Is ITV’s The Tower a true story?

8 November 2021, 18:00

The Tower is not based on a true story
The Tower is not based on a true story. Picture: ITV

Is ITV's The Tower based on a book? Here's what we know about the inspiration behind the drama...

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ITV is back with a brand new police drama this autumn called The Tower.

The story follows DS Sarah Collins (Gemma Whelan), who is called to a horrific incident at Portland Tower in south-east London with her colleague DC Steve Bradshaw (Jimmy Akingbola).

On the ground at the bottom of the tower lie the bodies of long-serving police officer, PC Hadley Matthews, and a 15-year-old girl, Farah Mehenni.

But is The Tower a true story? Here’s what we know…

The Tower is airing on ITV this autumn
The Tower is airing on ITV this autumn. Picture: ITV

Is The Tower based on a true story?

The Tower is not a true story, but it is adapted from Kate London’s novel Post Mortem.

Kate is actually a former Metropolitan Police Officer, so she has tried to make it as close to life as possible.

Opening up about the inspiration behind her writing, Kate said while it is not based on a true story, she hopes it gives an insight into the realities of policing.

She said: “The Tower is a drama, not a documentary, but do you hope it gives people a better understanding of the realities of policing?

The Tower is not based on a true story
The Tower is not based on a true story. Picture: ITV

“It’s in my nature to resist the idea that I want to give the public a better understanding of anything. I am kind of inviting my readers to see a story unfold and see how they feel about it.

“But even those of us who are clear that we don’t want to write didactic stories still harbour this sneaky hope that by writing really carefully and thoughtfully about people and how they respond to things that somehow we will improve things.

“But what would improvement be? Something much more nebulous than to give a better understanding of the realities of policing.”

Kate went on to work on a Major Investigation Team on the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

ITV is airing The Tower over three nights
ITV is airing The Tower over three nights. Picture: ITV

“Within a matter of weeks [of joining the police] I was writing - not for publication, but because I just had to get down on paper the world I encountered: its complexity, laughter, loyalty, the moral conflicts and the dangers that were not only physical," she said.

“Policing showed me London in a way no other job could.

"The product of this experience was my first novel, Post Mortem.”

Is The Tower based on a book?

Yes, The Tower is based on Post Mortem, the title of the first novel in Kate London’s Metropolitan series.

In Post Mortem, a long-serving cop in the Met and a teenage girl fall to their deaths from a tower block in London's East End.

Left alive on the roof are a five-year-old boy and rookie police officer Lizzie Griffiths.

Lizzie Griffiths then disappears, and DPS officer Sarah Collins is determined to uncover the truth.

Kate’s second book was called Death Massage and that was released in 2017, while her third is called Gallowstree Lane and was released in 2020.