Injustice is a multi-layered five part thriller airing for the first time on ITV1 in June 2011. The drama was written by Anthony Horowitz (Collision, Foyle’s War) and concerns the disturbed mind of a troubled barrister.
The series gets off to a murky start with memories and thoughts folding together with a grey and cold reality. The truth of events becomes more apparent over five episodes. Unlike many modern crime fictions on UK screens, Injustice does not offer the answers on a plate. Neither is the ending a foregone conclusion.
The story presents a range of warped morals from the vicious detective who gets the correct result in all the wrong ways, to the suave and sophisticated lawyers who get the incorrect result in all the right ways. Injustice explores immorality and hypocrisy in all its forms – including the good intentions of a helpful wife and teacher of young offenders as well as the pessimism of the stone-hearted institute guard. All of the main protagonists break the rules or fail to uphold a system designed to protect people.
The epitome of Injustice‘s dual morality is DS Wenborn, played by Charlie Creed. The police officer is cruel and unpleasant man, but nevertheless endearing through his razor sharp wit and unquestionable work ethic. The fearsome policeman resorts to criminal activity in order to put criminals behind bars:
“What I really like is that Anthony Horowitz hasn’t just created a character who is a great cop – in this drama no one is perfect and Wenborn is furthest from it. I love the fact that he is not just a two dimensional copper. Wenborn’s a great character and it’s a part to die for really, I was so chuffed to get the chance to play the part. There is so much going on and he is such an interesting guy. It was a dream role and a great one for me to get my teeth into.”
Writer Anthony Horowitz created a production company specially for the series, Injustice Films Limited. He said of the series:
“Injustice was inspired by one of those questions that many people have asked. You’re a criminal barrister. You defend a man who has committed a horrible crime and thanks to you, he walks free. How do you live with yourself?
“To be honest, I’ve always had a great dislike of the law. What seems black and white to me, suddenly becomes complicated – and expensive – the moment a barrister turns up. The rituals and horse-trading of the courtroom, the weird language, the wigs and gowns, strike me as quite divorced from the 21st century. I would say that my hero, William Travers, is a moral and decent lawyer. It was a difficult part to cast but I think James Purefoy gets the nuances exactly right.
“That said, Injustice is not a legal drama. In many ways it’s about a society in which law has ceased to function. Both Travers and his nemesis – Detective Sergeant Wenborn – operate according to their own set of rules and in the end I see the series as a duel between the two of them as they follow a tangled path of murder and conspiracy.
“Wenborn is without doubt the most extraordinary detective I have created in a long career working in murder-mystery and Charlie Creed – Miles turns in a standout performance. There are a lot of real surprises in Injustice – at the end of episode one and twice more in episode five. I hope audiences will enjoy the various twists and turns and won’t guess the ending. I was also very happy to be able to shoot in Suffolk where I spend so much of my time and although I’ll probably have to apologise to everyone in Felixstowe, I think it gives the series an unusual and very striking backdrop.”
James Purefoy took the opportunity to put down the chain mail and avoid wielding “a bloody big sword” to don a suit and mobile phone for his latest performance. The star of Soloman Kane modelled his performance on the barristers who represent the inmates of Guantanamo Bay:
“I keep in touch a lot with what’s going on in current affairs, what’s going on in the law courts, I’m a big fan of Michael Mansfield QC, a big fan of Gareth Pierce, the lawyers who represented the falsely accused people who have been put in Guantánamo and tortured. So yes I do have a very strong sense of social justice myself and admire lawyers enormously. The human rights lawyer – Clive Stafford Smith is an extraordinary man, someone who has put his life absolutely at the service of others. He flies around the world protecting people and giving them access to some level of justice. I like to imagine, there are more lawyers out there like him.
“Production arranged for me to meet and watch some high court barristers at work in The Old Bailey at the beginning of filming and bizarrely when I was there I thought ‘I could do this, this is a job I really could see myself doing’.”
“I actually think there is something quite similar between barristers and actors and I know a lot of actors who have become actors after they’ve done law degrees. Jason Issacs for example, studied law at Bristol and then became an actor. There is something about the actor within barristers – one of the defence lawyers I spoke to before we did this said that he found it very difficult sometimes because he’s quite friendly with prosecution barristers, because they all work together and they all know what’s going on and they switch sides all the time. Sometimes they’re the prosecution, sometimes they’re defending, and if a client of his sees him going for lunch with the prosecution it doesn’t look good.
“In court, they are in a way acting and there is something quite ADHD about it and I think there’s something quite ADHD about actors. Barristers like taking on cases all the time, actors like taking on new parts and they probably get a little bit bored if they had to do the same thing all the time. I think they get energised by new cases – and in turn actors get energised by new parts.”
Dervla Kirwan plays William Travers wife, Jane. The Irish-born actress is married to Rupert Penry Jones (Spooks, Silk, Whitechapel). Kirwan reveals that despite her role in such a nail-biting thriller, she is more worried about the effect of her part in Doctor Who on their two young children:
“I’ve been out with and lived with an actor for four years and that didn’t work out. I vowed I’d never go out with another actor again, but in walked Rupert. Now we’re ten years down the line…
“I did Doctor Who when my daughter was three and a half years old. She saw an advertisement which came on TV showing me with black eyes and a red dress and she was traumatised! That was the first time I really realised whatever children see around them they believe. It is difficult to think of anything I could let them see me starring in!”
“Injustice” airs on ITV1 at 9pm from 6th – 10th June 2011 for UK viewers only.
William Travers played by James Purefoy (Resident Evil, A Knight’s Tale)
DS Mark Wenborn played by Charlie Creed – Miles (Silent Witness, The Fifth Element)
Jane Travers played by Dervla Kirwan (Luna, Material Girl)
Martin Newall played by Nathaniel Parker (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Stardust)
DS Nick Taylor played by Obi Abili
Natalie Chandra played by Sasha Behar
Maggie Wenborn played by Kirsty Bushell
Jeremy Forbes-Watson played by Nick Dunning
Philip Spaull played by Robert Whitelock
Terry Cooper played by Ian Burfield
Kate Travers. played by Lisa Diveney
Caroline Newall played by Camilla Power
Robin Miller played by Adam Grant
ACC Stephen Packard played by David Schofield
Lucy Wilson played by Jayne Wisener
Alan Stewart played by Joe Cole
Susanna played by Susannah Doyle
John Slater played by Peter Ferdinando
Michael Bankes. played by Andrew Tiernan
Pamela Stewart played by Amelia Lowdell
Gemma Lawrence played by Imogen Stubbs
PMO Adam Christie played by Hilton McRae
Executive Producer & Writer: Anthony Horowitz
Producer: Jill Green
Producer: Eve Gutierrez
Director: Colm McCarthy
Line Producer: Carolyn Parry-Jones
DOP: Ruairi O’Brien
Sound Recordist: David Lascelles
Location Manager: Simon Nixon
Costume Designer: Anushia Nieradzik
Make up Designer: Irene Napier
Production Designer: Matt Gant
Casting Director: Gary Davy
Editor: St John O’Rorke
Composer: Magnus Fiennes