Simon Donald

Playwright and writer for television

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Simon Donald is an award-winning writer for stage and screen, whose play The Life of Stuff earned him both the Evening Standard Best Playwright Award and the London Critics Award for Best New Play when it was produced at the Traverse Theatre in 1993.

In 2006, Simon wrote the television thriller Low Winter Sun, which starred Mark Strong and won the RTS Award for Best Drama Serial, as well as being nominated for a host of other awards. Low Winter Sun was remade for the US market in 2013 and aired on AMC.

He has since gone on to write on the critically acclaimed mini-series, Wallander, as well as developing his own six-parter, The Deep, with Tiger Aspect and the BBC.  

Simon's latest series, Fortitude, produced by Fifty Fathoms for Sky Atlantic, launched in January 2015 and was Sky Atlantic's most successful drama launch to date. A second series has been commissioned by Sky Atlantic.



Writer & Creator

Producer Patrick Spence, Simon Donald, Frith Tiplady, Anne Mensah & Lizzie Grey

Second series of the thriller set in a remote town in the Arctic circle

Fifty Fathoms for Sky Atlantic
In development
Producer Matthew Bird & Trevor Hopkins
Director Sam Miller
  • Richard Dormer
  • Christopher Eccleston
  • Michael Gambon
  • Sofie Gråbøl
  • Stanley Tucci

    Thriller set in a remote Arctic town

    Fifty Fathoms for Sky Atlantic
    5 x 60'
    Tiger Aspect
    In development
    The Deep
    6 x 60'
    Producer Will Gould
    Director Jim O'Hanlon
  • Minnie Driver
  • James Nesbitt
  • Antonia Thomas
  • Goran Visnjic
  • Orla Brady
    Drama about the crew of an oceanographic submarine who find themselves stranded thousands of feet underwater
    Tiger Aspect for BBC1
    Low Winter Sun
    RTS Best Drama Serial 2006
    3 x 60'
    Producer Rhonda Smith
    Director Adrian Shergold
  • Mark Strong
  • Vincent Regan
  • Burn Gorman
    Award-winning thriller about a police detective who kills for revenge
    Tiger Aspect for Channel 4


    Producer Sanne Wohlenberg
    Director Andy Wilson
  • Kenneth Branagh
  • Roland Hedlund
  • Sally Hurst
  • Sadie Shimmin
    Acclaimed drama following a detective in Sweden
    Left Bank Pictures for BBC 4
    6 x 60'
    Adaptation of Ian Rankin's detective novels
    STV for ITV
    In development
    China Blue
    1 x 60'
    Detective drama
    So Television for BBC
    In development
    Creator Colin Batman
    Producer Various
    Director Various
  • James Nesbitt
  • Owen Teale
  • Michael Fassbender
    Television drama about an undercover police officer
    Tiger Aspect for BBC
    Drama Series for the BBC
    Box TV for BBC
    In development
    Producer Peter Norris
    Director Simon Massey and Dermot Boyd
  • Conor Mullen
  • Lorraine Pilkington
  • Stanley Townsend
    Family drama
    World Productions for BBC
    Producer Hilary Bevan Jones
    Director Nicholas Renton
  • Chris Barnes
  • Robbie Coltrane
  • Simon Donald
  • Steven Mackintosh
    Television film about a sea captain
    A&E Television for Granada Television
    Director Philip Saville
  • Al Anderson
  • Ewen Bremner
  • Billy Connolly
  • Lorcan Cranitch

    Television film about a Scottish cabinet-maker and city Councillor who maintained a secret life as a burglar

    Tiger Aspect for BBC
    Director Patrick Lau
  • Ian Bannen
  • Tony Cownie
  • Annette Crosbie
  • Jason Flemyng

    Series set in Scotland in the 1940s about a rural doctor

    Scottish Television Enterprises for ITV 1



    Producer Alan J. Wands
    Director Bill Eagles
  • Iain Glen
  • Susan Lynch
  • Tom Mannion
  • Maurice Roëves
    Film following two girls thrown together as they deal with blackmail, murder, betrayal and revenge
    DNA Films
    Feature film in development
    Film Four
    Tiger Aspect
    In development
    Producer Steve Norris, David Puttnam
    Director Hugh Hudson
  • Colin Firth
  • Rosemary Harris
  • Irene Jacob
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
    Adaptation of Sir Denis Forman's memoir following the lives of one family on a country estate after World War I
    Miramax Films
    Enigma Productions

    Writer & Director

    Producer Linda Myles
  • Ewen Bremner
  • Liam Cunningham
  • Jason Flemyng
  • Ciaran Hinds
    Adaptation of Simon's play about a feared gangster coming back to town to settle old scores
    Prairie Pictures



    The Life of Stuff
    Winner: Evening Standard Best Playwright Award
    Director John Mitchell
  • Duncan Duff
  • Brian McCardie
  • Stuart McQuarrie

    Comical snapshot of Edinburgh's underworld in the 90's

    Traverse Theatre

    Surreal comedy

    Traverse Theatre
    Director Jenny Killick
  • Stella Gonet
  • Ronnie Letham
  • Gerda Stevenson
  • Caroline Paterson
    Traverse Theatre
    A Tenant for Edgar Mortez
    Sunday Times Award for Most Outstanding New Playwright
  • Simon Donald

    One man play about a young man looking to let his room

    Abattoir Theatre