From the creators of Money Heist (La Casa De Papel), The Pier (Embarcadero) follows the harrowing story of high-pro- file architect Alexandra, who faces her worst nightmare when she gets a call from local policeman Conrado, asking her to identify her husband Oscar’s body, found on a pier in the beautiful Albufera landscape outside Valencia, in Spain. The couple had been making plans for their future just a few hours ago, yet all the signs point to suicide. And things get worse when Alex learns that Oscar had been leading a double-life with another woman, Veronica.
Taking on a false identity, Alex moves in with Veronica and with Conrado’s help, starts looking into Oscar’s secret life. What she learns leads her to question who are her friends and who are her enemies.
To complicate matters, she finds Veronica fascinating to be with and good company. But will their friendship survive the moment when Alex reveals her true identity?
The eight-hour Movistar+/Telefonica original series, produced in collaboration with Atresmedia Studios and Pina’s Vancouver Media, is shooting in Valencia and the surrounding spectacular Albufera National Park area, now until the end of the year.
Alvaro Morte (Money Heist) stars alongside Veronica Sanchez (Morocco – Love In Times Of War) and Irene Arcos (Under Suspicion). Beta Film is handling all international rights.
The series’ creators say that the initial story idea — a man with two lives dies in the first episode — was a fairly conventional one. “But from this starting point we then tried to develop the story from a non-conventional point of view,” Martinez Lobato said. “Once again, we worked on the ambiguity between good and evil. In this instance, we tore down ethical, moral prejudice and we introduced a triangle from a wholly new perspective. The series talks about the duality that every person carries within. Somehow all of us are two different persons on every front: public and private; higher and lower passions; good and evil.”
“We tried, as we usually do at Vancouver, to work on a different character conception,” Pina said. “We place them in a different place from the one to which they are traditionally assigned. We work to develop unusual empathies in the audience, that often will confront reason. In the case of a polygamous man, the challenge was almost more complex than in the case of a cruel, narcissist, misogynist robber like Berlin [Pedro Alonso’s role in Money Heist]. All this development was woven within an emotional thriller where death, murder and suicide,as well as the time chronology, are disrupted at every step of the way.”
So with a constant supply of high-end TV drama engaging audiences around the world, were Pina and Martinez Lobato conscious of the need to make The Pier universally appealing?
“Even if we write from an essentially Spanish entity, using local characters and extremely local landscapes, this fact does not imply that its projection cannot be deeply international. In a world where so many hours of fiction are produced, a distinctive trait becomes a wonderful novelty,” Martinez Lobato said.
“Money Heist/La Casa de Papel was developed from a classical genre in American cinema: the perfect crime,” Pina added. “However, we changed the angle and it became much more emotional, feminine and Spanish. And the audience liked it. Now we are dealing with an emotional thriller, and so the emotions will lead the viewers at every moment. The whole series is written and shot with that priority: the characters’ emotions above anything else. And with that in mind, we have put the chronology aside and have fragmented the montage, thus prioritising the moment when the viewers’ visual experience is more sensitive and poetic.”
The series is shot in Spanish, but likely to be adapted for international audi-ences. “In this story, the audiences are going to feel that they are being told something in a deeply different manner, yet from material with which they are already familiar,” Pina said. “The form is very unusual and consequently the content is affected. I believe that the series’ interest is global due to the topic and the novelty of its perspective.”
The World Premiere TV Screening of The Pier is on October 16 at 18.45 in the Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals
More about MIPCOM’s World Premiere TV Screenings here!
Top photo: © MoviStar+