New Town

Alternative Title : Purves + Pekkala

Character: Rhian (supporting role)
Directed by: Annie Griffin
Written by: Annie Griffin
Produced by: BBC Scotland, Pirate Productions
Other cast: Mark Gatiss, Cameron Bowie, Ewan Donald
Release date: February 14, 2009
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Running time: 1h 13min
Links: Gallery // IMDb


The New Town area of Edinburgh is a magnet for architects, estate agents and upwardly-mobile families, each wanting to remould it in their own way. So when the head of Scottish Heritage mysteriously falls from a high church tower, the suspicion of murder falls on them all.

Purves and Pekkala are two Edinburgh architects, intent on moving up in their profession. Duff Purves (Mark Gatiss) is Socttish, and his life and work partner is Mikko Pekkala (Max Bremer) from Finland. They have an eight year old son, Atte (Cameron Bowie), and live in a spotlessly clean, black interiored New Town Georgian house. Their work consists of domestic renovations, and they long for something more ambitious. Opportunity arrives when property developer Walter Bannerman (Omid Djalili) offers them the chance to transform a landmark Georgian church, St Cuthberts, into high end retail units. Purves and Pekkala are thrilled, and they immediately start having ideas of transforming the space. But when they visit the church to have a look, they meet their nemesis, Archie Linklater (John Bett). Archie is the head of Scottish Heritage, and guardian of all Georgian architecture in the city. At the top of the church tower, the three of them have a furious row. Moments later, Archie tumbles to his death. Did he fall or was he pushed? Rhian (Rose Leslie) has arrived from Vatersay, the Hebridean island just to the south of Barra, to study at the Art School. She manages to convince the lonely widow, Mrs MacIver (Edith MacArthur) to let a room in her big New Town house. Rhian spots Atte from the back garden. She decides to start a neighbourhood watch scheme. Why does Rhian want to meet the neighbours? Meanwhile, the upwardly mobile Shona (Gabriel Quigley) is desperate to move into the New Town, even though her husband Hamish (Paul Higgins) has just set up his own law practice. Shona meets the famous New Town estate agent Meredith McIlvanney (Daniela Nardini) who tells her that only the very few can afford a Georgian flat in the New Town. Shona is desperate, and forces her husband to make an offer on a property. Meredith seems to know something about Archies death. What will become of Scottish Heritage without him? And why does his replacement, Ernst de Bont (Duncan Duff) seem so interested in Meredith all of the sudden? In NEW TOWN, the upper echelons of Edinburgh society are seething with danger and desire.

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