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24 September 2014
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Criminal Justice
Ben Whishaw in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice: new five-part thriller for BBC One


Criminal Justice is a compelling new five-part thriller written by the highly acclaimed Peter Moffat. Made by BBC Drama Production, Criminal Justice will transmit over five consecutive nights on BBC One.


Rising star Ben Whishaw (Perfume, I'm Not There) heads an impressive British ensemble cast which includes: Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name Of The Father, Brassed Off), Bill Paterson (Sea Of Souls), David Harewood (Blood Diamond, The Vice), Con O'Neill (Learners) and Lindsay Duncan (Longford, Perfect Strangers).


One mad night and Ben Coulter's life is changed forever. As he gets ready to go out on the town, the 21-year-old looks in the mirror. It will be the last time he's able to recognise the person who looks back.


Little does Ben know that a wild encounter with a sexy young woman will tear his life apart. Within 24 hours he will be charged with murder and – what's worse – he can't remember what happened the night before.


What follows is a rollercoaster ride through the criminal justice system across the five episodes; where the truth is optional and what counts is playing the game, in order to come out on top.


No one wants to hear Ben's side of the story; a complex game of cat and mouse begins as soon as he is arrested, played out between the duty solicitor, the world-weary Stone (Con O'Neill) and the pugnacious DCI Box (Bill Paterson).


Ben's shocked parents don't know where to turn and deep down there is a terrifying doubt: could their son really be a murderer?


Ben's world becomes a labyrinth of oppressive places: police station, prison and courtroom. As Ben steps off the prison bus he has to learn to survive alongside cellmates and hardened career criminals Hooch (Pete Postlethwaite) and Freddie Graham (David Harewood).


Lost in this alien world, Ben has little sense of where things start or finish, and who is in charge.


Kate Harwood, Head of Series & Serials, BBC Drama, says: "This is not a prison, legal or police drama. Peter Moffat has created something beyond these labels. He has delivered an exceptional and audacious piece of writing – full of colour, texture and humour.


"This is a combative, insightful, and sophisticated look at the criminal justice system."


Criminal Justice is written by former barrister Peter Moffat, whose previous dramas have been critically acclaimed and enjoyed popular success. Hawking was both BAFTA and Emmy nominated. Other credits include Cambridge Spies and Macbeth for the BBC and North Square for Channel 4. His forthcoming dramas include BBC One's Einstein And Eddington starring David Tennant and Andy Serkis.


Criminal Justice is directed by Otto Bathurst and Luke Watson. Otto's credits include last year's highly acclaimed thriller Five Days and the popular hit Hustle.


Criminal Justice was produced by Pier Wilkie (When I'm Sixty-Four, A Midsummer Night's Dream), and executive produced by Hilary Salmon (The Passion, Five Days).


It was commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction.




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