21 February, 2009

Preview: "Law & Order: UK"

"The cream of British acting talent is brought together in an ensemble cast of extraordinary breadth to star in Law & Order: UK.

The new series for ITV1 is based on the enormously successful US format created by two time Emmy award-winning producer Dick Wolf. It will be co-produced by Kudos Film and Television, Wolf Films and NBC Universal.

Bradley Walsh (Torn, Coronation Street) is DS Ronnie Brooks, a real East End, copper’s copper, friend and partner to the charming DS Matt Devlin, Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica, The Last Detective, Ultimate Force) whose approach to policing is part seduction part force. Both report to DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter The Young Victoria, Atonement, Sense and Sensibility) a working mum who would back them to the end.

While the CPS team comprises Ben Daniels (The Passion, The State Within, Cutting It) as dedicated Senior Crown Prosecutor James Steel, a man on a mission for justice; Freema Agyeman (Dr Who, Torchwood, Little Dorrit) as hard working, strong-willed young prosecutor Alesha Phillips; and Bill Paterson (Little Dorrit, Criminal Justice, Sea of Souls) as their respected boss CPS director George Castle, a man trying to balance his ideals with the bigger picture.

The brainchild of creator Dick Wolf, Law & Order is the most successful brand in primetime U.S. television. It was the 1997 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series and the record holder for the most consecutive (11) nominations for a drama series. It has also turned into one of TV entertainment’s most pre-eminent brands, with its successful spin-offs Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent."


"Lead writer Chris Chibnall was charged with the task of finding the right stories to adapt for a British audience. He explains: "I was looking for stories that I connected with emotionally, that had great opportunities for characterisation, and that felt relevant to Britain today. I watched about 150 episodes of the US Law & Order. Dick Wolf sent over a list of his favourite episodes and I watched all of seasons one to six, plus a number of episodes from seasons seven, eight and nine. It’s a very addictive show so it’s great to be getting paid to sit and watch them.”

Talking of the difficulties in adapting a US series for the UK, Chris says: “We are vigilant about being faithful to the Law & Order format, while also making sure that it feels fresh, modern and British as well. The stories have got to stand up strong in their own right, so you’re constantly making sure that the characters are interesting and original and are rooted in this country. There is always a balancing act between making sure the stories are authentic from a legal perspective but also that they are dramatic. We sometimes had the issue of legal procedure which is different between the two countries. You had to be constantly vigilant, while honouring the source material and making sure the drama is as exciting as it can be for a British audience. ”"



Begins Monday 23 February, 9pm, ITV1 for 13 weeks


rob said...

I'm so excited about this. ITV must have some guts scheduling against 24 though. That's already caused upset in my house!

Fingers crossed it's as good as it's pedigree.

Robin Kelly said...

My fingers are crossed as well.

It might seem risky scheduling but ITV has seriously owned Monday nights for the last six weeks, in terms of ratings.

What Sky 1 needs is a plus one channel, I've ended up watching 24 on a Saturday night.