The beautiful, haunting shores of Scotland’s most iconic loch is the stunning backdrop for new six-part drama The Loch, which begins tonight.

“Beneath the waters of Loch Ness, we see the pigment bleached body of an unidentified middle-aged man, stones tied to his ankles.” – ITV

In a community nourished and sustained by myth and bordered by untamed nature, the search for a serial killer becomes a matter of life and death for local detective Annie Redford who is trying to cope with her first murder case. When the body of local man Niall Swift is found at the foot of Carn Mohr Mountain and an isolated human heart on the loch shore, the town’s normality is shattered and the nightmare begins. Chillingly, the beautiful scenery, undulating Highlands and vast expansive loch becomes a character in it’s own right adding a haunting depth to the community’s plight.

Written by Stephen Brady The Loch will introduce Annie and her family – husband Alan, a tour boat operator on the loch and their only child Evie, who at 18, is about to leave home for Australia. The Redford’s are an ordinary loving family with an ordinary set of problems, yet the pressure of a murder investigation will undermine their stability and create tensions that threaten to disrupt and destroy their lives together.

Within the tightly knit community, several local characters will come under suspicion as the monster lurking in their midst begins to terrify and rock the village to its core. Forensic profiler, Blake Albrighton, will assist on the case offering insights borne from the last four cases he’s helped crack with his distinctive way of working.

In episode one, this evening, on her day off, Detective Sergeant Annie Redford is called upon by her boss DCI Frank Smilie to clear up a gory prank, which reporters are claiming, with tongue in cheek, to be the washed-up remains of the Loch Ness Monster. Annie, with a raging hangover, heads to the lochside where the inexperienced PC Jason Denny helps her clear up the decaying animal entrails. Among the remains Jason finds a heart.

Meanwhile, piano teacher Niall Swift is sacked by widower Dr Marr. When Swift accuses Marr of hypocrisy an argument ensues. Shortly afterwards Niall receives a text from someone who wants to meet him at a local beauty spot. A couple of hours later we see college principal, Craig Petrie, in fell running gear, standing over Swift’s twisted, broken, bloody body as it lies at the foot of a cliff.

The pathologist ascertains that Swift was murdered and a sliver of his brain removed. DCI Lauren Quigley is seconded to the case to head up the investigation. Later, Quigley is joined by forensic psychologist Blake Albrighton, whom she drafts in, much to Smilie’s ire. Annie shows Quigley the spot where Swift was killed. In a gully she finds a newspaper from the day of the murder.

The investigation is further complicated when the heart from the beach found among the animal remains turns out to be human. The teenagers responsible for the prank, Jonjo, Kieran and Annie’s daughter Evie, are brought in for questioning and Annie, now compromised, is off the case, causing tensions at home. Elsewhere, the drama meets Kieran’s brother Jordan, a young man with locked-in syndrome who awakens and begins to show signs of recovery.

The Loch, ITV, STV and UTV, tonight at 9pm

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