorden and Cornholme, Yorkshire.

How many episodes are there?

There are six episodes planned for Passengers, available on ITV1 and ITVX.

The premiere of Passenger is scheduled for 9pm on Sunday, March 24 on ITV1, followed by the second episode airing at the same time on Monday, March 25. Subsequent episodes will be broadcast in the same timeslots “over the upcoming weeks”.

The drama will also premiere on BritBox in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

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