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Hayley Atwell and Richard Coyle at Life of Crime (ITV)
Life of Crime is a new three-part police drama. Hayley Atwell leads the cast as risk-taking policewoman Denise Woods.
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It’s 1985 and Denise is in her early twenties, starting life as an idealistic WPC for the Met Police, fighting sexism and ignoring her mother’s disappointment at her career choice.
She’s seconded to work with handsome young plain clothes Detective Sergeant Ray Deans (Richard Coyle) and, while trying to apprehend a suspect, suffers a knock to the head that puts her in hospital. It’s here she meets Amy Reid (Eloise Smyth), a fifteen year old girl who’s recently come from a club in Brixton called Subotica. Amy was violently dragged out of the club by her over-protective father but made a break for it.
Denise bonds with the young girl but their heart to heart is interrupted by a nurse wanting to take Denise for a scan. Returning to A&E, Denise is upset to find that Amy has left the hospital.
In the early hours of the morning, as Ray drives Denise home, they come across a crime scene – a young girl’s body is found in an alley. It is Amy. Feeling responsible, Denise resolves to bring her killer to justice.
Life of Crime is a new three-part police drama, commissioned by ITV and produced by Ecosse Films.
Golden Globe nominee Hayley Atwell (The Duchess, Any Human Heart, Pillars of the Earth, Captain America) leads the cast as risk-taking policewoman Denise Woods. Life of Crime explores Denise’s career over three decades as she progresses through the Metropolitan Police Force and how choices she makes as a rookie officer have long lasting and explosive repercussions on both her professional and personal life.
In her twenties Denise starts her career as an idealistic WPC, fighting sexism and ignoring her mother’s disappointment at her career choice. She’s seconded to work with handsome young plain clothes Detective Sergeant Ray Deans (Richard Coyle). One September morning she accompanies him to a crime scene in a narrow lane behind a Brixton nightclub where the battered and strangled body of teenager Amy has been discovered.
Having had a previous encounter with the teenager, Denise is determined to bring Amy’s killer to justice. She works against the clear instruction and advice of her senior officers and follows her own lines of enquiry. As the investigation progresses Denise’s fervour for the case leads her to fall foul of her senior officer, DCI Ferguson (Con O’Neill). But Denise stays single-minded in her pursuit of the killer and at that point makes her fateful decision.
Set against the backdrop of iconic moments in British history, the drama unfolds over three decades. We meet her first against the backdrop of the Brixton riots in 1985, and then in 1997 as she rises through the ranks and again in 2013 when she is a senior officer with everything to lose.
Life of Crime is the examination of one woman’s personal and professional life over three decades.
The three-part drama was written by Declan Croghan. (Waking the Dead, Ripper Street, Taggart).
Life of Crime was produced by Emma Kingsman-Lloyd, executive produced by Douglas Rae and Michael Parke for Ecosse Films and co-produced and co-created by Oliver Frampton. Jim Loach (DCI Banks, Oranges & Sunshine) directs.
— > from ITV.com