A gripping new drama, filmed in Wales, premieres tonight.
The Pact follows a group of brewery employees forced into taking an oath of silence following the death of their boss.
Featuring a stellar cast including Breaking Bad‘s Laura Fraser and Coronation Street‘s Julie Hesmondhalgh, the show was filmed across South East Wales last autumn and winter.
Writer and creator Pete McTighe said he had been “craving” a Welsh drama “with its own strong identity” that showcased the nation’s “epic locations and incredible talent both on-screen and behind the camera”.
The new six-part show “explores secrets and their consequences, and examines the fragile nature of trust,” he added.
The Pact follows a group of work friends in the aftermath of the sudden death of their young brewery boss.
Bound by a secret that will change their lives forever, they are drawn into a fragile pact of silence – but can they all cope with the web of lies that is forming?
Fraser – known for Breaking Bad, Traces and Better Call Saul – plays Anna, whose marriage comes under extreme pressure due to the pact with her friends.
Her husband Max (Jason Hughes) is a police officer investigating the shocking death while being completely unaware that his wife is linked to the case.
“Their lives are changed forever,” Fraser said. “Things start to spiral out of control, and I’m very interested in things spiralling out of control and exploring living in constant fear. I found that all very interesting.”
The filming location for the characters’ workplace was Rhymney Brewery, while other scenes in The Pact were filmed in Newport, Monmouth, Usk, Pontypool, and Merthyr Tydfil.
Other key scenes were shot in woodlands near Pontsticill Reservoir, near Merthyr.
“It felt like a massive privilege to be able to be working during the pandemic, and also working in such a beautiful place,” said Hesmondhalgh – best known for playing Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street – and who portrays Nancy in the new show.
“We were based in Cardiff, which is a city I absolutely have fallen in love with completely,” she added. “But all the different places we went to and filmed were just astonishing.
“It was a really amazing experience and, like all experiences, it sometimes takes you stepping away to realise how lucky you were to do it, because when you’re working, you’re just in it and doing it.”
Rakie Ayola, the Noughts and Crosses star from Cardiff who plays lead investigator Detective Superintendent Holland in The Pact, said it was an eye-opening experience to film around South East Wales.
She said: “Every time I was on set, I was just saying out loud, ‘Why have I never come in this direction from Cardiff?’ I’d never gone north for an hour. So, it was like a different country to me, and it made me quite sad I’d never gone there before. So beautiful.”
While the show was made over an “extremely challenging” few months during the coronavirus public health emergency, its creator McTighe said it was important the drama “provided some relief from the pandemic we are all living through, but it didn’t feel right to ignore what we’ve all experienced this past year”.
The Pact is set slightly in the future “where most of the population is vaccinated and life is returning to ‘normal’…[but] the stress and anxiety of 2020 and the various lockdowns has cast a psychological shadow that informs some of [the characters’] behaviour and decisions,” he said.
• The Pact will air on BBC One on Mondays and Tuesdays, with the first episode tonight (May 17) at 9pm. The entire series will also be available on BBC iPlayer from May 17.
Additional reporting by Georgia Humphreys, PA.