ITV’s latest docu-drama Stephen will revisit the Stephen Lawrence case, looking at the trial of two men who were found guilty of his murder.
Producers of the show have shared that the Lawrence family gave their blessing for ITV to make the series, which is largely based on factual events.
So, who stars in the cast and what is the series about? This is what you need to know.
What is the series about?
The series is based in 2006, a year after English law abolished “double jeopardy”, the idea that you could not be tried twice for the same charges.
The campaign for justice in the Stephen Lawrence case spanned two decades, despite the murderers being identified soon after the murder.
The suspects were Gary Dobson, brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt, Luke Knight and David Norris.
However, due to insufficient identification by a witness, the case was dropped in 1995 and the suspects were released.
The series will tell the story of Stephen’s parents, Doreen and Neville, and that of DCI Clive Driscoll, as they put together an investigation that finally secures the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen.
The campaign had already led to the Met Police being branded by an independent inquirer ‘institutionally racist,’ and launched reform of police practices and opened up a national conversation about the prejudice and systemic racism faced by black people in the UK.
The series benefits from an all-star cast, with Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, Night at the Museum) at the helm, as DCI Clive Driscoll.
The real DCI Driscoll has revealed he spoke to Coogan for hours, in preparation of Coogan taking on the role.
He also said he “thanked him for actually taking the part, being part of the story and keeping Stephen’s story out there.”
Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother, will be played by Sharlene Whyte (Waterloo Road, We Hunt Together).
She said of her role: “It felt like a huge responsibility that was not lost on me...It’s your worst nightmare as a black person growing up: that you were going to be attacked by strangers for the colour of your skin.”
Hugh Quarshie will return to the role of Doreen’s husband, Neville Lawrence, reprising his role from award-winning series ‘The Murder of Stephen Lawrence’.
Stepehn’s father Neville has commented on the drama and of Qarashie’s depiction of him.
Mr Lawrence told Good Morning Britain: “At one stage I was looking at him and I thought that was me actually there.
“He’s done a really good job, I’m really proud of what he’s done. I commend all the actors and actresses who were part of it, I think it’s brilliant.
“At one stage, tears were running out of my eyes, I was saying, ‘how can that be me in a film when I’m sitting here watching?”
Also starring in the series is Jorden Myrie and Yasmin Mwanza as Stephen’s siblings, Stewart and Georgina.
Richie Campbell will play the role of Stephen’s friend and witness to the fatal attack, Duwayne Brooks.
Imran Khan QC, who represented the Lawrence’s throughout the two-decade long ordeal, is played by Adil Ray (Citizen Khan, Ackley Bridge), and Met Cheif Cressida Dick is acted by Sian Brooke (Hamlet).
When is ‘Stephen’ on TV?
Stephen started on ITV on August 30 at 9pm, and continues on Monday September 6. It will also be available on the ITVHub.