Trial & Retribution:
The Rules Of The Game

26 June 2009, An echo of St Clares
Hi Ksenia!

You probably won't remember me, but I taught you Environmental Systems. Just caught you on 'Trial and Retribution' and couldn't believe it! Brilliant to see where you've got to, and I wish you all best for the future of your career. What will I see you in next?

Cheers, Kelvin (Moon)

Director: David Moore DCSI Michael Walker - David Hayman DCI Roisin Connor - Victoria Smurfit

The new series of TRIAL & RETRIBUTION begins on Thursday 17th January 2008 with 'Rules of the Game'. This episode stars David Hayman, Victoria Smurfit and Marcel Iures.

OUT NOW Lynda La Plante's novel CLEAN CUT, the follow-up to her best selling novel; The Red Dahlia (published in the UK by Simon & Schuster) is on sale now in all good book stores.

DCSI Michael Walker - David Hayman
DCI Roisin Connor -
Victoria Smurfit
DS David Satchell - Dorian Lough
DS Sam Palmer - Vince Leigh
Vitali Malikov - Marcel Iures
Maryna Petrenko - Branka Katic
Dan Vaughan - Jamie Glover
Plaskott - Adrian Rawlins
Teresa Korovina -
Ksenia Zaitseva
Nikolai Petrenko - Yuri Stepanov
Irina Petrenko - Madlena Nedeva
Sofia - Olga Fedori
Martin Billington - Simon Hepworth
Duty Hotel Manager - Tanveer Ghani
Head of Security - Tav Macdougall
Armand - Nicholas Khan
Ferguson - Nick Sidi
Powell - Chad Shepherd
Judge - Ursula Jones
Squeegeo Boy - Courad Arnavutian
Cabbie - Andy Beckwith
Prison Officer - Tony Jayawardena

Head of Development - Pamela Wilson
Script Editor - Ciara McIlvenny
Researcher - Callum Sutherland
Police Advisors - Lucy D'Orsi, Raffaele D'Orsi
Forensic Science Advisor - Dr Liz Wilson
Pathology Advisor - Dr Ian Hill
Legal Advisor - Louise Wilson
Production Co-ordinator - Alexandra Kosevic
Sound Maintenance - James Harbour
Camera Operator - Bob Shipsey
Art Director - Tony Roche
Construction Manager - Paul Sansom
Location Manager - James Grant
Make Up Artists - Lorraine Hill, Nadia Stacey
Costume Supervisor - Joanna Macklin
Assistant Editor - Dan Crinnion
Dialogue Editor - Jamie Caple
Effects Editor - Marc Lawes
Dubbing Mixer - Billy Mahoney
Costume Designer - Joanna Eatwell
Sound Mixer - John Taylor
Make Up & Hair Designer - Catherine Scoble
Director of Photography - Damlan Bromley
Line Producer - Paul McBreen
Production Designer - Ian Fisher
Casting Director - Maggie Lunn
Composer - Anne Dudley
Film Editor - Guy Bensley
Writers - Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
Executive Producer - Lynda La Plante
Producer - Jolyon Symonds
Director - David Moore
Series Creator - Lynda La Plante
La Plante Productions Limited, 2007
Trial & Retribution XVII: The Rules of the Game (2008) (TV)

Director: Dave Moore
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
Genre: Crime

Victoria Smurfit ... DCI Roisin Connor
David Hayman ... DCSI Michael Walker
Jamie Glover ... Dan Vaughan
Dorian Lough ... DS David Satchell
Ksenia Zaitseva ... Teresa
Marcel Iures ... Vitali Malikov
Branka Katic ... Maryna Petrenko
Olga Fedori ... Sofia
Simon Hepworth ... Martin Billington
Jason Ebelthite ... Estate Agent

Directed by Dave Moore
Produced by Lynda La Plante
Paula McBreen .... line producer
Jolyon Symonds .... producer
Original Music by Anne Dudley
Cinematography by Damian Bromley
Film Editing by Guy Bensley
Casting by Maggie Lunn

Production Companies  La Plante Productions
Distributors  ITV Productions (2008) (UK) (TV)

Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Color
Trial and Retribution
Originally on: ITV1 (90 min.)
Status: Returning Series    Premiered: October 19, 1997
Show Category: Drama
Welcome to the Trial and Retribution guide.

Lynda La Plante presents a new way of looking at a crime drama in Trial And Retribution. Most crime dramas consist of the investigation or the trial, but the series includes the crime, investigation and the trial. The series is a gritty and serious drama that centres around the crimes, its detection and the characters who are involved in the crime and investigation.

David Hayman stars as Detective Superintendent (later Det. Chief. Supt.) Mike Walker alongside Kate Buffery as Detective Inspector Pat North. They investigate serious and hard-hitting crimes and the series is still as popular as it originally was. In the seventh instalment in the series, D.I. North was replaced by Detective Chief Inspector Roison Connor, played by Victoria Smurfit. The series was originally made as annual one-offs up until series IX in 2005. The tenth series was originally planned to be shown in the autumn of 2006, but in early 2006 ITV commissioned a further four series, claiming that it was the crime drama they'd been looking for. Series X was held over and in January 2007, all five instalments were broadcast over five consecutive weeks. Due to the larger load of producing four new instalments, this was the first time in her career that La Plante had to call in other writers. For series XII and XIII, two different writers worked on storylines she had suggested. Lynda La Plante said she was very protective over the series and its characters, and found it difficult to slightly let go, though the major commission was quite an achievement. The series is currently Lynda La Plante's longest running series and both ITV and La Plante Productions seem to be enthusiastic to make more, as after fourteen two-part instalments it is still highly popular. Filming begins in summer 2007 on five new two-part instalments, which will take the series up to nineteen.

Lynda La Plante won the "Liverpool Echo Arts Award" for best TV writer in 1997 for "Trial and Retribution" and the series was nominated for a "Royal TV Society Award".

The Trial & Retribution series was made by La Plante Productions and was broadcast of the ITV network.

Next episode: Trial & Retribution XV: Rules of the Game (1)
A suitcase is found abandoned at Heathrow Airport, and panic ensues, but it is soon discovered to be no terrorist threat. Inside is the naked body of Sofia Petrenko, a high-class prostitute, who has been strangled to death. The suitcase is traced to Vitali Malikov, a Ukrainian billionaire who admits to hiring Sofia's services, but he claims she was alive when she left him and that the case was a gift. D.C.S. Walker arrests Malikov on suspicion of murder, but then has to release him, and soon realises he has become a pawn in a much bigger game.
Airs: Thursday January 17, 2008
28. Trial & Retribution XIV: Mirror Image (2) Feb 13, 2007 1 Review 6.60
27. Trial & Retribution XIV: Mirror Image (1) Feb 12, 2007 2 Reviews 9.03
26. Trial & Retribution XIII: Curriculum Vitae (2) Feb 5, 2007 0 Reviews 9.80
25. Trial & Retribution XIII: Curriculum Vitae (1) Feb 4, 2007 0 Reviews 9.90
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Trial & Retribution

Created by

Lynda La Plante


David Hayman
Victoria Smurfit
Kate Buffery
Dorian Lough
Inday Ba
Sarah Ozeke

Country of origin



Running time

(Aprox.) 2 Hour


Original channel


Original run


Trial & Retribution is a feature-length ITV police procedural television drama series that began in 1997. It was devised and written by Lynda La Plante as a follow-on from her successful television series Prime Suspect. Each episode of the Trial & Retribution series is broadcast over two consecutive nights.


bulletDCS Michael "Mike" Walker is portrayed by David Hayman, from 1997 to present.
bulletDCI Roisin Connor is portrayed by Victoria Smurfit, from 2003 to present.
bulletDI Pat North was portrayed by Kate Buffery, from 1997 to 2002.
bulletDS David "Satch" Satchell is portrayed by Dorian Lough, from 1997 to present.
bulletDC Lisa West was portrayed by Inday Ba from 2002 to 2003. She is now portrayed by Sarah Ozeke, from 2004 to present.
bulletDS Sam Palmer is portrayed by Vince Leigh, from 2007.
bulletDS Jeff Batchley was portrayed by Paul Kynman, from 1998 to 2002.


Trial & Retribution I
The police are called in after five-year-old Julie Anne Harris goes missing. The police search, led by Detective Inspector Pat North (Kate Buffery), leads to the discovery of the young girl's body. An emotionally charged murder investigation follows, headed by Detective Superintendent Walker (David Hayman), with Julie Anne's violent stepfather and a local alcoholic misfit among the prime suspects.

Trial & Retribution II
A serial killer is mutilating and sexually assaulting his victims, before murdering them. Headed by Detective Superintendent Walker (David Hayman), the investigations eventually lead the police to Damon Morton (Iain Glen). Certain evidence, including one survivor's description of her assailant, makes them convinced they have got their man. A complex case follows, it appears to be a cut-and-dry case, however it is thrown into confusion when three of Morton's employees each confess to committing the attacks.

Trial & Retribution III
A young girl, Cassie Booth, goes missing while doing her paper round. An anonymous phone call leads the police to a boathouse where they find the girl's blood-stained clothing. The owner of the boathouse, Karl Wilding (Anthony Higgins), is obviously the main suspect. Although he fits the eyewitness description, the police don't have enough evidence to arrest him. Meanwhile, while working for the Vice Squad, DI Pat North (Kate Buffery), meets Stephen Warrington (Richard E. Grant), a persistent complainer to the police. Following an appeal, the investigation connects Wilding to Warrington, who has recently been arrested on charges of indecent exposure. When both men are eventually charged with Cassie's murder, a nail-biting and twist-filled trial reveals all is not what it seems.

Trial & Retribution IV
DI North (Kate Buffery) is assigned to an eight-year-old murder case, which has been reopened. Fresh evidence suggests the convicted man, James McCready (James Wilby), may be innocent. North discovers that the original enquiry was led by her boyfriend, DS Walker (David Hayman) and their relationship is put to the test, as she gradually begins to suspect that he is hiding something. When a past link between DS Walker and McCready is discovered, Walker finds himself suspended from duty. Walker searches for new evidence in an attempt to save his reputation, his relationship and his career.

Trial & Retribution V
Long-buried bodies, murdered and forgotten. Who will speak for the faceless dead?

In the fifth series of Trial and Retribution, Walker (David Hayman) is assigned to investigate the discovery of a seventeen-year-old skeleton in a North London house. Already sensitive about his fading career, Walker is far from happy about working on such a tedious and low profile case. Added to this, his investigating officer is Jeff Batchley (Paul Kynman), ex-boyfriend of Walker’s current partner, Pat North.

North (Kate Buffery), on her swift climb up the career ladder, is now working on a Met police scoping team but although managing to perform admirably at work, she is suffering the mental and physical effects of losing her baby. The situation is aggravated by her strained relationship with Walker who is refusing to address the impasse that has developed between him and his wife Lynn regarding their divorce settlement.

The investigation hots up when two more skeletons are found buried at the house and Walker suddenly finds himself dealing with a media feeding frenzy. The police team trace former occupants of the house and uncover a web of abuse and deceit. Will Walker make sense of a series of murders that happened seventeen years ago and will North keep her sanity throughout a tragic investigation that threatens to tear them apart?

Trial & Retribution V sees the return of Simon Callow as defence counsel, pitted once more against David Fleeshman as counsel for the prosecution. Also featuring Liz Smith and Maggie McCarthy.

Trial & Retribution VI
If your family was threatened, how far would you go?

When a woman is snatched from a wood, Detective Inspector Pat North (Kate Buffery) seizes control of her first major enquiry – one that appears over before it begins when a local sex offender quickly confesses. With no body and inconsistent statements, North and her team struggle to understand a strange family of musical genius and complicated motives to make sure they have the right man.

At home, North’s fiancé Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Walker (David Hayman) is of little support as he’s distracted by his imminent interview for Commander, the return of his estranged brother and disturbing revelations about his ex-wife’s new boyfriend.

When violence rocks two families, loyalties are tested to the limit and people discover how far they are willing to go to protect the ones they love.

Stars Kate Buffery and David Hayman are joined by an exciting line-up of guest actors that includes Corin Redgrave, James Fox, Tim McInnerny and Con O’Neill.

Trial & Retribution VII
Lynda La Plante presents Trial & Retribution - Suspicion, a tense and exciting new television film in the popular and highly acclaimed ITV series, which breaks new ground in hard-edged TV drama.

Introducing a dynamic new police team led by Victoria Smurfit as DCI Roisin Connor and Ben Cross as DS Taylor Matthews, who join David Hayman reprising his role as Ch Supt Mike Walker. This latest film also boasts an impressive guest cast including Charles Dance, Amanda Boxer, Neve McIntosh, Jean Boht, Gemma Jones, Jim Carter, and Sara Kestelman.

The discovery of a severed female hand found floating in the Thames is the beginning of a murder enquiry. DCI Roisin Connor (Victoria Smurfit) is called in to investigate, which brings her into direct contact with Ch Supt Mike Walker (David Hayman), now back in uniform after his murder trial and relegated to running a local Richmond police station. This is a hostile reunion for Connor and Walker: she is a driven career cop who’s fought her way to the top and knows all about his dubious past.

Walker is being pressured by Judge and Lady Winfield (George Pensotti and Amanda Boxer) as they are counting on him to locate their missing daughter Diane (Simone Bowkett); Diane’s husband Greg (Charles Dance) claims she has left home after yet another domestic row. As Walker digs deeper he uncovers information that links with Connor’s murder enquiry. Together they have a killing, and a killer who appears to have orchestrated the perfect murder. There is, however, no body. Connor and Walker lock horns to unravel the truth as the case becomes a high stakes battle of wits - a frightening horror story about a killer so clever that his case might never be brought to justice…

Trial & Retribution VIII
Delving into the shadowy, seductive world of the wealthy elite, for whom money is no object and bizarre sex is an affordable luxury, this Trial & Retribution is a twisted tale of murder and vice.

Angela Dutton, a beautiful young prostitute, plunges to her death from an eleventh floor balcony of a luxurious block of flats. When blood is discovered inside the bodice of her blue chiffon dress, the police begin a murder enquiry. They discover that Angela was the daughter of a seventies TV star Susan Delray, who was murdered twelve years ago. Delray's naked body was found wrapped in a blue satin eiderdown, her killer never traced.

Did Angela Dutton die because she discovered the identity of her mother’s killer? Or was her death connected to a decadent trio of influential suspects, three men who paid a high price for their sexual predilections. The double murder enquiry moves into the world of fetishism and dominatrix desires, bondage and brutal compliance sex.

David Hayman as the newly promoted Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Walker heads an outstanding cast alongside Victoria Smurfit as Detective Chief Inspector Roisin Connor with guest stars Colin Salmon and Frances Barber.

Connor and Walker have a chequered history and loathe one another, so when they are thrown together in circumstances neither can control, the investigation looks set to be a grueling stretch for all concerned. But, as his superiors are placing Walker under heavy pressure to reach a conclusion, they have no alternative but to find a way to work together. They never anticipated that the explicit sexual background of the murders would draw them both into experiencing their victim’s sadistic world of sex addiction and the frightening repercussions.
8 million attend ITV1's 'Trial' finale
Wednesday, November 9 2005, 15:48 GMT
By Neil Wilkes, Editor
The final half of Trial and Retribution was a huge ratings hit for ITV1 last night (Tuesday).

The ninth instalment of the crime drama concluded with an average of 7.76 million viewers (33.7%) between 9pm and 10.30pm, finishing fourth for the day.
Production begins on 'Trial & Retribution XI'
Friday, May 26 2006, 00:26 BST
By Neil Wilkes, Editor
Production has begun on the eleventh instalment in the Trial & Retribution series.

Called Closure, the new story guest stars Michael Brandon (Dempsey & Makepeace) as criminal profiler Max Stanford, alongside the regular team including David Hayman, Victoria Smurfit and Dorian Lough.

Closure joins Detective Chief Inspector Roisin Connor (Smurfit) two months into a murder investigation. A pretty, teenage schoolgirl, has been raped and murdered. The case is at a dead end and there is no witness, no weapon, no DNA.

Connor turns for assistance to a visiting American profiler, Max Stanford (Brandon), who is handsome, charming and highly respected in his field. After looking at all the case files, his view is that Connor is hunting a serial killer who will certainly kill again.

Of the new film, writer/ep Lynda La Plante said: “Any police officer will tell you there are cases that get right under their skin. Dealing with the murders of young, gifted, innocent teenage girls is tough even for the most experienced professional.”

The ninth story, The Lovers, peaked at 9 million viewers last year. Trial & Retribution X: Sins of the Father has already been filmed and will air on ITV1 later this year.
ITV orders twelfth 'Trial & Retribution'
Wednesday, July 12 2006, 04:45 BST
By Neil Wilkes, Editor
Production has begun on a twelfth instalment in Lynda La Plante's Trial & Retribution series of dramas.

Trial & Retribution XII: Paradise Lost will guest star Adrian Lukis (Pride & Prejudice) alongside the regular team - David Hayman as DCS Mike Walker, Victoria Smurfit as DCI Roisin Connor and Dorian Lough as DS Dave Satchell.

The story will centre on the rape and murder of Sarah Tennant, a young, white primary school teacher. Her black boyfriend, Milton Jones, is arrested at the scene of the crime covered in his girlfriend's blood and claiming a drug-induced amnesia.

But when more victims emerge, it becomes clear that a serial rapist is stalking London's black community - targeting white women with black boyfriends.

"This is a powerful story of grief, racism and revenge," said La Plante. "The viewer is brought right in, seeing just how difficult and sensitive a case that involves racial issues can be for the police, still battling against the 'institutionally racist' public image. It's an emotionally charged, contentious story with a wonderful twist at the end."

The tenth and eleventh stories will transmit on ITV1 later this year.
Trial and Retribution is a feature length drama of which each episode is broadcast over two consecutive nights.

Trial and Retribution DVDs in United Kingdom



Ep. No.

Episode Title



Trial And Retribution (1)



Trial And Retribution (2)



Trial And Retribution II (1)



Trial And Retribution II (2)



Trial And Retribution III (1)



Trial And Retribution III (2)



Trial And Retribution IV (1)



Trial And Retribution IV (2)



Trial And Retribution V (1)




Trial And Retribution V (2)




Trial And Retribution VI (1)




Trial And Retribution VI (2)




Trial And Retribution VII: Suspicion (1)




Trial And Retribution VII: Suspicion (2)




Trial And Retribution VIII: Blue Eiderdown (1)




Trial And Retribution VIII: Blue Eiderdown (2)




Trial And Retribution IX: The Lovers (1)




Trial And Retribution IX: The Lovers (2)




Trial And Retribution X: Sins Of The Father (1)




Trial And Retribution X: Sins Of The Father (2)




Trial And Retribution XI: Closure (1)




Trial And Retribution XI: Closure (2)




Trial And Retribution XII: Paradise Lost (1)




Trial And Retribution XII: Paradise Lost (2)




Trial And Retribution XIII: Cirriculum Vitae (1)




Trial And Retribution XIII: Cirriculum Vitae (2)




Trial And Retribution XIV: Mirror Image (1)




Trial And Retribution XIV: Mirror Image (2)

Trial and Retribution III
Drama/Thriller (Stephen Warrington)

A few years ago Lynda LaPlante told Richard E. Grant that she was going to write a part that would be perfect for him. When he saw the script for Trial and Retribution and realised that part was Stephen Warrington, a man suffering from a form of manic depression called cyclothymia, he was “completely taken aback, but of course incredibly flattered at the same time”.

“I knew it was a hell of a part. The character has so many facets to his personality and I was extremely fortunate to meet real sufferers of the condition during the research process,” says Grant. He went to the Orpington branch of the Manic Depression Fellowship and talked to people with cyclothymia. “They shared the most amazing stories with me,” he recalls, “and their experiences completely altered any preconceptions I had about the part. There is clearly a terrible and obvious prejudice with mental illness. I just hope I have done the role justice.”

The story is also available in book form.
Trial and Retribution Episode Guide

29. Trial & Retribution XV: Rules of the Game (1)
First aired: 1/17/2008
30. Trial & Retribution XV: Rules of the Game (2)  
First aired: 1/24/2008
A suitcase is found abandoned at Heathrow Airport, and panic ensues, but it is soon discovered to be no terrorist threat. Inside is the naked body of Sofia Petrenko, a high-class prostitute, who has been strangled to death. The suitcase is traced to Vitali Malikov, a Ukrainian billionaire who admits to hiring Sofia's services, but he claims she was alive when she left him and that the case was a gift. D.C.S. Walker arrests Malikov on suspicion of murder, but then has to release him, and soon realises he has become a pawn in a much bigger game.
Writer: Lynda La Plante
Shotsmag Confidential
The Crime & Thriller Ezine
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Slick and stylish Trial And Retribution will return to ITV1 next year with eight 2x60min films taking the total to a staggering 16 hours of prime-time television for ITV 1. The emotionally charged films are currently in production and shooting at locations across London. Head of Continuing Drama, Corinne Hollingworth said, “Lynda La Plante's Trial and Retribution has gone from strength to strength during its ten years on ITV, and we're absolutely thrilled to be able to give the audience eight more exciting two part episodes in 2008."

After 10 years of crime fighting, battle weary DCS Walker, DCI Conner and DS Satchell return to solve a series of dark and disturbing cases. David Hayman, Victoria Smurfit and Dorian Lough head up the cast with Kerry Fox (Cold Blood, Shallow Grave) joining the team as DI Moira Lynch and David O’Hara (The Departed, Braveheart) as DI Jack Mullins. Other guest artists include Ben Miles (V for Vendetta, Coupling, After Thomas) Jamie Sives (Hallam Foe, Wedding Belles) Michael Nardone (Rome, Low Winter Sun) Tom Ellis (No Angels, Suburban Shootout) and rising star Kierston Wareing, (critically acclaimed at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in Ken Loach’s film It’s A Free World).

The films will be executive produced by series creator Lynda La Plante and produced by Jolyon Symonds (Hustle, Whatever Love Means), who will be teaming up with the best of British writer and director talent. Writers include; Julie Dixon, Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble and Christian Spurrier and will be working alongside directors; Alex Pilla (Trial and Retribution XII: Paradise Lost, The Best Man), Paul Wilmhurst (Forgiven), David Moore (Sweeny Todd, Wallis and Edward). Tristram Powell (Foyle’s War, Judge John Deed), Benjamin Ross (The Young Poisoner’s Hand Book, My Little Eye) and Jane Prowse (The Commander, Rocket Man)
Trial & Retribution Volumes 1-4 | 25-08-2004 09:20
Michael Mackenzie

ITV tends to be held up as the pinnacle of all that is wrong with British television and, flicking through this week's Radio Times - which offers such delights as Trisha, Britain's Best Back Gardens, 60 Minute Makeover, I Want That House, and something named (probably quite appropriately) Total Rubbish, described as a docu-soap following a handful of Glasgow binmen - I am tempted to agree. Yet there remains one field in with ITV is arguably second to none, at least as far as the UK goes, and that is the crime drama. Over the years, ITV has commissioned a veritable sea of these programmes, many of them critically acclaimed, ranging from Taggart's Glasgow side streets to the lofty heights of Inspector Morse's Oxford. One show that has frequently met with extremely positive reviews is Trial & Retribution, a police procedural drama that has been produced as a series of one-off double-bills (at a rate of one per year since 1997). Now, Contender Home Entertainment have released their first of two box sets, each containing four of the eight episodes (the second set is due for release in Spring 2005). The question is, does this series hold up on DVD as well as it did on television?

The brainchild of Lynda La Plante, a writer with a highly successful track record in crime fiction, including shows such as Widows, The Commander and Prime Suspect, Trial & Retribution details the investigations of DS Mike Walker (David Hayman) and DI Pat North (Kate Buffery), two very different cops who find themselves working together and eventually entering into a relationship. Walker is impatient, rash, smokes a lot and feels he got where he is through hard work alone, whereas North is a more level-headed individual. The various cases they encounter range from unpleasant to downright shocking, with La Plante never shying away from implying or depicting horrific acts, from child murder to the rape and mutilation of women. The series holds back absolutely no punches, resulting in a complete lack of predictability.

Where Trial & Retribution really differs from the other programmes of its ilk is in the even-handed nature with which it tackles the various phases of each case. Whereas the majority of crima drama series focus on the detective protagonist's quest to apprehend the perpetrator of the crime in question (although some, like Kavanagh QC, have been known to place an emphasis on the judicial proceedings), Trial & Retribution covers every possible angle, starting with the perpetration with the crime itself, then going on to detail every stage of the enquiry, including the process of interviewing suspects, leading up to the court trial, which often takes up as much as half the running time. Every aspect is covered in extreme detail, with a definite focus on maintaining an accurate portrayal of the business. In the first episode, for instance, the interviewing of a key suspect is presented in real-time, covering everything from his name and date of birth to what he was doing at the time the murder in question was supposedly committed. By way of split-screen, the camera often focuses on the eyes of both the interviewers and the interviewee, allowing the audience to make up its own mind as to the guilt of the suspect. Indeed, on more than one occasion, the final verdict is not 100% conclusive, creating a situation where it is strongly suggested that the wrong person may have been convicted. This device is used to great effect in the second episode, where the obviously guilty serial rapist/torturer/murderer walks out of court, scot-free, with a smug smile on his face, only to get home to face a situation he never expected. By creating these extremely intense character studies, La Plante is able to grab her viewers by the balls and force them to invest in the characters.

The series also represents something of a technical innovation in its use of splitscreen, and while I very much doubt that this was the first television show to use this, it certainly did it a long time before 24 came along and was heralded by many as the pioneer of the technique. Indeed, during an interview featured in this set, La Plante claims that the creators of 24 actually contacted her, asking to view demonstrations of the technique. Splitscreen, which has been, on occasions, used for no apparent reason - in BBC1's Spooks, for example, where it often merely reiterates the same information multiple times - works surprisingly effectively here. Often, it is used to show reactions to the same question from different people, or to identify a character when their name is mentioned. Far from being a gimmick, the splitscreen is well-integrated into the series and quickly becomes one of its staple elements.

My main criticism of this series is the fact that, as it progresses, it becomes more and more soap operatic. The first two episodes definitely come over as the strongest thanks to their relative lack of insight into the private lives of its main characters, but with each new episode, La Plante has more and more trouble keeping both Walker and North involved with the same case. By putting the two of them in a relationship together, she solves some of these problems, but this takes valuable time away from the most interesting aspect of the series - the police procedural - and demands that the viewer invest in a relationship that is not always particularly convincing or even interesting. By the fourth episode (the last one in this set), the concept has become strained to the point that North is tasked to investigate a case that, coincidentally, was originally headed by Walker. To what extent problems such as these continue in the next four episodes is unclear, since my memory of them is patchy at best, but their presence here is a little disappointing given the quality of the rest of the material on display.

Each episode lasts for around 3 hours and 20 minutes (they were originally screened as two-parters, each running for approximately 2 hours including commercials), although the final two episodes are slightly shorter than the first two.

Trial & Retribution

A five-year-old girl disappears from the council estate on which she lives, and is later found nearby, dead, stuffed inside a drainpipe and having been anally violated. DS Walker is brought in to crack the case and, aided by DI North, sets out to find the perpetrator at all costs. Suspicion quickly falls on Michael Dunn (Rhys Ifans), a local drunk, lunatic and supposed paedophile. Dunn, however, protests his innocence, and it soon becomes clear that the eyewitness accounts are inconsistent.

The pace of this first episode is slower than those that follow it, and the plot is considerably leaner, spending little to no time on the private lives of its protagonists. This works well because it establishes the framework to which the rest of the series will conform, and it allows the viewer to become sufficiently engrossed in the case itself. Rhys Ifans has an extremely strong screen presence, giving an ambiguous performance that leaves you unsure as to whether to pity or loathe his character, and the study into how the death of the young girl affects her family is handled well, without becoming overly melodramatic.

 Trial & Retribution II

Three women are abducted, raped, mutilated and left for dead. When one survives, she is able to finger the charismatic Damon Morton (Iain Glen) as the perpetrator, and initially it looks like an airtight case. However, when Morton's three employees each step forward to take the blame, and his wife Cindy (Emma Croft) provides an alibi, things become much more complicated. Morton is clearly guilty, but with his charming smile and personality he seems to have everyone under his sway... including the jury.

This, in my opinion, is the strongest of the four episodes presented in this set. The crimes in question are horrific in nature, and La Plante and director Aisling Walsh explore them in a level of detail that is at times almost too much to bear. The atmosphere throughout is unflinchingly bleak, and Iain Glen makes for a thoroughly believable and repulsive villain. The fact that he holds both his victims and his interrogators with such obvious contempt, and is quite obviously guilty, makes his ability to seemingly get away with anything all the more frustrating. Elsewhere, Emma Croft puts in a fine performance as Morton's silently suffering wife, who puts up with various emotional and physical abuse, as well as her husband inviting his 16-year-old lover to live with them. The conclusion, too, is excellent: bloody, horrifying, depressing and unfair, yet at the same time strangely satisfying. Television this daring is all too rare.

Trial & Retribution III

A fifteen-year-old girl disappears during her paper round. When her clothes are found in an old boathouse, the obvious suspect is its owner, Karl Wilding (Anthony Higgins), an impatient man concealing a penchant for child porn and an alcoholic wife. However, when the unbalanced Stephen Warrington (Richard E. Grant) shows a little too much interest in both the case and in North, it becomes apparent that he may be involved.

Once again, the show benefits from an extremely engaging stand-out performance, this time from Richard E. Grant, who does an incredible job of conveying Stephen Warrington's mood swings and obsessive behaviour. While his involvement in the abduction case should come as no surprise to anyone aware of the conventions of detective thrillers, discovering exactly what his involvement is definitely makes for gripping viewing. Elsewhere, however, it's a shame to see this story padded out with soap operatic elements involving Walker and North which, surprise surprise, become connected with the case in hand. That said, this is still gripping television.

Trial & Retribution IV

Fast-tracked by the Home Office in a new promotional scheme, North finds herself investigating an old case re-opened in the light of newly discovered evidence. The case was, coincidentally enough, run by Walker ten years ago, and while he finds it hard enough to deal with North being fast-tracked, his pride is wounded greatly by the fact that his judgement is being called into question. The case deals with James McCready (James Wilby), a gay man accused of murdering his boyfriend. Amid allegations that he was aggressive and homophobic (accusations that can hardly be denied), Walker can only look on as it looks more and more certain that the man he still believes to be a vicious killer will walk free.

If nothing else, you have to admire these shows for their balanced character portrayals. Walker is irritable, homophobic and sexist, and it seems is not above manipulating evidence in his favour, yet he is still a sympathetic individual. This episode stretches credibility somewhat, given that it is ludicrous in the extreme to imagine a police officer being allowed to investigate her own boyfriend for misconduct, and also by working just a little too hard to create a back-story between Walker and McCready. By the end of the show, everything has become so convoluted that you'll either be scratching your head or chuckling to yourself. James Wilby also makes for, by far, the least charismatic and interesting of the four "villains" of these episodes. The weakest of this set by a significant margin, Trial & Retribution IV is still engaging TV, but it descends too deep into the realms of soap opera.


The first two episodes are presented in non-anamorphic 1.33:1, whereas episodes three and four, which were shot at the opposite end of the widescreen revolution, are presented in anamorphic 1.78:1. As a rule, the quality improves with each subsequent episode. The first two volumes especially have some heavy grain, and the fact that a 200 minute episode is crammed on to each disc means that there is some moderate artefacting. The later episodes are a bit smoother in appearance, resulting in less compression artefacts, but none of them look superb. That said, it would probably be fair to say that they wouldn't have looked much better, if at all, when originally broadcast on television.


All four episodes are presented in plain old Dolby Digital 2.0, despite the packaging and the opening titles of the final two episodes carrying Dolby Surround logos. The audio is at times quite inventive, with imaginative use of channel separation during the many split-screen segments. The quality of the audio is pretty good, although the dialogue is not always completely coherent, meaning that the lack of subtitles of any kind is something of a problem. Contender failed to provide subtitles for their release of Spooks: Season One as well, and in my opinion they should really get their act together over this, instead of ignoring the substantial number of viewers who rely on subtitles in order to actually follow what they are watching.

Packaging & Menus

The four discs come inside a digipack with an outer cardboard cover. Synopses and cast lists for each episode are included.

Each disc has 16 chapter stops, which is reasonably generous but not really enough given that each show runs for nearly 3 and a half hours. The menus are clearly laid out with minimal background animation.


Bonus materials are limited to original production trailers (which, given that they are quite long and essentially outline the plot of each episode, were probably not used for marketing on TV) for each of the four episode (one per disc), and an interview with Lynda La Plante and various cast members, where various staples of the show are discussed, including the use of split-screen, the concept of studying each aspect of each case in minute detail, and a highly interesting segment in which La Plante points out various quirks that can be used to tell if someone is lying. More than anything, this featurette shows the amount of care and research put into the show, and it's a shame it doesn't last longer, because it seems to be merely scratching the surface. Still, this is certainly more than many DVD releases of TV shows release, so I won't complain too much.


Trial & Retribution stands out as one of the best UK drama series of recent years, consistently refusing to dumb down for the audience or opt for the easy way out. Packed with gripping storylines, engaging performances and occasional technical innovation, I would heartily recommend this set to anyone with an interest in solid crime drama.

Trial & Retribution: Volumes 1-4 is released on September 20th 2004.
Trial & Retribution Volumes 5-8 | 18-05-2005 12:10

For those who have not heard of Trial & Retribution before, I direct you back to my review of the previous DVD box set, which contained episodes 1-4. As far as a brief overview goes, Trial & Retribution is an occasional murder mystery series written by the extremely prolific Lynda LaPlante that generally airs one three-hour story per year, taking the rather unique approach of dramatizing all the main aspects of the case - including the perpetration of the crime, the hunt for the killer, and the court case - whereas other similar shows tend to place the emphasis on only one of these stages. That's the theory, at least, and the first couple of episodes did a remarkably good job of sticking to that formula. As the show has gone on, however, it has perhaps unsurprisingly come to more closely resemble its counterparts like Waking the Dead and Prime Suspect, giving the lion's share of the screen time to the hunt for the killer and sidelining the other two stages. Trial & Retribution has always, however, remained somewhat more stylish in its appearance than other British crime dramas, thanks mainly to the rather innovative use of split-screen which is, for the most part, actually employed to good effect. With the release of this box set, all eight episodes to have aired are now available on DVD, although it is known that a ninth installment is due to show up on TV later this year.

The four episodes in the previous release centred around the relationship of loose cannon DCS Mike Walker (David Hayman) and the strait-laced DI Pat North (Kate Buffery), and this same dynamic remains for the first two episodes of this set. Events at the end of the second episode, however, remove North from the picture, and for the remaining two episodes Walker finds himself sparring with DCI Roisin Connor (Victoria Smurfitt), a young, hard-edged "career cop" who, unlike most of Walker's subordinates, will not be bullied into submission. Their dynamic is interesting, particularly because Walker is such a maverick who finds himself at a complete loss when confronted by the "new face" of the Met, but it does dilute the formula to some extent and brings the series closer to any number of other cop shows teaming an aging loose cannon up with a young go-getter. For all its flaws, however, this change does make sense, given that the preceding episodes had had to resort to more and more suspension of disbelief in an attempt to get both Walker and North involved in the same case each time.

One of the ways in which Trial & Retribution differs from other cop shows is in that the identity of the killer is rarely in much doubt. Although a number of suspects tend to come into the frame, there are only ever a couple of serious contenders, and they are usually identifiable as the most charismatic individual. In episodes 6 and 7, therefore, it is not hard to work out that Tim McInnerny and Charles Dance will somehow be involved in duplicitous dealings. The real fun, of course, comes from seeing the evidence being pieced together that leads to their downfall. After all, it's all very well to suspect someone, but when not a single shred of evidence will stand up there's not very much you can do. Walker, of course, would absolutely love to lock up every single individual who rubs him the wrong way (as most of the people he investigates tend to do), and a lot of the fun is derived from watching him struggle against a system that seems to have been designed purely to aggravate him. Of course, as the sixth episode shows, he is not above taking the law into his own hands, with disastrous consequences.

Trial & Retribution V

A decayed skeleton is discovered buried in the garden of a derelict house, and what at first seems like a routine case for Walker soon becomes increasingly complex as more skeletons are discovered, including that of a newborn baby. Complicating matters is the fact that the building was used as a guest house, with its many occupants scattered all over the country and, in some cases, the globe. North, meanwhile, struggles to come to terms with her recent miscarriage.

Trial & Retribution V was directed by Aisling Walsh, who also helmed the first two episodes of the series and played an important role in determining its distinct look. Unsurprisingly, therefore, this episode is tonally the closest to the way the series started out, with some excellent moving camera shots, inspired use of splitscreen and imaginative sound design turning would could have been a fairly mundane story into something much deeper. Script-wise, this episode is something of a tangled web, the murders spanning several years and with a huge number of different suspects. As usual, the perpetrator's identity becomes quite obvious fairly early on, but there is more to this one than meets the eye, and the final revelations are quite shocking.

Trial & Retribution VI

A young mother disappears while out walking in a local wood, and for once Walker ends up with a suspect fairly quickly: Bob Brickman (Ivan Kaye), a known sex offender who turns himself in and is able to provide, in minute detail, a convincing account of the abduction and murder of the woman. As the case prepares to go to court, Walker is convinced that there is more to it than meets the eye, but he soon finds himself distracted by family problems: the arrival of his no-good brother Jimmy (Stevan Rimkus) who ran off to New Zealand years ago to avoid jail, and the increasingly disturbing behaviour of his ex-wife's new boyfriend, the mysterious "Eric" (Tim McInnerny).

The last episode to follow the original Walker/North paradigm, the sixth installment is an extremely convoluted affair with several different stories going on at once: the case of the missing woman, the increasing insanity of Tim McInnerny's character, the story of Walker's brother, and the final breakdown of Walker and North's relationship. As a result of this, the primary case is frequently sidelined, and the final revelation of the killer (one of the series' more surprising, by the way) almost feels like a throwaway. Still, this is a tour de force of acting and plotting, with David Hayman and Tim McInnerny giving stand-out performances, and LaPlante's script brilliantly sets in place the elements that eventually lead to a shocking turn of events that could have long-lasting implications for Walker's career.

Trial & Retribution VII: Suspicion

Two seemingly unconnected events - the discovery of a severed female hand in the River Thames, and the disappearance of a woman, Diana Harwood (Simone Bowkett) - become unexpectedly linked, uncovering a complex conspiracy intended to make sure that Diana Harwood is believed to still be alive. Walker, meanwhile, finds himself back in uniform as a result of his recent misdemeanours, and forced to take orders from an overly smug DCI Roisin Connor, a former lackey of his who greatly relishes the opportunity to get her own back.

For the first one-third of this episode, the case in question seems almost mundane, but Suspicion proves to be a slow starter that builds into one of the strongest cases of the series. Charles Dance is terrific and, surprise surprise, quickly becomes the prime suspect, and the series of clues, which initially seem trivial, are expertly laid out. This episode (and the next), however, is let down by the fact that DCI Connor is one of the most unlikeable protagonists ever to grace a detective series. While Inspectors Morse and Frost are curmudgeonly but likeable in their respective series, Connor is simply hard-nosed and snooty, and for once it's easy to sympathize with Walker who, in his new role in uniform, must put up with being ordered about and belittled by a woman who has, in his own words, "flown up the ranks like a fart".

Trial & Retribution: Blue Eiderdown

A young prostitute plunges to hear death from a balcony, her body arranged in a remarkably similar way to that of her mother, murdered many years prior. DCI Connor takes charge of the case, but finds herself hounded every step of the way by a newly promoted Walker, who has been ordered to keep a close watch over developments. The reason for this soon becomes clear, and it involves a luxurious S&M club that operates outside the law and is frequented by a number of important figures, including the former head of Clubs & Vice.

Comfortably the weakest episode of the entire series, one gets the impression that the array of dildos, masks and handcuffs paraded before us, along with frequent mention of golden showers and slow-motion footage of people humping, are meant to be shocking. This is clearly the work of a middle-aged, middle-class writer thinking she is being edgy and outrageous; however, the end result feels tacky and shows all the restraint of an oversexed teenager. (Not that I have anything against middle-aged, middle-class writers or oversexed teenagers, as both can be absolutely charming - it's just that the two don't make for the best combination.) At only 139 minutes, this episode is nearly an hour shorter than the other installments, and it shows: the plot is confusing and bitty, and the final verdict is not even remotely satisfying. This episode does take the time to delve into Connor's mind, but the revelations are not particularly original (hard-nosed cop discovers a hidden penchant for dishing out the pain in a literal sense). It also suffers from an annoying over-abundance of handheld camerawork, resulting in a hyperkinetic, jittery look and feel that, much like the subject matter, seems to be the result of trying too hard to be edgy and "current".

DVD Presentation

All four episodes were shot in widescreen, and as a result are presented here anamorphically in a ratio of 1.78:1. For the most part, these transfers are very good indeed. The series was shot on 16mm film, and as a result looks quite grainy at times, which can lead to moderate artefacting, but on the whole these episodes look significantly better than they did when I watched them on over-compressed digital cable TV. The various split-screen shots maintain a high level of detail, despite the fact that multiple small "windows" are often on the screen at once, and while there is some edge enhancement, I suspect that people will have few quibbles with the image quality of this set overall.

The audio is serviceable Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, which is somewhat odd because the episodes carry a "Dolby Surround" logo at the start, strongly suggesting that the show was meant to be surround-encoded. The quality is absolutely fine, however, and there are some interesting split-channel effects, especially in the various split-screen sequences. The lack of surround encoding and subtitles of any kind does hurt the audio score overall, but there are few, if any, major problems on display in this department.


Volume 1 didn't fare too well in terms of bonus features, including only trailers and a Lynda LaPlante interview. This set does a little better, showcasing interviews with David Hayman, Victoria Smurfitt and Colin Salmon (who played the S&M tycoon in Episode 8). The Hayman interview is spread across discs 1 and 2, and proves to be quite interesting as he discusses both his career up until now and his impressions of the character he plays. Victoria Smurfitt also talks about her character, and spends quite a bit of time getting quite excited about the scene in Episode 7 where she got to ride a helicopter. The Colin Salmon interview is an odd inclusion, given that he is the only guest star to receive such treatment. To be honest I would have been far more interested in hearing what Kate Buffery had to say about her character, but given that there is no mention of her at all on the packaging of this release, and only a couple of very small photographs, I can't help thinking that there are some dodgy goings-on here. Perhaps her departure from the show was less than amicable?

Also included are the usual array of trailers, for all except Episode 8, which instead has a brief behind the scenes reel showing the production of the elaborate stunt involving the dead prostitute falling from a balcony and landing on a car. Episodes 5 and 8 also display brief introductions by David Hayman and Colin Salmon respectively when they are played. A neat touch, but they are essentially a watch-once affair and is becomes annoying having to sit through them every time you try to play the episode.


Trial & Retribution Volumes 5-8 is a decent enough box set that showcases the more imaginative side of British detective drama. While the final episode isn't really up to scratch, the first three are of a high enough standard to warrant a purchase of this set, and the audio-visual presentation is decent enough to encourage throwing away any recordings of the show from TV. Recommended.
Trial and Retribution: Rules of the Game: Part One - Thursday 17 January
Trial and Retribution: Rules of the Game: Part One
Thursday 17 January 2008 9:00pm - 10:00pm on ITV1.

Heathrow Airport on a steaming hot summer’s day. Holiday makers walk past a suitcase abandoned in the middle of the long stay car park. Finally someone notices it. The police are called. But it’s not the usual sort of suspect package - inside is the naked body of dead girl.

DCI Roisin Connor and her team are called in to investigate. No one knows who the dead girl is. The post mortem suggests she’s of East European descent. She’s been strangled and there are recent signs of sexual activity. Inside the suitcase was a white towelling robe, bearing the logo of The Lindor, an upmarket London hotel. The room was booked by Vitali Malikov – a wealthy Ukrainian businessman with power and influence.

DCS Mike Walker reckons Malikov is prime suspect. Walker knows him as he had him up on a rape charge a few years back. The evidence was watertight but even then Walker couldn’t touch him. It's unfinished business. As soon as Malikov flies back to London, Walker wants to arrest him, personally.

Connor’s work on identifying the dead girl leads her to a high class prostitute Teresa – also with Malikov that night. She only knew the dead girl as Anastasia, and that someone called Margaret set the whole thing up. Connor releases ‘Anastasia’s’ picture to the press, prompting Nikolai and Irina Petrenko to come forward – the dead girl is their 19 year old daughter Sofia. Sofia’s sister Maryna demands to know everything. Connor is circumspect, but Walker tells Maryna that they suspect Sofia was a prostitute and Malikov is prime suspect. The Petrenko family are devastated.

A private jet lands at City Airport. Vitali Malikov disembarks flanked by bodyguards. The Deputy Assistant Commissioner has warned Walker to steer clear of Malikov, but this is one order Walker isn’t going to obey. He arrests Malikov on suspicion of murdering Sofia Petrenko. In interview Malikov is cool as ice. He admits he was in the hotel room with Sofia, he did have sex with her, and gave the suitcase to her as a gift. But he did not kill her. Walker is incandescent, knowing that he’s just a pawn in a bigger game and is forced to release Malikov without charge.

Connor goes to Sofia’s flat where she meets her boyfriend Dan Vaughan returning from a business trip. Dan is shocked to discover his girlfriend is dead and refuses to believe she was a prostitute. He tells Connor he’d come home early to ask Sofia to marry him.

Relaxing in his 5 star hotel Malikov is visited by a beautiful woman, while his security keeps guard outside. Hearing sounds of a disturbance, the bodyguard forces his way in. He finds Malikov lying on the floor, blood seeping through his white robe, the handle of a knife stuck in his gut. Slumped against the wall is the girl, blood on her hands and deep in shock – it’s Sofia’s sister Maryna Petrenko.
Trial and Retribution: Rules of the Game: Part Two - Thursday 24 January
Trial and Retribution - Rules of the Game: Part Two
Thursday 24 January 2008 9:00pm - 10:00pm on ITV1.

Vital Malikov is on a life support machine. Maryna Petrenko is on remand waiting to stand trial for his attempted murder. Walker is informally warned for disobeying a direct order, and is put on ‘gardening leave’. The DAC puts pressure on Connor to investigate other leads, leading to tension over loyalty to Mike in the incident room.

The trial begins. The prosecution case is strong – Maryna went to see Malikov at his hotel room armed with a knife and the intention to kill. Maryna’s barrister claims the knife was Malikov’s and she only used it in self defence. Nikolai and Irina Petrenko watch from the gallery, proud that their daughter stood up against her sister’s killer and furious at police for failing to do so.

Connor asks the team to go back over the evidence: find Margaret, the woman who supplied Sofia to Malikov, check out the boyfriend, the family. Satch thinks it’s a waste of time, but Connor is adamant - if Malikov is their man they need the evidence to prove it.

News arrives from the hospital - Vitali Malikov has died. Maryna Petrenko will stand trial for murder. Connor goes back to Heathrow, searching for something she’s missed. She tracks down a squeegee boy who remembers seeing the suitcase. Connor checks the CCTV again and again, and there it is – the suitcase being dragged across the car park by a man. They’re unsure but one thing is certain, it can’t be Malikov.

Back in court Maryna takes the stand. She tells the jury she didn’t intend to kill Malikov, but he attacked her and killed her sister. It’s a compelling testimony and the jury are dispatched to find their verdict. Connor tracks the suitcase to the Heathrow Express and Paddington Station.

A cab driver remembers the fare and takes Connor and Satch to the pickup address. They’re shocked when the cab pulls up outside Dan Vaughan’s flat. Sofia was murdered by her boyfriend. Maryna Petrenko killed the wrong man.

Meanwhile, in the public gallery at the Old Bailey, Dan Vaughan sits with Sofia’s parents. The jury return a verdict of not guilty - Maryna is free to go. Nikolai, Irina and Maryna look on in horror as Connor arrives to arrest Dan Vaughn for Sofia’s murder. Walker can’t believe it - he had them looking the wrong way all the time.

After the trial Walker takes a call from Nikolai Petrenko and meets him at Maryna’s flat. The place is empty and Nikolai can’t find Maryna anywhere. He has a bank statement - an account with hundreds of thousands of pounds has been cleared. And then we see why. Maryna is at Schipol airport dressed head to toe in Gucci, bound to Sao Paulo. She is in fact Margaret – Sofia’s pimp and the very person that lead her to her death. Dan Vaughn is stabbed in prison. It’s Maryna’s final act of revenge as she makes her escape forever.
Trial and Retribution
Published: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 5:00PM
Watch the interview with Victoria and David

The slick and stylish Trial and Retribution returns to ITV1, along with leading actors David Hayman, 57, and Victoria Smurfit, 33.

After ten years of crime fighting, DCS Walker and DCI Conner return to solve a series of dark and disturbing cases. David has played the role of DCS Walker in the drama since it began.

He said:  "It's been an extraordinary opportunity. I've never done a TV series before and it's been wonderful to see this grow and change over the years. What has been lovely is that first and foremost this series is now like my family.”

Victoria has played Roisin since 2003, she said: I've been in the show for four years and it's Lynda's scripts that keep me going back. I love that Roisin is a strong, but flawed woman, who is not defined by a boyfriend or husband, but by her job."

The crime thriller, written and devised by Lynda La Plante, offers an innovative way of looking at crime drama. Most crime dramas consist of the investigation or the trial, but the series includes the crime, investigation and the trial.

Trial and Retribution, Rules of The Game Part 1, Thursday 17 January 9pm ITV1
La Plante International
Trial & Retribution XV: Rules of the Game
Heathrow Airport, a steaming hot summer’s day, a suitcase abandoned in the middle of the long stay car park.  But it’s not the usual sort of suspect package - inside is the naked body of dead girl.

The case is traced back to Vitali Malikov, a Ukrainian millionaire businessman of power and influence. DCI Roisin Connor’s investigation exposes a world of high-class prostitution, involving girls from Eastern Europe and the wealthy men that use them.

During the pursuit of the suspect, it takes on a sinister turn when DCS Mike Walker discovers that the real power lies elsewhere, even if it means the guilty go free.

Produced by La Plante Productions for ITV 1 in 2007
A new Trial by television
Jan 5 2008 by Laura Davis, Liverpool Daily Post

Lynda La Plante explains to Laura Davis how she keeps her work fresh

WHEN you see the futuristic techniques used by scientists on slick US police shows, it’s easy to assume that all constabularies have access to 30-second DNA testing and facial recognition systems.

The reality, of course, is that while flashy forensics can make or break a case, it’s the traditional side of policing that gets the most results – the knocking on doors, interviewing suspects and witnesses, and going over and over the facts.

Long before Quentin Tarantino directed a special double-episode of the American cop show CSI, a certain Liverpool-born screenwriter was scripting her new series depicting the activities of a less glamorous murder squad.

Lynda La Plante already had a string of successful crime dramas behind her, among them Prime Suspect, the Governor and Mind Games, when she started work on Trial & Retribution.

Although she has since relinquished control of Prime Suspect, she continues to produce Trial & Retribution and the series is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Five new two-part stories will be broadcast on ITV1, starting on January 17 with Rules of the Game about the murder of an Eastern European girl found strangled in a suitcase left at Heathrow Airport.

Keeping the series fresh while remaining true to its original concept is a challenge La Plante has regularly had to face.

“The start of a new series of a long-running show can be a daunting task – one can never rest on previous success. Every aspect of this new series has to remain fresh and innovative,” explains the 61-year-old.

“With powerful actors such as David Hayman and Victoria Smurfit leading our cast, it is imperative they are involved in their characters’ development. Although we have drawn upon their back history, we have taken the opportunity to extend each character’s growth within the series.

“With so many other police dramas on television, Trial & Retribution has to keep raising the bar, maintaining the difference in quality between us and any other show on the air.” While the basic premise of the show remains the same, filming techniques used to create it have developed over the past decade.

Split screen has become something of a trademark of Trial & Retribution, and the new series features stunts of the calibre of a big budget movie.

“Because of our reputation, and the continuing success of the series, we have been able to attract some of the best and well-respected movie directors working today – high-calibre film makers such as Gillies MacKinnon, Ben Ross and David Moore, among others,” adds La Plante.

“We encourage freedom within the production for anyone with innovative ideas and a keenness to make the show their own. As a result, I truly believe we are surpassing ourselves, bringing feature film standards to television drama.

“Over the years, we have hand-picked a team that is professional, yet makes each person feel like they are joining a well-constructed ‘family’.”

The image of a family is one that Dorian Lough, who has appeared in every series, also uses to describe his experiences on set.

He says: “What has been amazing is that it has been like a family. Lynda, David (Hayman), Victoria (Smurfit) and the whole La Plante ‘family’, as it were, are incredibly loyal,” says Dorian, who plays DS Dave Satchell.

He first met the producer while working on The Governor, and has never forgotten the experience.

“Meeting her for the first time was extraordinary because she talked non-stop for about 45 minutes about the character and got up and acted it all out, and I was blown away by her.

“From that, I got the call for Trial & Retribution. Although at that point Satch wasn’t a huge part, I knew some of David’s work and I thought it was phenomenal, so I was happy to be involved.”

It is easy to see why the “family” element of the show is so important to La Plante. Unable to have children due to an early menopause, she adopted a six-month-old boy, Lorcan, from the US four years ago.

Having left her own childhood home in Great Crosby at the age of 15 to study acting at RADA in London, she got her first script accepted – Widows, about three women who plan to take over their dead husbands’ armed robbery plot – in 1983.

With her own production company, and successful dramas that are recommissioned year after year, La Plante puts her success down to hard work and determination, but she is grateful to the actors, production team and fans of the programme who have stood by her.

“I remain in awe of David Hayman and Victoria Smurfit, their loyalty is forever something I treasure. However, it is their supreme talent and generosity as artists which never fails to leave me impressed,” she says.

“Many times, we have been able to use the raw talent of fresh, young actors. Without exception, they are so well treated by our stars, with respect and encouragement, and as a result their performances are often staggering. It is this dedication to their roles that motivates me to keep producing scripts worthy of them.”

She adds, enthusiastically: “Making a series of this scale and quality has certainly been a challenge, but, when the results are this good, it proves that all that hard work has been worth every second. I am incredibly proud of Trial & Retribution. It will be coming out with all guns blazing – cutting-edge, compelling and truthful television drama – worthy of our loyal audience.”

THE new series of Trial & Retribution starts on Thursday, January 17, on ITV1.
Trial & Retribution
Broadcast date/time: 17/01/2008 21:00
Duration: 60 mins
Category: None

Episode: Rules of the Game - Part One
First of a two-part story opening a new series of the crime drama. When the body of a high-class prostitute is found in an abandoned suitcase at Heathrow, the evidence leads to Ukrainian billionaire Vitali Malikov, who had availed himself of her services. Against all diplomatic advice and despite the woman's pimp also becoming implicated in the crime, Walker arrests Malikov - only to find himself a pawn in a much bigger game. David Hayman stars

Cast: David Hayman, Victoria Smurfit, Dorian Lough, Vince Leigh, Marcel Iures, Branka Katic, Jamie Glover, Adrian Rawlins, Yuri Stepanov, Madlena Nedeva, Olga Fedori, Ksenia Zaitseva, Simon Hepworth, Tanveer Ghani, Tav MacDougall, Nicholas Khan
Trial & Retribution
Broadcast date/time: 24/01/2008 21:00
Duration: 60 mins
Category: None

Episode: Rules of the Game - Part Two
Part two of two. Maryna stands trial for her attack on Malikov and claims she was acting in self defence, while Walker pays the price for his insensitive handling of the case. Connor takes another look at Sofia's murder, considering whether Walker's obsession with pinning the crime on Malikov has led the team down the wrong path. Crime drama, starring David Hayman and Victoria Smurfit

Cast: David Hayman, Victoria Smurfit, Dorian Lough, Vince Leigh, Marcel Lures, Branka Katic, Jamie Glover, Adrian Rawlins, Yuri Stepanov, Madlena Nedeva, Olga Fedori, Ksenia Zaitseva, Nick Sidi, Chad Shepherd, Ursula Jones, Conrad Arnavutian, Andy Beckwith, Ton
DigiGuide Forums
Trial and Retribution on ITV1 London
A huge price to pay
This is a strong closer to the gripping two-parter which began last week. Things are going badly for DCS Mike Walker (David Hayman, pictured left). Vital Malikov - the Ukranian murder suspect - is on a life-support machine. Maryna Petrenko (Branka Katic, pictured right) is on remand, waiting to stand trial for his attempted murder. Walker is informally warned for disobeying a direct order, and is put on "gardening leave". And Walker's underling - Roisin Connor (Victoria Smurfit) - is under pressure to investigate other leads, leading to tension over loyalty to Walker in the incident room.

The trial begins. The prosecution case is strong - Maryna went to see Malikov at his hotel room, armed with a knife and the intention to kill. Maryna's barrister claims the knife was Malikov's and she only used it in self-defence. Nikolai and Irina Petrenko watch from the gallery, proud that their daughter stood up against her sister's killer and furious at the police for failing to do so.

Connor asks the team to go back over the evidence: find Margaret, the woman who supplied Sofia to Malikov, check out the boyfriend, the family. Satch thinks it's a waste of time, but Connor is adamant - if Malikov is their man they need the evidence to prove it.

News arrives that Vitali Malikov has died, and Maryna Petrenko will stand trial for murder. Connor goes back to Heathrow, searching for something she's missed. She tracks down a squeegee boy who remembers seeing the suitcase. Connor checks the CCTV again and again, and there it is - the suitcase being dragged across the car park by a man. They're unsure but one thing is certain, it can't be Malikov...

Highly recommended.

DRAMA: Trial and Retribution, ITV1 London at 21:00 on Thursday 24th January 2008

Rules of the Game (Part 2 of 2).
With Malikov on life-support, Maryna Petrenko stands trial for his attempted murder, where she makes a convincing case by claiming she acted in self-defence. Walker discovers to his personal cost where the real power lies and pays a huge price for his mistakes. Connor studies the evidence again, and begins to wonder if Malikov really did kill Sofia.
(Stereo, Widescreen, Subtitles, Audio Described)

Starring: David Hayman, Victoria Smurfit, Dorian Lough, Vince Leigh, Marcel lures, Branka Katic

Trial & Retribution
Thursday 24 January
9:00pm - 10:00pm
ITV1 London
2/10 - Rules of the Game - Part 2

Poor Mike Walker (David Hayman) grows increasingly unhinged as his grudge match against the nasty Ukrainian businessman continues tonight. He really should take a career break or something. Maybe his bosses think so, too, and that's why they're sidelining him and grooming Roisin Connor (Victoria Smurfit) for promotion. She, meanwhile, is still gamely trying to solve the murder of the poor girl found dead in the suitcase at Heathrow. Until she wails, "Wrong needle, wrong haystack!", as she realises they (and we) have been led a merry dance. Although, "merry" is not quite the word here: crushingly grim would be nearer the mark.

RT reviewer - David Butcher
VIDEO Plus+: 2811
Subtitled, Widescreen, Audio-described
Episode written by Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble


bullet Chief Supt Michael Walker - David Hayman
bullet DCI Roisin Connor - Victoria Smurfit
bullet DS David Satchell - Dorian Lough
bullet DS Sam Palmer - Vince Leigh
bullet Vitali Malikov - Marcel Lures
bullet Maryna Petrenko - Branka Katic
bullet Dan Vaughan - Jamie Glover
bullet Plaskett - Adrian Rawlins
bullet Nikolai Petrenko - Yuri Stepanov
bullet Irina Petrenko - Madlena Nedeva
bullet Sofia Petrenko - Olga Fedori
bullet Teresa Korovina - Ksenia Zaitseva
bullet Ferguson - Nick Sidi
bullet Powell - Chad Shepherd

Directed by: David Moore


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