Monday, January 4, 2010

Law & Order UK Premieres Second Season In UK on January 11, 2010

Walsh, Daniels, Agyeman, Bamber
Photo from ITV

Law & Order UK will begin its second season in the UK on January 11, 2010 at 9:00 PM on ITV1. While the first season of 7 episodes aired in the UK last year, the last 6 episodes were split off to air as a second season. (This second season already aired in Canada last summer.)

The cast remains the same from the first season:

Bradley Walsh: DS Ronnie Brooks
Jamie Bamber: DS Matt Devlin
Ben Daniels: Senior Crown Prosecutor James Steel
Freema Agyeman: Prosecutor Alesha Phillips
Harriet Walter: DI Natalie Chandler
Bill Paterson: CPS Director George Castle

It is unlikely that I will be able to recap these episodes, as I was unable to access them when they aired in Canada and I don’t have a source from the UK at this time. (The first season was excellent, by the way.) The episode synopses for the new UK episodes scheduled to air are listed below.

There are also interviews with some of the cast members that are available at these links:

Interview Excerpts with Jamie Bamber and Bradley Walsh

Interview with Freema Agyeman

Episode 1: Samaritan
A tragic communication error between police officers leaves young PC Nick Bentley caught in the cross-fire of armed drug-dealers with no back-up. DC Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DC Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) investigate, following the lead of the drug gang to small-time dealer, Theo Carson.

However, Theo’s story shakes the officers and their boss, DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter). He claims a second police officer, Ray Griffin (Jamie Foreman) was standing nearby, doing nothing, whilst his partner bled to death. A partner who was gay.

Could Theo be telling the truth? Could there be any connection to an extreme religious group within the force which seems to discriminate against homosexuals?

James Steel (Ben Daniels) and Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) of the CPS feel the case has to be pursued. Director of the CPS, George Castle (Bill Paterson), thinks otherwise. To pursue such a case would be institutional suicide, damaging the delicate relationship they have with the uniformed police beyond repair.

How far should they go to hold one person accountable for a drop in the standards of public office? How far will the force close ranks to protect their own? Will it be enough to shift the foundations of the CPS’ “rock solid case?”

Episode 2: Hidden
When the body of missing ten year old, Jodie Gaines, is found dumped in a skip in Euston, DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) are faced with two suspects, the cabbie who swears he dropped Jodie at her guitar lesson and the guitar teacher who vouches she never arrived. Determined to deliver justice to Jodie’s grieving parents, they follow the scientific evidence and a third suspect with no prior connection to Jodie comes to light. Which of the three men is lying? Did Jodie’s killer snatch her at random? Or is there a more sinister reason behind the schoolgirl’s kidnap?

When events take a shocking and unexpected twist, the case is turned upside down. Who is responsible for Jodie's death? Will the truth ever come out? With two crimes to contend with, Crown Prosecutors James Steel (Ben Daniels) and Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) of the CPS have wildly differing opinions on what course to take. As they struggle with their consciences, they are faced with the toughest choices of their careers.

Episode 3: Community Service
When a homeless man is found beaten nearly to death with an iron bar at the centre of a well kept square, DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh), DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) and DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter) investigate. The victim, Kirk (Sean Hughes), is bi-polar and lives in a camper van on the square. As the cops dig deeper, they find out that Kirk tormented some of the residents to the extent that they were desperate to get rid of him. Everyone has a motive but no-one is talking. They are protecting the perpetrator. When the wrong man is arrested however, he caves and points the finger at respectable architect, Harry Morgan (Kevin R. McNally) whose son has turned against him and allied himself with Kirk.

Harry Morgan is charged with GBH but he pleads self defence despite the fact that he was seen entering the park with an iron bar in his hand. Senior Crown Prosecutor James Steel (Ben Daniels) is determined to prove that this was a premeditated attack but Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) and George Castle (Bill Paterson) know that the jury’s sympathy will lie with the law abiding Harry Morgan as opposed to the antisocial Kirk who refuses to take his medication and can’t be helped by the system.

James feels strongly that Harry Morgan should accept responsibility for his actions after brutally attacking a sleeping man and leaving him to die. If he is found not guilty, the jury will give the nod to vigilantism in all its brutal lawlessness and this goes against everything James believes in.

Episode 4: Sacrifice
DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) are called to investigate an unusual crime. Darren McKenzie has been attacked and had his kidney surgically removed. The team are horrified to learn that the stolen organ has been trafficked into the NHS and it has been transplanted into Joanna Woodleigh - a very wealthy patient.

With the case handed over to the CPS, a conflict of interests is soon apparent and Crown Prosecutor James Steel (Ben Daniels) finds himself in charge of the CPS as George Castle (Bill Patterson) steps down from his post. When George dons his defence wig one final time and goes up against James and Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) in court, the crux of the case is very clear. What would you sacrifice and what line would you cross to help someone you loved?

Episode 5: Love and Loss
When DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) are called to the death of a drug mule, they are surprised to discover she is a middle class white girl. Debbie Powell’s parents are heartbroken. She was about to go to university, she worked hard at Gilmore’s - a family friend’s shop and she wanted for nothing. So why did she do it?

Matt and Ronnie soon unearth Debbie’s secret life. A mysterious boyfriend that nobody ever met. A teacher she met on Sundays. Rumours of an active sex life at work. And a coke dealer who has done a runner. As Matt and Ronnie close in on their suspect, they are shocked to learn that Debbie’s motivation was love.

Debbie’s death hits home for George Castle (Bill Paterson). As the father of a daughter, he pressures Crown Prosecutors James Steel (Ben Daniels) and Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) to bring all charges possible against the defendant. Not an easy case given that are no witnesses, all the evidence is circumstantial, and James’ opponent is the brilliant but eccentric Jason Peter’s (Eddie Marsan).

Alesha’s perseverance tracks down the only witness who can testify about the drugs run. But when this witness retracts his statement, the case falls apart and the defendant is found not guilty. How can James keep his promise to the Powell’s and find justice for the death of their daughter?

Episode 6: Honour Bound
DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) agrees to help his old friend and partner, DS Jimmy Valentine (Robert Glenister) in an undercover drug sting. But a gun is pulled and someone ends up dead. What appears to be a tragic mistake is then investigated by internal affairs and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) who fears Jimmy is not all he seems.

As they push for the truth the spotlight turns on Ronnie and, in particular, his dark past as a functioning alcoholic when a ten year old drug case was left with no witnesses and a large quantity of missing heroin.

The evidence is stacking up against the police and James Steel (Ben Daniels) and Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) of the CPS battle Valentine’s barrister, Evelyn Wyndham (Anna Chancellor) to bring enough evidence to court. The jigsaw piece that will win it for them is Ronnie. But he refuses to testify. Is there something suspect in Ronnie’s past that will end his career now? Can the CPS find any other way of proving their case or in court will it be Valentine’s day?

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.


Adriano_CSI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adriano_CSI said...

On Imdb says that Episode "smaritan" makes part of the season 1.

All Things Law and Order said...

"Samaritan", as well as the others beginning to air on January 11 in the UK were originally planned as season 1. But the UK decided to split off these last 6 episodes of season one into a second season which they are just now going to air in the UK. They were filmed as being part of season one and the UK originally intended to air all of them at once, but they changed their minds during the airing of the first few episodes last year.

Shelly said...

I think this series got off to a bit of a slow start, but after the first few eps and certainly including the ones All Things lists here, it really got good and I'd recommend these to anyone who can find a way to watch them. I don't know if they'll ever find their way to American TV, but I hope they do somehow... someway... it's really neat to see L&O put a twist on their own episodes... lol... to take an original episode and make it their own.

Andrew said...

All the additional episodes are readily available on BitTorrent if you're anxious to see them.

Misguided Ghosts said...

Do you have any knowledge if they're going to be aired in the U.S.? I read that Wolf wanted to be able to bring the episodes over into the states.

All Things Law and Order said...

Misguided Ghosts, I haven;t heard anything about this being released in the US, but if/ when they ever do I will make sure to pass along the information.

gahks said...

This is the second half of season 1, which is now a de facto season 2 in the UK, even though both parts will be sold in a single season one DVD set.

The show has already been renewed for a second proper season of 13 episodes. I am expecting major improvements to the show, particularly with regards to Ben Daniels' rather self-serving and arrogant moral crusader of a prosecutor...