The Tower season 1 recap: What happened in the first season of the gripping ITV drama?

Forgotten what happened in The Tower season 1? We've got you covered...

Cast of The Tower on ITV
(Image credit: ITV)

The Tower season 2 hit our screens on ITV1 and ITVx on Monday 28 August. But with the second season airing almost two years after season one, many are still asking what happened in The Tower season 1?

The Tower season one first aired on 8 November 2021 and consisted of three 50-minute dramatic episodes. 

The ITV series is based on Kate London's Metropolitan trilogy book series. While it was set in London, it was actually mostly filmed in the northwest of England, mainly in Liverpool and Manchester.

The crime series received rave reviews, with some comparing it to the popular Line of Duty. So with series two now on our screens, we recap everything that happened in The Tower season 1. 

The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

The Tower season 1 recap

The Tower season 1 follows the story of Officer DS Sarah Collins (played by Gemma Whelan) who investigates the deaths of veteran PC Hadley Matthews (played by Nick Holder) and Libyan teenager Farah Mehenni (played by Lola Elsokari), who both fell from the roof of a tower block.

When Constable Lizzie Adama (played by Tahirah Sharif) one of the only witnesses - disappears soon after, DS Collins' investigation becomes even more complicated as she tries to find out what happened on the roof, and where Lizzie is.

ITV’s synopsis of the show explains, "Two people have fallen from the top of a tower block in southeast London - a veteran beat cop and a teenage girl. Left alive on the roof are rookie police officer Lizzie Adama and a five-year-old boy."

Within hours, Lizzie has disappeared, and Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins is charged with leading the investigation. She not only has to track down Lizzie before she comes to serious harm but also to uncover the truth behind the grisly deaths.

The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

The investigation took over three dramatic episodes, with questions being raised about previous dealings PC Matthews had had with Farah and her Libyan refugee family and whether he'd used racist slurs when visiting their home.

The final episode opened with Lizzie, who finally wanted to turn herself in to be questioned, meeting up with DI Kieran Shaw – her boss and the married man she had been having an affair with.

The final episode revealed that Farah had secretly recorded Hadley making racist comments and, while DS Collins originally thought that Matthews had pushed Farah off of the roof to stop her from sharing the audio, Lizzie explained in a police interview that Farah had fallen accidentally and Matthews fell whilst trying to save her.

What is The Tower 2: Death Message plot?

The Tower 2: Death Message, which is currently airing on ITVx and ITV1, follows the disappearance of a girl called Tania Mills on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral on September 6, 1997. 

DS Sarah Collins has quite a personal connection to the missing girl, as she would've been a similar age to the missing teen at the time. In her new job in homicide command, DS Collins is handed the cold case which seems an impossible challenge but she quickly uncovers new leads and clues previous investigations had overlooked.

Meanwhile, Lizzie Adama returns to Fallow Station after the events of season 1, and her first call out is to a domestic violence complaint against Mark Brannon, who is accused of beating up his girlfriend, Georgina Teel, and terrorising their young daughter Skye.

Lizzie and Sarah find themselves crossing paths again in series 2. A synopsis for the show reads, "The antagonistic relationship between the experienced Sarah Collins and the novice cop Lizzie Adama is at the heart of The Tower 2, as they are forced to work together for the first time and begin to get a sense of each other’s unique strengths."

The Tower

(Image credit: ITV)

Where to watch The Tower seasons 1 and 2

For UK viewers, you can watch seasons 1 and 2 of The Tower on ITVx and ITV1. However, if you're outside the UK, you'll need to use a VPN to access ITV.

Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. They say, "It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express."


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Ranked among one of the fastest VPN providers, this risk-free service is also compatible with all of your devices. Enjoy access to almost any streaming service, and if you don't like it there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to US, you can now use PBS to watch The Tower online.

VPN disclaimer

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Robyn is a celebrity and entertainment journalist and editor with over eight years experience in the industry. As well as contributing regular to woman&home, she also often writes for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and The Sun.