Irish screenwriter Devin Doyle has won the Red Planet Prize 2018, a talent discovery scheme run by Red Planet Pictures and UK broadcaster ITV, for his project Devoted Wife and Mother.
The award is intended to recognise talented writers who can create “fresh, original and inspiring popular drama” projects. Doyle beat out 11 other writers having been shortlisted from over 1,300 entries for the pitching master-class with Red Planet Pictures CEO Tony Jordan, Victoria Fea, ITV’s departing Senior Drama Commissioner, actor, director and writer Adrian Lester and producer Kate Rowland. The win sees Doyle secure a development deal with Red Planet Pictures and ITV for Devoted Wife and Mother. Sharma Walfall came second in the competition and has also secured development funding from Red Planet Pictures.
I’m excited, delighted and still more than a little shocked to have been named the winner of the Red Planet Prize. I’m deeply grateful to Red Planet Pictures and ITV for the opportunity the competition affords emerging writers. It’s a privilege, and I can’t wait to get stuck into the work.
Devoted Wife and Mother follows a woman as she has her life turned upside down when her debt dealing husband is kidnapped with a £500,000 ransom deadline for 5pm that day.
Kate Rowland, who has previously worked with writers Lee Hall (War Horse), Stephen Butchard (The Child in Time) and Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None), will work closely with Doyle on the project.
Screenwriter Devin Doyle wrote the sci-fi horror web series Rapt for RTÉ’s Storyland in 2014, which led to work on long-running soap Fair City, and from there to a job writing on Larian Studios’ heroic fantasy RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2. Before graduating from the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2012, Devin spent twenty years working in advertising.
We know this industry can be hard to break into, which is why we believe so fervently in giving opportunities like the Red Planet Prize to brilliant and talented writers. All 1,300 entries this year showed great promise, but Devin’s assured and great visual style makes him a real talent for the future, and I believe that Devoted Wife and Mother will make an incredible piece of drama for viewers to get their teeth stuck into.
Tony Jordan, CEO – Red Planet Pictures
We were excited by the range and diversity of storytelling on offer this year and had a difficult job in creating a shortlist – a situation which reflects the dynamism and creativity in the TV Drama industry. However, both Devin and Sharma submitted pitches which had great potential for development; showing a great deal of thought about how their idea would stand out in a competitive marketplace.