Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
The Defendant – Tony Powell (played by Dean Andrews)
Tony is a likeable, down-to-earth garage owner. He can be short-tempered and gets easily wound up and sometimes has trouble keeping a hold on his emotions. His passion is in stark contrast to Neil's measured copper persona, and that's just what attracted Saskia to him. Saskia and Tony were genuinely in love and he maintains he didn't murder her. But there's a defensiveness about Tony that makes Sol wonder what he may be hiding.
The Victim – Saskia Stanley (played by Caroline Langrishe)
Saskia was an intelligent and impressive businesswoman. A loving and open woman, she thought she'd found a second chance when she met Tony. She was genuinely taken aback by the antipathy her family had towards him but she was also frustrated at how Tony exacerbated a tense situation and she soon felt like she was being asked to make an impossible choice, between a man she loved and her own family. Then she became terminally ill and needed Tony's support.
Defending barrister – Sol Ridley (played by Tristan Gemmill)
Sol Ridley is a member of Atherton Chambers and is Tony Powell's defence barrister. An individual who does things his own way, he is a conscientious hard worker driven by a genuine social purpose and loves sparring in court and taking on the impossible. Specialising in defence, he's a rising star who's won a few notable cases. However, on occasion, Sol lets his emotions rule his head which can lead to poor decisions. We see this in his rivalry with opposition barrister Metzler, who loves to wind Sol up, because Sol takes the bait so easily. We also see it through his relationship with Julie, his junior. Sol is very attracted to Julie, despite the fact he's married and a relationship with her would be a disciplinary offence.
Pupil barrister – Julie Prior (played by Chanel Cresswell)
Julie is just finishing her year as a pupil and faces an imminent vote on whether she can stay on at Atherton Chambers. She's good natured, energetic and hard-working and is delighted when chosen by Sol to work with him on Tony's case. But as a working-class woman in a world of Oxbridge graduates and money, it's difficult for her not to have a chip on her shoulder and she feels it's easier for everyone else. She hasn't yet learned that sometimes it's better to bite her lip and not say exactly what she thinks. Given how much she needs this job, it's not good tactics to cross swords with fellow barrister Valerie and it's certainly a bad idea to get involved with Sol.
Barrister – Valerie Mornay (played by Ruthie Henshall)
Valerie is an experienced barrister at Atherton Chambers and realised early on that if you want to be accepted as a female barrister, you have to take on the boys at their own game. She's carved out a niche as a no-nonsense ball-breaker who can out-manoeuvre any of her colleagues and that makes her one of the most formidable opponents anyone could come up against. Valerie is 'old-school' in some respects, and doesn't see why she should make life easy for Julie. Yet Valerie is not without sensitivity, and isn't always comfortable in her own skin. Now in her forties, and single and sometimes feels she's different from those around her.
Senior Clerk – Gordon McCallister (played by John McArdle)
As senior clerk, Gordon wields his considerable power at Atherton Chambers to full effect. On first impressions, he can seem a charming, friendly, worldly figure but it's only when you fall foul of his exacting standards that you realise what a difficult man he can be. It all depends on whether you're in his favour or not. Hard to impress and easy to disappoint, Gordon is a meddler and loves to know exactly what's going on in everyone else's lives.
The Opposing Barrister – Mark Metzler (played by Sean Chapman)
Mark Metzler is from rival chambers and is barrister for the prosecution in Tony Powell's case. He's a born barrister, larger than life, an excellent orator and a terrifyingly driven individual; but the drive comes only from wanting to earn more money. Metzler takes life far less seriously than Sol Ridley, and delights in winding him up.
Saskia's ex-husband – Neil Stanley (played by Connor McIntyre)
A uniform copper who likes to see himself as a moral compass, yet he's actually quite self-centred and struggles to take on board the views of others, to the point of being quite controlling. He loves his children deeply and flounders when they don't share his point of view about anything. He still hasn't really recovered from the split with Saskia – even though he initiated it when he thought he'd found someone else – and is driven by a deep conviction that Tony is responsible for Saskia's death.
Saskia and Neil's daughter – Jess Stanley (played by Michelle Tate)
Smart, capable and very much her own woman, Jess had an incredibly close bond with her mother and struggled enormously with her death, but she sought to engage with her grief and deal with it. She was the only family member who in some ways accepted the presence of Tony. Though she didn't personally get on with him, she could see that he made her mother very happy. In her heart of hearts, she doesn't think Tony capable of murder.
Saskia and Neil's son – Dan Stanley (played by Karl Davies)
A more combative force than his sister, Dan is a bit of a chip off his father's block and thus loathed Tony from day one and bought every line that Neil peddled about him. Dan was openly rude about Tony to Saskia which upset her deeply. Now, in the light of his mother's death, Dan is totally lost, unlike Jess who has soldiered on in a very practical way. At the outset Dan shares Neil's opinion about Tony but, as time goes on, he begins to question his dad for the first time.
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