Ben Whishaw plays Ben
Ben is a regular 21-year-old with a sensitive nature and a trusting, happy-go-lucky outlook. At the end of an uncharacteristic drug- and drink-fuelled night out, he finds himself charged with murder.
Unable to recall what transpired with all the evidence pointing towards him, Ben is looking at a life sentence. He thinks if he tells the truth, he will be believed – his legal team, however, know otherwise.
Bill Paterson plays
Detective Superintendent Harry Box
DSI Box is a cynical copper who relies on his gut instinct when it comes to assessing the innocence, or otherwise, of the suspects before him. He is evangelical about avenging the victims of crime but has made a pact with the devil in order to protect the unwitting public.
Up against the practical obstacles of small budgets, lack of manpower and legal restrictions, Box has allowed the criminals to police themselves as long as they leave the public alone. His wilful blindness has terrible consequences.
Pete Postlethwaite plays
Hooch is an insightful, world-weary, once-violent criminal. He has finally learnt to stop fighting what he can't overcome and has found a place for himself in the world as a "listener", a therapist and emotional support to his fellow inmates. Ben's plight draws out all Hooch's protective instincts as he puts himself on the line for his friend.
David Harewood plays
Graham is a cultured, highly intelligent crime lord who is as adept at manipulating and reading the psychology of his fellow inmates and prison guards as he is at drug-running. He gains sadistic enjoyment from corrupting Ben, and his pleasure is intensified when he realises that Ben might be innocent.
Lindsay Duncan plays
Charming and ruthless by turns, Slaughter is forensic in her execution of an argument and is sure of her own brilliance – unruffled by any setbacks and more than confident of winning a seemingly unwinnable case. At the end of the day, she is undone by her own arrogance in ignoring the wishes of her client in how she presents his case.
Con O'Neill plays Stone
Pragmatic above all, Ben's solicitor could be considered cynical but for his fervent belief that it's the professional results that matter, rather than how you achieve them or whether his client is innocent or guilty.
Stone's instinct for what will best serve their case is unerring, and Frances and Ben ignore his advice to their peril. Stone is dogged in his fight to get the best possible result for his client.
Vineeta Rishi plays
Fatally idealistic and dangerously close to professionally reckless, Frances lets her heart do the driving. Frances believes that if she acquiesces to her
client's desire to simply tell the truth, then justice will prevail.
Her lack of cynicism and pragmatism have catastrophic results, but
her loyalty and perseverance could help save the day.
Ian Peck plays Milroy
A psychopathically violent career criminal, Milroy is a bully in search of a victim – and Ben is it.
Ruth Negga plays Melanie
Beautiful, mysterious and charismatic, Melanie proves to be irresistible to the normally cautious Ben.
David Westhead plays
Barry is a pathologically loyal father to Ben, who ignores all evidence that points to his son's certain guilt.
Juliet Aubrey plays
Ben's devoted mother loves her son no less for believing that he really is a murderer.
Sam Alexander plays
PC Simon Jeary
PC Jeary is a wet-behind-the-ears constable who, despite his tender years, holds his own with Slaughter under cross examination.
plays PC Karen Briggs
PC Briggs is a police officer whose demeanour is tougher than she first appears.
Johann Myers plays Roland
Freddy Graham's henchman is, by turns, amusing and menacing.