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Tuesday 29 Jul 2014

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Accused – introduction

(L-R) Mackenzie Crook stars as Lance Corporal Alan Buckley, Marc Warren as Kenny Armstrong, Juliet Stevenson as Helen Ryland, Naomie Harris as Alison Wade, Christopher Eccleston as Willy Houlihan, Andy Serkis as Liam Black, Benjamin Smith as Frankie Nash and Peter Capaldi as Frank Ryland, in Jimmy McGovern's Accused

Christopher Eccleston stars in the opening episode of Accused – six new dramas from Jimmy McGovern about crime and punishment, made by RSJ Films for prime-time BBC One.

These unflinching contemporary stories from Jimmy McGovern boast stellar casts comprising: Mackenzie Crook, Juliet Stevenson, Peter Capaldi, Andy Serkis, Marc Warren, Naomie Harris, Warren Brown and, in his first leading role, Ben Smith.

Each story is about an ordinary person who ends up in the dock. But should these men and women be there? Are they innocent or guilty or somewhere in-between? As each hour long episode unravels we see how these people became the accused and finally whether they walk free or go down...

Christopher Eccleston stars as a decent man in turmoil; Mackenzie Crook stars as a Corporal Buckley in the story of two friends played by newcomers Ben Smith and Ben Batt who join the British army and discover not obeying orders has deadly consequences in episode two.

Juliet Stevenson and Peter Capaldi star in the third episode a heart-rending tale about parents whose son is fatally injured at work and in the episode four Andy Serkis stars as a cab driver who is desperate to escape the drudgery of his life.

Marc Warren plays a father who acts against his better judgment in episode five and Naomie Harris and Warren Brown play parents whose fall out leads to foul play in the sixth and final episode.

Jimmy McGovern says: "In the time it takes to climb the steps of the court we tell the story of how the accused came to be there. We see the crime and we see the punishment.Nothing else.

"No police procedure, thanks very much, no coppers striding along corridors with coats flapping. Just crime and punishment – the two things that matter most in any crime drama. "

Accused was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning, and is executive produced for the BBC by Polly Hill, Head of Drama, England Independents.

Accused is made for BBC One by RSJ Films. It was produced by Sita Williams, who also executive produced alongside Roxy Spencer and Jimmy McGovern.

Accused directors are David Blair (eps 1, 2 , 5 and 6) and Richard Laxton (eps 3 and 4). The music was specially composed by Adrian Johnston.

Accused is made for BBC One by RSJ Films, the independent television and film drama production company founded in August 2009 by Roxy Spencer, Sita Williams and Jimmy McGovern, the creative team responsible for the multi-award winning BBC One hit drama The Street.

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