|BBC ONE Unplaced Week 27|
Criminal Justice is a compelling, new, five-part thriller written by the highly acclaimed Peter Moffat. Made by BBC Drama Production for BBC One, the drama transmits over five consecutive nights. 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), David Harewood (Blood Diamond, The Vice), Bill Paterson (Sea Of Souls), Con O'Neill (Learners) and Lindsay Duncan (Longford, Perfect Strangers).
One mad night and Ben Coulter's life is changed for ever. As he gets ready to go out on the town, the carefree 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 the sexy, young Melanie Lloyd will tear his life apart. They go for a ride in his father's black cab and a crazy evening ensues.
At the end of an uncharacteristically drug and drink-fuelled night out, Ben finds himself charged with murder and, worse still, he can't remember what happened the night before.
What follows is a rollercoaster ride through the criminal justice system; 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, and the pugnacious Detective Superintendent Box.
At the end of the night, Ben is finally charged with murder and appears before the magistrates in the morning.
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?
His father has employed new, high-class lawyers to represent his son and Ben and Stone part ways. Ben is denied bail and remanded in custody.
Ben Coutler is played by Ben Whishaw, Melanie Lloyd by Ruth Negga, Stone by Con O'Neill, DS Box by Bill Paterson, Barry Coulter by David Westhead and Mary Coulter by Juliet Aubrey.
Peter Moffat is a former barrister whose previous dramas include Bafta- and Emmy-nominated Hawking, North Square and Cambridge Spies. Criminal Justice is directed by Otto Bathurst (Five Days and Hustle) and Luke Watson.
Freddy Graham (David
Harewood) offers Ben
Ben's world becomes a labyrinth of oppressive places – police station, prison and courtroom – as Peter Moffat's compelling drama continues.
As Ben steps off the prison bus he has to learn the ropes quickly if he is to survive unharmed. He has already made an enemy of a new, returning inmate, Milroy.
Ben's only ally is his cell-mate, Hooch, who guides him through the precarious waters of prison life.
The head man is Freddy Graham. It is clear that Graham has an extensive network and business on the outside and runs things with impunity inside. He even has bent prison guards turning a blind eye to whatever he wishes. Graham offers Ben protection in exchange for unspoken services, which Ben naively turns down.
After a big scare, it's not long before Ben quickly learns the new rules of prison life and, out of desperation, he accepts Graham's protection.
Back in court, it is decision time as Ben needs to make up his mind about his plea.
The prosecution are worried that Ben's good character might risk a "not guilty" verdict at trial. In order to avoid an embarrassing result, the prosecution are prepared to offer no contest if Ben were to admit manslaughter. However, Ben won't confess to a crime he can't remember committing.
When Ben returns to prison, Graham calls in his favour and Ben discovers the real price he has to pay for protection. Ben has to smuggle drugs in from the visiting room. If he fails, another prisoner will be killed.
Ben meets Stone in the visitor's room and rehires him to be his legal representation. Meanwhile, the smuggled drugs are passed to him.
With time running out, Ben has to swallow the drugs before guards search him when he re-enters the prison wing...
Ben Coulter is played by Ben Whishaw, Milroy by Ian Peck, Hooch by Pete Postlethwaite, Freddy Graham by David Harewood and Stone by Con O'Neill.
An anxious Ben is about to go back to court with his new barrister, Alison Slaughter, as Peter Moffat's drama continues. As Ben is unable to recall what happened on the fateful night, Slaughter has decided that Ben will admit to the killing in self defence which – if the jury believes him – will see him set free. Feeling that he has no other option, Ben reluctantly goes along with this plan, but is distraught to see his mother flee the court.
After a tough day in court, Ben is desperate to speak to his mother and reassure her that he didn't kill anyone. Believing that his debt to Graham is now repaid, Ben reluctantly goes to see Milroy and pays to borrow a mobile phone so that he can call his mum to explain.
The following morning, Ben discovers that Milroy's phone is missing and he knows that Milroy will kill him. Blinded by absolute fear and panic, Ben attempts to escape through an open gate, but is left with a bloody nose when the gate is slammed in his face. Ben is forced to spend a night in the hospital wing, surrounded by screaming prisoners.
Following a painful conversation with his mother, Ben is devastated to find that she is not in court the following day. In the middle of Slaughter's self-defence argument, Ben stands up and declares that he no longer wishes to plead self defence because he didn't do it.
Slaughter withdraws as Ben's barrister and her junior counsel, Frances, takes over. Frances decides to run with Ben's claim that he didn't commit the murder. In the courtroom, Frances unearths some new evidence which gives Ben fresh hope...
Ben Coulter is played by Ben Whishaw, Alison Slaughter by Lindsay Duncan, Mary Coulter by Juliet Aubrey, Freddy Graham by David Harewood, Milroy by Ian Peck and Frances by Vineeta Rishi.
Stone (Con O'Neill) and Kapoor
(Vineeta Rishi) offer Ben hope
The pressure mounts as a nervous Ben takes the stand and states that he can't remember what happened on the night in question, in the penultimate episode of Peter Moffat's drama. He also states that he knows he is not the type of person who could murder someone. After a difficult line of questioning from the prosecution barrister, Ben is left feeling deflated, drained and exhausted.
Speaking with a new witness leads Stone to believe he's discovered another potential suspect with a history of violence. Could this help Ben's case?
Following a challenging day in court, a dejected Ben returns to prison where he is forced into a violent fight with Milroy. Hooch steps in to stop the fight but gratitude soon changes to disappointment and horror for Ben, as a terrible secret is revealed. Alone and betrayed, Ben is forced to spend the night in a wing that houses vulnerable prisoners, and has to share a cell with a paedophile.
The next day, new forensic evidence comes to light, giving Ben fresh hope. A dramatic twist in the testimony provided by the witness unearthed by Stone convinces Frances that she has uncovered the real murderer.
Frustratingly, Frances continues to ignore Stone's advice on how best to proceed and makes an unwise and dramatic move, which takes Ben's case back to square one.
Ben's woes are compounded by a visit from his mother, which was meant to reassure him of her love but which, instead, leaves him distraught and bereft of hope.
Ben Coulter is played by Ben Whishaw, Stone by Con O'Neill, Milroy by Ian Peck, Hooch by Pete Postlethwaite, Frances by Vineeta Rishi and Mary Coulter by Juliet Aubrey.
It's the day of the verdict, in the concluding episode of Peter Moffat's gripping, five-part thriller.
Is there any way out for Ben, now, or will he be found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment?
Frances still believes in his innocence and decides to re-interview Melanie's ex-boyfriend. After uncovering some shocking new evidence, Frances sets about proving Ben's innocence, but is it too late?
Ben Coulter is played by Ben Whishaw and Frances by Vineeta Rishi.
|BBC THREE Unplaced Week 27
Eight beautiful disabled models, seven tough assignments, one incredible prize are involved in the search for Britain's Top Missing Model. But, ultimately, is the modelling world ready to open its books to one of them? In tonight's opening episode, the aspiring models meet at the Chelsea penthouse which will be their home until, one by one, they are eliminated from the series.
Credit controller Kelly (23 years), Debbie (22) from Holland, administrator Rebecca (27), Jenny (22) from Seattle, student Jessica (19), make-up artist Kellie (23), TV interpreter Lilli (20), and art student Sophie (23) are all competing to win a photo shoot with world-renowned photographer Rankin to feature in style magazine Marie Claire. They are joined by Jonathan Phang, an industry pro for over 25 years, who will be their mentor and guide.
The girls' rollercoaster ride starts with a nerve-wracking meeting with the expert judges, who will decide their fate: Wayne Hemmingway, Lara Masters, Marie O'Riordan and Mark Summers. They set the first assignment, an haute couture fashion shoot titled Object Of Desire.
For this assignment, the girls have a limited time and budget to each buy a prop to model with; the object must tell the judges something about them. Then, it's on to the photo shoot. Afterwards, a few of the girls aren't sure whether they have done enough to secure their place.
The judges are shown the pictures. Some are impressive, others are not so good. After tense deliberation, they finally reach their decision and decide which of the girls must be sent home. However, one of the judges feels it's entirely the wrong decision...
This series is part of BBC Three's The Beauty Season. The channel goes behind the gloss with a collection of new programmes challenging conventional notions of beauty. With young people feeling under increasing social pressure from the images of beauty and perfection they see around them, this thought-provoking season questions what it means to be beautiful – and exposes the truth behind the apparently perfect images.