Monday, July 1, 2013

Law & Order: UK Series 7 Overview, New Cast, Episode Information (Press Release)

Photo by ITV

Law & Order: UK will premiere series 7 on ITV on Sunday, July 14, 2013 at 9PM.  Here’s the press information so fans can have some background on the new series and the new cast members.  It sounds like an interesting and exciting series!   (Update July 10, 2013:  this new series of Law & Order UK will return to BBC America on Wednesday,  August 7, 2013 at 9PM ET.)

ITV Press Release
July 2, 2013

Law & Order: UK - Series 7

Georgia Taylor and Paterson Joseph join the cast of ITV's highly successful drama Law & Order: UK for series seven with dramatic storylines including a devastating train crash, kidnap and child grooming.

Georgia Taylor (Casualty, Lewis, Coronation Street) is defence barrister turned Crown Prosecutor Kate Barker fresh from the more lucrative side of the courtroom. She may not look like the average prosecutor but Kate is straight-talking, charming and likeable and very used to getting her own way. She is headstrong, experienced and not a fan of hierarchies; the perfect combination to infuriate her new associate Chief Prosecutor Jacob Thorne (Dominic Rowan).

Also joining the critically acclaimed cast is Paterson Joseph (The Hollow Crown, Hustle, Peep Show). DI Wes Leyton has been in the force since the age of 18. He's been through it all and knows the only way to change things is from the inside. Newly appointed as DI, Wes is frustrated by the amount of time spent dealing with budget issues and filling in forms but he is determined to make a good job of it and get results.

Wes and Ronnie (DS Ronnie Brooks played by Bradley Walsh) go way back and although they weren't best mates they share a similar outlook on life. But his partner DS Sam Casey (Paul Nicholls) isn't so sure of his new boss…

Peter Davison returns as respected Director of the Crown Prosecution Service, Henry Sharpe for series seven which sees the law and order teams facing the darker side of humanity. The first two episodes will be a compelling two-part story written by Emilia di Girolamo (Law & Order: UK, The Poisonwood Tree) with the second episode exploring ‘a day in the life’ of the characters. A suicidal man drives his car across a railway crossing causing the train to crash and killing 15 people. The investigation takes on several twists as the teams pursue the case with vigour and a determination to uncover the truth as the future of their colleague DS Sam Casey hangs in the balance.

An array of guest stars including Amanda Mealing, Patrick Baladi, Jan Francis, Ramon Tikaram, Ian Bleasdale, Daniel Casey, Terri Dwyer and Glynis Barber join the cast for this six-part series.

Says producer Jane Hudson: ”Taking over as Producer on a successful show is always a daunting prospect. Firstly you want to maintain the high standards already set, but you also want to put your own stamp on things and give something to the series that hasn't been done before. I'm a huge fan of stunts, so when our lead writer, Emilia di Girolamo, suggested using the US episode 'Locomotion' as the base for our two-­‐parter, I jumped at the chance.

“Like most UK drama, Law & Order doesn’t have an endless budget, so staging a real train crash was always out of the question. However, we watched the US version and were impressed that they'd managed to shoot the train crash from the inside only, but made it look fantastic. Of course, we wanted to go one step further...

“Taking the US episode as our template, myself and the director Mat King, worked closely with the stunt co-ordinator, special effects team, director of photography and production designer to make sure we pushed things as far as we could. On the shoot day we ended up with 15 stunt performers inside a real train carriage and used a series of lights outside the windows to create the effect of movement. The effects team rigged suitcases to drop from racks and debris to fly out of a canon. We also rigged some of our stunt performers with blood pellets which burst on action as they crashed into sugar glass. We knew we only had two attempts to get it right so a lot of time was spent rehearsing both the performers and the cameras. The end result was better than any of us could have hoped -­‐ it certainly kicks the new series off with a bang!”

Adds Jane: “In this series we deal with a lot of crime committed by people you really wouldn't suspect. What seems like an ordinary family turns out to be the complete opposite with some extraordinary outcomes. There's certainly something for everyone with a few familiar faces joining us along the way.”

Law & Order: UK is produced by Jane Hudson (Hustle, Waterloo Road, Robin Hood). Kudos Film and Television Chief Executive Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Spooks, Utopia) executive produces the series. Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of Law & Order, executive produces for Wolf Films.

New Cast Members

Georgia Taylor

Georgia Taylor is Crown Prosecutor Kate Barker Georgia Taylor made several visits to Bristol Crown Court to watch the same case by way of preparation for her role as defence barrister turned Crown Prosecutor, Kate Barker, in the new series of Law & Order: UK.

“The first time I went I felt quite nervous,” she recalls. “I’d never been to court before for any reason and I felt a bit uncomfortable. But by the second and third time I knew exactly what was going on, I went through security and took a seat in the gallery as though I’d been going for years.”

And that is exactly the feeling Georgia was after, she explains: “For me, it was about wanting to walk onto the court room set for the first time and not feel like I was in a completely alien environment. I also closely watched the prosecution barrister and what I liked about him was that there was no demonstrating, he wasn’t raising his voice, he was very matter of fact and in a way, when people are like that, it draws you in. Politicians do it – they talk softly and I very much took this on board with Kate. There was such a real naturalness and I found him really compelling, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I can see how people get hooked on going to watch these cases. You have to remember that this is real; we could see everything, but it felt like I was watching TV! I found it really fascinating.

Talking about her character Georgia says: "We first meet Kate as a defence barrister up against Jake (played by Dominic Rowan) and we find out at the end of the first episode that she moves over to CPS where she will be working alongside him. They rub each other up the wrong way from the start. She quite likes him but he is just irritated by her. Jake is very controlled and quite cold. Kate admittedly is quite nosy, but there’s no malice in it, she is just genuinely interested in people and what makes them tick. She is fascinated by Jake because he is this enigma that comes into work and doesn’t give anything away.”

Georgia continues: “Kate comes from a working class background and I think the reason she is successful and well in court is because jurors relate to her – she is the girl next door; non-threatening and non-­intimidating. She isn’t very well spoken, she didn’t go to private school, she doesn’t use a lot of fancy words – that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know the fancy words because she is very bright – she is accessible, warm and bit mischievous; she likes to wind Jake up. She is very passionate and just the opposite of Jakes character – she is more friendly and much more inquisitive.”

So what drives Kate Barker?

“She is someone who really enjoys a challenge – and this is a hugely challenging career. It’s different every single day and every case is different and that is something that really appeals to her and her spirit of adventure. There is also a part of her that is passionate about causes she believes in and we see that in the first episode when she is defending a character who she believes is mentally ill. She cares about people and she cares about the right thing being done.

“She is sensitive to the needs of people who are vulnerable; whether that is mental health or battling addiction, she has empathy and sympathy. For people that are vulnerable and can’t protect themselves in the way perhaps someone else could.”

And how does Kate relate to her new boss Henry Sharpe?

“Generally most of the time they get on really well and I think he has done a very clever, slightly manipulative thing by bringing her on board as he knows she will bring certain things out in Jake. Even in the first episode he is quite playful and quite enjoying Jake’s discomfort as Kate shares an office with him. At the end of the day he is her boss and there are moments towards the end of the series where he has to pull her back into line because she has got very passionate about a case and she’s perhaps doing things inadvertently that are detrimental to the team in CPS. He is quite firm with her as this is his job, he has to keep everyone in line and make sure they are doing their job properly. Because she has only recently crossed over to CPS there are at times elements of the defence barrister in her that she’s struggling to shake off a bit.

“I got to have some great on-­screen arguments with Peter Davison – he is such a gentleman and such a wonderful actor, it was good to play a different dimension with the character.”

How did it feel having to wear the wig and gown standing up in court?

“The first time I tried the wig on was when I had a makeup test and I was horrified! I thought, ‘Oh my God’. It wasn’t so much that I looked terrible – I am not that vain – I just thought I looked a bit comedy and wasn’t sure I took myself seriously. I really had to sell this and remember Kate has trained for this job and been doing this all through her twenties. I have to say, within a couple of hours of wearing it, and when the other barristers in court are wearing wigs, you become a bit attached to it.

“When Kate is in court, she is very different to how to she is in the office and she has to be. The only way I can describe it as an actor it feels like the closest thing to theatre you get with filming. We’ve got this huge set and lots of supporting artists, crew and guest actors. You really do feel, when you’re stood up in the benches, that every single pair of eyes is on you, so there was something very theatrical about it and the character has to choose what she presents to the jury and how she manipulates a witness and draw things out. By its nature it is very theatrical, and with the addition of wig and gown, it is like your stage costume and it very much feels role specific so it does help you get in the right mood.”

Kate Barker will become known for another element of her costume too…

Yes – she wears Ugg boots with her suits when she’s not in court! That’s what I really love about her as it’s so much like me to dress for comfort. It’s just a nice character trait that she does what she has to do in court and wears what is required of her, but she just wants to be comfy. She isn’t the kind of girl to go tottering around in stilettos and short skirts. Our costume designer went for quite a masculine look – slouchy jumpers, shirts and we have even got harem pants. It is very laid-­‐back and reflects her personality – she isn’t uptight and ironed to within an inch of her life and these boots are a nice reflection of this.” “Funnily enough I wasn’t a fan of Ugg boots before filming Law& Order but it’s just because I never had them before. I always thought they were just overpriced slippers – ridiculous! After wearing them for about a week, I just thought they were so insanely comfy and my lovely boyfriend bought me a pair for Christmas, so I am a convert.”

So were there any downsides to filming the series?

“This has definitely been one of the coldest jobs ever. We get to do some scenes on location and I love filming out and about in London, it’s exciting, but we have had the most shocking winter. Filming outside in bitter wind or snow you feel like your diction goes and your mouth goes numb so that has definitely been a challenge. Especially when we are filming 7.30am on Sunday morning by the River Thames -­ you feel like you’re being slightly punished…”

Paterson Joseph

Paterson Joseph is DI Wes Leyton Paterson Joseph was launched straight into the thick of it on his first day filming Law & Order: UK as the new DI, Wes Leyton.

“One of my first scenes was with Bradley Walsh (DS Ronnie Brooks) and we instantly had a good rapport. We both speak very quickly, slightly over-­lapping each other and I think Bradley liked the instant comebacks from my character. It was two people who were on the same wavelength humour wise,” explains Paterson.

His other scenes on the first day were with Peter Davison and Paterson recalls: “We were in Henry Sharpe’s office, we’d rehearsed a scene and Peter had gone for a costume change when a lump of ceiling fell down and I thought ‘I hope that isn’t an omen for my first performance on camera!’ Of course it wasn’t and everything rolled along nicely because it is such a well established production.”

Talking about his character Paterson says: “Wes has always been a committed career copper; he always wanted to be part of the solution. If you look at race relations in the 80’s when he would have joined up, it would have been imperative for him to have been committed to solving those problems and being the solution to the major race issues of the day. There was a huge separation between the police and black people, and certainly black youth, and he decided that what he was going to do was join and see if he could change things from within. To a certain extent, he feels he has succeeded;  here he is a very senior police officer able to command men and women under him and also show that black officers are able to rise through the ranks and encourage younger officers to join.

“As a copper he was very rule based and knowing that was the best way – through trial and error – to keep safe and make sure you get a conviction. He was always really good material for Detective Inspector but there is always a major part of him that is itching to get on the streets again and do the investigations and basically be Ronnie. He is slightly frustrated in that he has been given a lot of administration. The reason he took the leap from DS to DI was partly natural, it made sense for him to be in charge of other men as he was quite good at organizing other people.

“There was also the very emotional and personal issue that he and his wife can’t conceive a child and after four or five years of trying different treatments have moved to London as they can get IVF treatment a little cheaper in the borough he is in.”

Wes and Ronnie share a history in the force…

Says Paterson: “Wes and Ronnie have had a very similar experience in the force in that they were serious about being coppers – they both really were in love with the law and order. There’s also a part of both of them that have deep integrity in what they do – they avoid doing anything that even smells of corruption and they will expose it where they see it, they are purists.”

“They understand some coppers tend to bend the rules – there were a lot of mavericks around in those days, they were a little looser in the interpretation of the law – especially in the early 80s but they got on well and hung out together for a good eight to 10 years and knew the same crowd of coppers and had mutual friends. Meeting up again is fantastic as they have banter very easily – Wes is in a different position to last time they met in that he is in a higher rank and ultimately Ronnie’s boss, but he never feels like this because he is his mate. There is a sort of balance in their relationship, a mutual respect. He is not a Daddy DI, Wes is a real ‘get the job done’ kind of guy and the fact he has a bit of warmth towards Ronnie takes the edge off him.”

So how does Wes get on with his new team?

“He absolutely loves the way Ronnie works – he works in a very similar way although he is much less emotional about the cases. On occasions that leads to a bit of a clash in that Wes can see where Ronnie is going, and in my eyes, he is so tenacious and wants to do the right thing for everyone involved in the case, but sometimes looks at the pile of work on his desk and just wants to close this off and get as much evidence as he can. Ronnie will always scratch a little deeper and find something that turns the case around which is wonderful in one way and really annoying in another, but he greatly admires him for doing that.

“His relationship with Sam (Paul Nicholls) is a little tricky because for some reason Sam has taken umbrage towards him immediately for no other reason apart from that he is a new boy. There is nothing racist about the way Sam treats him, it is just people don’t like a new broom. Policeman are very conservative, they don’t like changes and are always suspicious of new people coming along. Thankfully Ronnie pours oil on troubled waters and helps us to work together but it is a tense relationship; there isn’t a lot of love lost and at some points there are major clashes.”

Paterson is thrilled that his first episode on Law & Order: UK is such a dramatic one.

“Most of the storylines are more domestic, more personal and less spectacular so it was a great way to start and have such a big incident to get to grips with. It also really helped the transition into being that copper investigating a crime in this detailed way. I have never played a detective before I’ve done bits in other drama series but they have been tiny compared to this. It is great being able to follow the investigation all the way through.

“Wes cannot stand being too long behind a desk – working within four walls is a very acquired taste, you have to be a particular kind of person and Wes struggles with this and the huge amounts of admin. He knows it is part of the job and it helps everyone on the case but he would just love to be out there catching people. No one was going to keep him away from the scene of the train crash and it was incredible to film there.”

And Paterson admits to being a fan of the Law & Order franchise before joining the cast.

“The first time I saw the US version was about 1996, and both times I have seen it was in the Caribbean. My wife and I absolutely loved it, it was one of the things we did in the evening before we went out for dinner. All the cases were contained, so whether you had seen previous episodes or not didn’t matter. We loved the banter.”

“The whole series really smacked of authentic, procedural US legal system and it seemed to me to be a really good mixture between what would happen and a really entertaining police drama. I thought ‘we don’t have anything like that in the UK’ and started writing something along those lines and then the UK version was created and I was very curious to see it. I saw some episodes during my travels when the first series came out and thought they were all really excellent and totally held their own to the American series. I am hoping we have maintained that credibility for this series too.”


Episode 1 – Tracks (adapted from Locomotion)
Writer – Emilia di Girolamo

A suicidal man drives his car across a railway causing the train to crash and killing 15 people, but he survives. Crown Prosecutor Jake Thorne (Dominic Rowan) pursues the culprit, Finn Tyler (Aidan McArdle) with vigour whilst the man’s defence barrister (Kate Barker played by Georgia Taylor) tries to prove his vulnerability and mental illness. Just as the case finishes, his boss, CPS Director Henry Sharpe (Peter Davison), springs one more surprise on Jake…Kate is Alesha’s replacement. Another new face is DI Wes Leyton (Paterson Joseph). He’s an old colleague of Ronnie’s (Bradley Walsh) and is covering for DI Chandler when Tyler is found dead in his cell at court and the last person seen entering the cell was DS Sam Casey (Paul Nicholls)…

My recap and review of Law & Order UK "Tracks" can be found at this link.

Episode 2 – Tremors (adapted from Aftershock)
Writer – Emilia di Girolamo

DS Sam Casey (Paul Nicholls) is suspended over the death of Finn Tyler and DI Wes Leyton (Paterson Joseph) gets hands on with this investigation, with a reluctant DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) as his partner. For the first time we explore a day-­in-the-­life of the Law & Order: UK regulars. After a few drinks Jake (Dominic Rowan) opens up to new colleague Kate Barker (Georgia Taylor) about his mothers’ death. We meet Ronnie’s estranged daughter and follow Sam as he spends the day with his son, giving new insight into our heroes’ off-­duty lives.

My recap and review of Law & Order UK "Tremors" can be found at this link.

Episode 3 – Paternal (adapted from Deadbeat)
Writer – Nick Hicks-­Beach

A man is found shot dead in a hotel room and the cash he was carrying has gone missing. We discover the man owed his ex-­wife thousands of pounds in unpaid child support and was lying to his girlfriend about his line of work. DS Sam Casey (Paul Nicholls) and DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) also learn he has a son dying of leukaemia, but hadn’t been tested for a bone marrow match. Attention turns to the ex-­father-­in-­law, Philip Donovan (Ian Bleasdale). Did he hunt down the father of his dying grandson to try to recoup the unpaid money or is there more to this family set up than first appears? How far will a parent go to protect their child… At the CPS Jake (Dominic Rowan) and Kate (Georgia Taylor) work out their differences and reach a more even keel.

My recap and review of Law & Order UK " Paternal " can be found at this link.

Episode 4 – Fatherly Love (adapted from Family Values)
Writer – Noel Farragher

The body of Charlotte Leigh is pulled from the Thames. After ruling out suicide, DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Sam Casey (Paul Nicholls) focus their enquiries on the victim’s abusive ex-­husband Richard (Patrick Baladi) with whom she was involved in a bitter custody battle over their teenage daughter, Holly (Charlotte Hope). However, the investigation turns closer to home when it appears Holly was involved in a relationship with her mothers’ new husband, Sean (Rory Kennan). Despite the evidence pointing to Holly, Crown Prosecutor Jake Thorne (Dominic Rowan) follows his gut and gambles on a hunch at the trial in a bid to draw out the real killer, and in turn uncovers the dark truth behind the façade of a seemingly perfect family. This is a story about how far a girl will go to protect the man she loves…

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Fatherly Love" can be found at this link.

Regular Cast

DS Ronnie Brooks: Bradley Walsh
DS Sam Casey: Paul Nicholls
DI Wes Leyton: Paterson Joseph
Jacob Thorne: Dominic Rowan
Kate Barker: Georgia Taylor
Henry Sharpe: Peter Davison

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