Monday, July 29, 2013

Law & Order UK “Paternal” Recap & Review

Law & Order UK “Paternal” brought viewers back to the standard procedural format, albeit one that was a little light on the courtroom drama. “Paternal” was adapted from the original Law & Order episode “Deadbeat” (season 7, episode 7) and “Paternal” followed the original storyline very closely. That is, until the end, where CPS decides to take quick action against the daughter of the murderer for her role in the conspiracy. (In “Deadbeat”, Jack McCoy placed the case file on the top of a pile on his cabinet implying a stall, and saying there was no statute of limitations on murder.)

After the emotional and intense first two episodes of this new Law & Order UK series, “Paternal” moved at a slower pace. It was not without of emotional drama, however. The struggles of a mother who is coping with her son’s fatal illness plus the high cost of care was a story  told with depressing realism.

For now, DS Sam Casey seems to be controlling his angst over his recent troubles.  But, it is obvious that he isn’t thrilled that they have to cause grief for the terminally ill young boy who will find himself with his mother and grandfather likely in jail. Although Kate seems to forget for which side she’s working, her defense experience will, in the long run, likely help them to plan offensive strategies. She and Jake seem to have made peace. We also get a glimpse into how DI Wes Layton keeps himself calm and collected: taking care of his bonsai tree. We also learn that, much to Sam’s chagrin, DI Chandler will not be returning as she is looking after her mother. Despite Sam’s uneasiness with Wes, I believe that Ronnie will be the stabilizing factor between the two.

It also seems that in this new series that Henry has developed more of a likeable personality – still strong and authoritative, but not so much so that he can’t interject a little humor here and there. I’ve always enjoyed Peter Davison during his “Dr. Who” days and have enjoyed seeing a bit of a playful side in Henry Sharpe in these last few episodes.

Here is the recap

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

Guest stars
Amanda Mealing - Eleanor
Michaela Cole – Maid
Alexander Perkins – SOCO Pete
Branko Tomovic - Jan Kopecky
Christopher Sciueref - Radek Kopecky
Jessica Gunning - Angela
Emmanuella Cole - Annie
Gemma Atkinson - Becky Bryson
Ian Bleasdale - Philip Donovan
Jo Hartley - Lindsey
Max Furst – Joe Donovan
Simon Lawson – Luke
Mark Cameron - Hancock
Davood Ghadami - Russell
Jack Beale – Court Clerk
Amerjit Deu - Judge Asif Pathan

A maid, entering a room at the Crossthorne Hotel for turndown service, finds a man laying on the floor, dead. Later, DS Ronnie Brooks is at the scene and hears that the man – Michael Trent - was shot once in the chest with a small caliber, maybe a 22. A person in another room heard a shot and thought it was a TV and a witness saw a man in the corridor wearing a green sweatshirt. It does not appear to be a robbery and there is no sign of forced entry. He has few clothes in the room and Ronnie thinks it is a fly in visit. Trent’s mobile phone rings and Ronnie answers it, pretending to be Trent, and tells the caller to come up to room 603.

As two men get out of the lift, Ronnie approaches and identifies himself. He questions the men as to why they are there and they are evasive, so he asks them to voluntarily come down to the station and answer some questions. Ronnie tells them the meeting with Trent is canceled..

At M.I.U. headquarters, DS Sam Casey and Ronnie question the men, Radek and Jan Kopecky, separately. They both have records. The detectives inform the men that Trent is dead. The detectives hear that Trent said he was coming to town and wanted to meet, Trent buys cars and the Radeks sell them.

Afterwards, Ronnie tells DI Wes Leyton that he is not charging the Kopecky brothers;  even though they carry their biceps between their ears, they are not stupid enough to go meet a bloke they have just killed. They don’t have anything bad on Trent. Sam tells them that the lab just confirmed that Trent died from a single shot from a .22 caliber gun. Ronnie says there was no sign of a struggle and no murder weapon or casings. Wes says all they have is the green sweatshirt. Angela approaches and gives them Trent’s bill and credit card details from the hotel. In Wes’s office, Ronnie explains that he thinks Trent let the killer in, and Wes wonders if he had a key card, telling them to find out how easy it is to clone one. As Wes sits down at his desk and tends to his bonsai tree Ronnie explains that the phone is a pay as you go. There was no room service on the bill so they wonder where the vodka came from.

At the nearby Wine, Spirits & More store, Ronnie and Sam speak with the clerk who shows them the security video with Trent making his purchase. She told Trent to put away his big wad of money which he continued to flash around, and he asked to be pointed in the direction of the hookers.

Back at M.I.U., Sam tells Wes that they couldn’t find that Trent picked up a hooker but Wes wonders if he did and she robbed and murdered him. Sam says Trent has a shared account with Rebecca Bryson and he tried Trent’s contact number but it keeps going to voice mail. Ronnie shows them Trent’s calls log with 7 calls to other mobiles, 3 to the same number, and one call to a dental practice. Sam notices the three calls were to Rebecca Bryson and the last call to her mobile lasted 7 seconds which Sam thinks is just enough time not to leave a message. Ronnie finishes that he rang her work instead – the next call was to the dentist’s office. Sam makes a call to the office posing as Rebecca’s neighbor saying he locked himself out. He finds out that “Becky” is taking the afternoon off for her birthday and she is on her way to London to meet her boyfriend. Wes tells them to keep calling her mobile and meet her at the train.

At Waterloo Station, Ronnie and Sam meet with Becky and they explain that Trent is dead. Later, at the medical examiner’s, she identifies his body and she tells them he was a copper.

At M.I.U., Becky explains that Trent was an undercover cop in Southampton and said he was tracking drug gangs and organized crime. Her phasing makes both Sam and Ronnie suspicious. She said they were engaged and he trusted her and they had a joint bank account as he needed somewhere to put all the spare money. She met one of his colleagues when he took ten grand out of the account to pay an informant. There was a letter for Gary Tully that she thought was for a previous tenant. He said there was an undercover deal he had to take care of with a big payoff – 250 grand.

Later, Ronnie tells Wes they never heard of Trent at Southampton and when Wes wonders if he was scamming, Ronnie says Trent was putting money INTO the account and 90% of the money belonged to him. After Wes leaves, Sam asks Ronnie if DI Chandler is coming back, and Ronnie says she is looking after her mum and that Sam will get used to Wes. Sam comments “bonsais and all” and Ronnie say Wes may trim tiny trees but he is still one of the good guys. Sam then says “bingo” saying that while there is nothing on Trent, he found that Gary Tully is wanted by family court for non-payment of maintenance. Ronnie says Tully has wife somewhere that he owes, he has for years, and wonders if she got tired of waiting,

At the home of Lindsey Donovan, Ronnie and Sam speak with her father, Philip, about Tully and explain he is dead, shot at a hotel. Philip is shocked he was in town, saying the bastard owes them about 100 thousand. Ronnie asks where he was yesterday at about 5PM and Philip says where he always is – loading sacks of dirty tablecloths. He unlocks the doors of his “Larry’s Laundry” truck as Sam asks how they can find his daughter. He tells them she is at Great Ormond hospital, her son Joe has leukemia.

At the hospital, Sam and Ronnie speak with Lindsey as her son plays a video game on an iPad. In another room, she explains that Gary never bothered to see Joe and when they first got married he always had a lot of money. At first she did not mind his overnight business trips but it got harder when the women he was shagging started calling. They got divorced when she got pregnant with Joe and the day the divorce went through he took all the money from the accounts and left them with nothing. CSA tried to help but Tully was very clever, he claimed he was living abroad and created an umbrella company. She sold the house but had borrowed so much money against it there was hardly any money left. She moved in with her dad, who flog himself on his rounds while she looks after Joe. She says she will get a part time job...later. Ronnie asks where she was at 5PM yesterday and she said she was there with Joe, where she always is, and she did not kill Gary, she just wanted the money he owned them.

Afterwards, Ronnie and Sam are at the CSA office and hear about a web site created to help people avoid paying child support. They can’t prove how much Tully is earning and he has several IDs and mobile phones. Sam says Tully deals in used cars but hear that on paper, Tully is an employee on minimum wage. There is nothing they can do, they know about Joe but there is nothing they can do. The file says Tully is a potential bone marrow donor and that Lindsey and Philip are not a match. The closest they came to Tully was a few months ago when they found he was in Southampton so they sent their legal enforcement officer and by the time he got there, he wasn’t there.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Law & Order’s Dennis Farina Dies

Dennis Farina, who played the sharp-dressed Detective Joe Fontana in seasons 15 and 16 of Law & Order, has died. Various reports indicate he died Monday July 22, 2013 from a blood clot in his lung. Early in his career, he served as a police officer in Chicago, and this brought a real-life dimension to his role on Law & Order. (His standard Fontana line - "We're authorized!")

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

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

Law & Order UK “Tremors” Recap & Review

Law & Order UK “Tremors” was adapted from the original Law & Order episode “Aftershock”, the Law & Order season 6 finale where Claire Kincaid met her untimely end at the hands of a drunk driver. “Aftershock” was a story told outside the normal Law & Order procedural format, featuring a look at how the characters reacted to an execution. “Tremors” is similar only in the focus on the characters reaction to a shocking event – the apparent suicide of a man who was found guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility - for a train accident he caused. Also, as in “Aftershock” where Lennie Briscoe tries to reunite with his estranged daughter, Ronnie Brooks also tries to do the same with his, and he botches it in the process. But “Tremors” had some major story differences – like the focus on finding out that the suicide was in fact a murder and the subsequent resolution of that case. It was like watching a completely fresh story with a true mystery on how the story would resolve.

The story also brought some closure to Jake Thorne’s issues with his sick (now dead) mother, and at the same time, established more tension between Jake and his new colleague Kate Barker. Kate appears to be a bit of a loose cannon and her nosiness is not welcomed by Jake. I like the tension between these two and it adds a more interesting dimension to the legal side of the story. Dominic Rowan and Georgia Taylor have a nice chemistry together.

Sam appears to be completely falling apart, partly from likely post traumatic stress from dealing with the train accident, and troubles with his ex as he tries to keep contact with his young son. He’s also facing pressure from Wes, his new boss, who may not have the confidence in Sam as does Ronnie. Sam seems to be taking a turn to drinking to cope, and hopefully Ronnie's experience with that issue will help save Sam from getting in too deep.

All in all, this was a solid episode that struck a perfect balance between personal stories and a crime story. It provided interesting back stories on the characters we already know while providing a solid footing for the new. The scene at the train station where Ronnie steps in to prevent yet another death resulting from the train accident was a fine job of filming and editing. The closing scenes where we see how the day ends for everyone over the backdrop of Ronnie’s voice mail to his daughter evoked many emotions and was well acted and superbly written. I suspect the tremors from this episode may continue to resonate for some time.

Here is the recap:

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

Guest stars
Aidan McArdle - Finn Tyler
Alexander Perkins - Soco Pete
Adam Nagaitis - William Braxton
David Ajala - Gavin Dale
Adjoa Andoh - Lilly
Jessica Gunning - Angela
Badria Timimi – DPA Officer
Ebony Gilbert - Cathy
Joe Reynolds - Ben
Alexandra Guelff - Emma

The story begins with a brief recap from the previous episode, "Tracks".

At the Crown Court holding cells, DI Wes Layton and DS Ronnie Brooks are on the scene where Finn Tyler’s body lies. Wes speaks with Kate Barker as Ronnie checks with security man William Braxton who has to be swabbed for his DNA as he touched the body, and explains that DS Sam Casey will take his statement. Wes discusses with Ronnie how Finn got the cord in there that he used to hang himself, and Wes wonders if Finn wasn’t the one who smuggled in the cord – maybe someone gave it to him. As Wes walks off, Ronnie looks at Sam who is leaving up against a nearby wall, glaring back at him.

Back at headquarters, Sam tries to get back to work but Ronnie stares at him. Sam stops his work as Ronnie asks Sam what he was doing in the cell. Sam gets evasive, asking to be left alone, and Ronnie says Finn Tyler’s brief also saw him there and asks if he is supposed to leave that out of his statement. Wes enters and asks Ronnie for any news and Ronnie explains that CCTV is still down and Wes says he wants all the footage for the whole time Tyler was in the cell. Ronnie reminds Wes that Sam is supposed to be on rest days after the trial but Wes reminds him of staffing problems and the problems with Tyler dying while in custody. He says that Sam has to stay on until they find who gave Tyler that cord and until his killer is in the cell and the case papers are on his desk.

Meanwhile,  Kate Barker arrives -  in a dour mood - at the pub to meet with Jake Thorne and Henry Sharpe. She breaks the shocking news about Finn Tyler’s death to Jake and Henry. Henry takes his leave to handle the fall out and tells Jake to take the afternoon and buy Kate’s lunch, giving Jake his credit card. As Henry leaves, Kate glares at Jake, asking him if he doesn’t feel responsible – he could have accepted a plea. Jake argues back that he only feels responsibility to the families of the loved ones who Tyler murdered. They continue to spar on the issue and Jake stops and asks her what she wants. Kate replies a pint and Jake thinks defense barristers usually opt for something more expensive. Kate reminds his she is on their team now, and as he moves to get their drinks, he quietly says not to remind him. They turn to the TV to see Gavin Dale talking about how Finn murdered his son and his wife and 15 innocent people. Kate sighs.

At Holdborn Mortuary, the examiner breaks the news to Ronnie and Sam that Finn had abrasions and bruises on his neck that indicate Finn was murdered. She believes the killer held him down with his knee, choked him from behind with the cord, scraping his neck and then strung him up – textbook staged suicide.

At M.I.U. Central Headquarters, Angela shows Wes and Ronnie the video footage and the sign in logs. Wes is shocked to see Sam Casey appear and he turns to look at Ronnie.

Afterwards, Ronnie begs Wes to speak to Sam first but Wes won’t allow it, so Ronnie watches the video feed from the next room. Under questioning, Sam says he was there to get the property forms signed, but when it comes out that Ronnie had the forms and Sam had been in the area for 10 minutes off camera, Wes continues to question him and puts on some pressure. He tells Sam he is not under arrest and they want him to cooperate with the case. Sam doesn’t care what Wes or his rep thinks, and he gets up and leaves the room. Wes goes after him and Ronnie also tries to stop Sam outside the room.

Wes tries to talk some sense into Sam but Sam thinks they are wasting time, and Wes tells Sam if he walks out now he is making a big mistake. Sam says he doesn’t give a toss and Ronnie tries to calm him but Sam says he held that dead boy in his arms and hasn’t slept for months, and he shouts that every time he closes his eyes he sees that boy’s face and his dad’s face when he had to tell him his son was dead. Sam admits he went there to tell Tyler how that felt and to try to feel that pain but he couldn’t do it because being a police officer came first. Sam says he swears he turned around and walked away. Wes reminds him it was a slow walk as he was off camera for ten minutes, and then suspends him pending further investigation. Sam storms off.

As Sam walks out of the building, Ronnie chases after him and Ronnie tries to calms Sam but also asks what Sam was doing for those 10 minutes.  Sam is crying and admitted he wanted to go in there and tell him what Finn Tyler had done and how it feels every time he kisses his boy goodbye all he can see is that kid dead in the train. Sam finally admits he just sat down by the cell door and cried like a baby. As Sam continues to cry Ronnie tries to console him and encourage him that he is a good copper and he will come through this. Sam swears he did not see Tyler. Ronnie thinks Tyler was already dead when Sam went down there. Sam asks if Ronnie believes him and Ronnie says yes he does.

At the Crown Court holding cells, Ronnie speaks with William Braxton about how long Tyler was in the cell before he was found. William said Tyler was brought back down right after sentencing so maybe an hour. Ronnie says they’ve only seen 45 minutes of CCTV footage and William said maybe it was 45 minutes, he wasn’t clock watching.

Back at the pub, Jake and Kate mull over the menu and Kate is not hungry, her client just killed himself.  Jake's phone rings, it is a call from "Cara" and he ignores it. Again Jake and Kate spar over the situation and as Kate questions Jake’s feeling any guilt, he says he was doing his job. She wonders if he ever opens up and cuts the bullshit and wisecracks and just gets real. Jake says nothing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Law & Order UK New Series BBC America Promo

Here is the U.S. promo for Law & Order UK, which will premiere the new series in the U.S. on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 9PM ET on BBC America. Law & Order UK stars Bradley Walsh, Paterson Joseph, Dominic Rowan, Georgia Taylor, Paul Nicholls, and Peter Davison. Don’t forget to check out the new series overview on my blog at this link: Law & Order: UK Series 7 Overview, New Cast, Episode Information (Press Release)

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

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

Monday, July 15, 2013

Law & Order UK “Tracks” Recap & Review

Law & Order UK returned for a new series of episodes and with 2 new cast members Georgia Taylor and Paterson Joseph. Joseph, as DI Wes Leyton, replaces Harriet Walter (DI Natalie Chandler), and Taylor, as Kate Barker, replaces Freema Agyeman (Alesha Phillips). Both Joseph and Paterson have great chemistry with the established cast, and both characters have interesting backgrounds that are sure to make for some compelling storylines. This may be even more pronounced for Kate Barker, who comes to the CPS team immediately after contentious interactions with Jake Thorne on a case where she served as defense barrister. The situation make be even more uncomfortable for Jake considering CPS Director Henry Sharpe hired Kate to assist Jake without Jake’s input. It goes without saying he doesn’t care for her footwear fashion sense. either.

“Tracks” was adapted from the Law & Order episode “Locomotion” which was the season 15 finale. The teleplay for "Tracks", written by Emilia di Girolamo, was crisp and tight; in my opinion she is one of the best writers that has ever graced the Law & Order brand. As two new characters were introduced in this episode, she quickly create a history with Ronnie and Wes, and created tension between Jake and Kate without detracting from the story of the crime. Her no-nonsense style moves the story along quickly, yet still builds drama and allows for nuanced characters.

I also must admit that I am quite partial to the production and filming style of Law & Order UK, which places the characters in interesting London venues where each character is presented in the best possible setting and lighting. It’s one of the things I look forward to – it’s simply enjoyable for my eyes to watch.

I also enjoyed the ending cliff-hanger, where it appears Sam gets himself in a bit of a pickle with the death of Finn Tyler. Thankfully we only have to wait until next week to find out how that story begins to play out. I also am anticipating the tension between Jake and Kate – and maybe even with Henry and Jake over Kate's hiring. It should make for some interesting fireworks.

All in all, a great start to the new series!

Here is my recap:

Bradley Walsh - DS Ronnie Brooks
Paul Nicholls - DS Sam Casey
Paterson Joseph - DI Wes Leyton
Dominic Rowan – Senior CP Jacob Thorne
Georgia Taylor - Kate Barker
Peter Davison – CPS Director Henry Sharpe

Guest stars
Kristian Demetriou - Max Dale
Belinda McGinley - Marnie Dale
Craig Stein - Train Driver
SOCO Pete – Alexander Perkins
Jessica Gunning – Angela
Samantha Barron - SGT Barden
Adam James - Michael Gennis
Catherine Grose - D.C. Kim Smart
Miles Mitchell - Zack Coulton
Rachel Leskovac -Amanda Tyler
Raffiella Chapman - Ellie Tyler
Aidan McArdle - Finn Tyler
Raffiella Chapman - Ellie Tyler
Chris Cowlin - Security Guard (as Christopher Cowlin)
Fraser James - Dr. Toby Marsh
Adam Nagaitis - William Braxton
Fraser James – Dr. Toby Marsh
Karen Archer – Justice O’Neill
David Ajala – Gavin Dale
Alan McKenna – Dr. Holdsworth
Daniel Coonan – Daniel Haleton
Jack Beale – Court Clerk
Adam Nagaitis – William Braxton

Marnie Dale and her son Max are on the Country Trains commuter line when the train horn sounds and a violent crash occurs, the passengers being thrown in all directions.

Later, DS Sam Casey arrives on the scene of the accident while rescue personnel work the scene. Sam enters the train, quickly hears a sound and realizes someone is still alive. He finds a Max Dale laying under some rubble and calls for help. But help does not come quickly enough, and despite Sam’s screams for help and attempt to keep him alive, Max dies. Ronnie arrives and tells Sam there are hundreds injured and 12 dead, Sam sadly tells him it’s 13.

Outside the train, Ronnie is surveying the damage when DI Wes Leyton arrives ad Ronnie explains what has occurred so far. The car that was across the tracks, causing the crash, was found with no driver inside and the car has over 100 speeding tickets tagged against it over the last 6 months. The car crashed through an access gate. Wes tells Ronnie to ID and interview the passengers. Wes notices that Sam looks affected by the incident and Ronnie explains about Sam finding the young boy who died. Wes tells Ronnie to make sure Sam gets counseling. Before Wes leaves, he recounts some fun times in the past with Ronnie.

Later, Ronnie and Sam interview Mr. King, the train driver, who explains how he tried to stop. Ronnie does not think this is an accident. The speak with Pete who is working on the car, and says when they get the car back to base they can cut into it and get the VIN number. Sam is upset, saying that Pete has nothing.

At M.I.U. Central Headquarters, Angels shows Ronnie, Sam, and Wes the footage of the car crashing through the gate. This did trigger the alarm but by the time Haleton Security radioed the train it was too late because it happened at a Haleton shift change. They suspect the person knew the timing and could be an employee of the rail company or security. They can’t see who is in the car as the camera is set to track people climbing over the fence, not cars crashing into it. The site was secured at 6:55 and they are checking more footage to see if the driver escaped farther down the line.

At the accident processing site, they find that no one on the train saw anything, and now they are up to 15 dead - 16 if you count unborn babies. Ronnie gets off the phone and tells Sam the VIN has been located.

Back at M.I.U., Ronnie tells Wes the car belongs to Michael Gennis, and when Wes says the name rings a bell, Ronnie explains that Gennis put his wife in a coma and he claims self defense. But, there was a hung jury and CPS is retrying the case, thanks to Alesha Phillips. She cited the retrial as an example of CPS having zero tolerance for domestic violence. She takes that came train every morning but was not on it as she has been promoted to Senior Prosecutor CPS Northwest, but Ronnie thinks Gennis would not know that. Sam explains Gennis beat the shit out of his previous wife and got scared and withdrew her statement and she emigrated to get away from him. Wes tells them to get a warrant.

Law & Order UK Series 7 Opening Theme and Credits

Here are the new Law & Order UK series 7 opening theme and credits. The main cast is Bradley Walsh, Paul Nicholls, Paterson Joseph, Georgia Taylor, Dominic Rowan, and Peter Davison.

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

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

Friday, July 12, 2013

Raúl Esparza Joins SVU Regular Cast reports that Raúl Esparza is now a Law & Order SVU series regular. (A brilliant move!)

Read the full story here: Raul Esparza Upped To Regular On ‘Law & Order: SVU’

(Let's all do the Bobby Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) happy dance!)

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

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

Law & Order SVU Satellite Tour Gone Wrong (Video)

Here’s a video of Law & Order SVU’s Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni on a television satellite tour where things don’t go as planned. The video was just recently posted but the actual date the video took place was not given. (Hysterical!)

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

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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Law & Order UK Series 7 Trailer

Here’s the trailer for the new series of Law & Order UK, which will premiere on ITV on Sunday, July 14, 2013 at 9PM.

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

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

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

#   #   #  

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

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