Scotland's Gaelic drama is to make a killing.

Bannan, BBC Alba's long running drama, is to take new and darker turn in its new season, with a murder and 'whodunnit' at its heart in the manner of 'Scandi-Noir' shows, its producers have revealed

As the Gaelic channel unveiled its new autumn schedule, Chris Young, creator of the series, said the drama was finally read to step into the bleak world of hit dramas such as the Scandinavian noir successes The Killing or The Bridge.

In the drama, the character Padruig, played by Ewen MacKinnon, who has been revealed to be a rapist, is murdered with a blow to the head as he confronts the key character of Mairi, played by Debbie Mackay.

The new, fourth, series, which starts next week, has a "very different ambience and style and tone", said Mr Young and says the series will see the island community on which Bannan is set "completely rocked its core and shattered."

Young, who produced the successful comedy The Inbetweeners before creating Bannan, shot in Skye, said: "By the end of the series, there are some revelations and events which completely rock the place...and at the end of the day, the legacy of this awful rapist, whether or not one thinks its natural justice or not, his death makes things even worse."

He said after the murder plot, Bannan will be a "blank page" and will resemble "almost a reboot" as young characters have more prominence.

Writer Laura MacLennan said: "This series is a 'whodunnit'.

"We have got quite a few suspects, a lot of them have good motivations to kill him.

"The last few series before this, there have been lots of separate strands, but this one is more concentrated on the murder, and all the storylines weave in and out of each other.

"It is getting darker - this murder impacts everyone in the community, in some way or another."

Young added: "The truth is there was pressure on us from the beginning, when we started out I think our commissioners were very keen for us to make The Killing, and I am not surprised, The Killing is great, or any of those Scandi-noirs.

"But the truth is that it would have been just impossible and very contrived to create a series that was in any way authentically set in the Gaeltacht and the Highlands Islands and start off with this lurid murder - it would have been so ridiculous.

"I felt that we started out very much with a character driven story, and it has taken 18 half-hour episodes to come to the boil.

"There are probably more murders in a city than an island, but there is plenty of dark stuff going on in rural communities and indeed an island, and we wanted it to arrive in as natural a way as possible."

The new season on BBC Alba has been designed to appeal more to younger viewers.

Bannan returns to the channel on 18 September.

In June BBC Alba agreed a four-year deal with Young Films to continue to make the Skye-based drama.

The station and BBC Writersroom Scotland have joined forces to launch a talent search to find the best comedy writers for a brand-new Gaelic comedy sketch show.

Leading this search will be Michael Hines, the producer and director of Still Game via his production company The Woven Thread, together with Angela Galvin from BBC Writersroom Scotland and BBC ALBA Commissioner Bill MacLeod.

Mr Hines said: "The Woven Thread is very excited to be involved in creating a brand-new sketch show...we want short, snappy, brilliantly funny sketches that will be equally at home on the web as they will on TV. The door is wide open for anyone to pitch their best material and be part of the new sketch show."

Sport continues to be a significant part of BBC ALBA’s schedule this autumn.

The channel will have more live coverage of Scotland’s PRO14 rugby clubs than any other broadcaster, with the majority of Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors matches all on the channel as well as Scottish Premiership football