Episode 5

Monday, 23 March 2009, 9:00PM on ITV1

Talking about his character DS Matt Devlin in ITV drama Law and Order: UK, Jamie explains: “He’s a Detective Sergeant from an Irish Catholic family, and he grew up in Kilburn. I think it was very difficult for him and his family and he has issues with them and has defined himself as his job; as a policeman, and he absolutely loves his job. I think he has a romantic idea of what it is to be a policeman – he inherits it from the great fictional detectives and that’s why he went into policing. He works with this guy Ronnie Brookes who’s from the ‘Sweeney’ era of policing but has grown and been mellowed through living through that very gung ho era and has become a very rounded empathetic understating individual. Matt is much more aggressive; people are either innocent or guilty.

“The whole idea of Law & Order is that you don’t go home with the characters but that you get to see their working relationship. These two guys are best mates but you know they have no idea what each other’s apartments look like; they share a desk, a car, they work on all the same cases and they love each other but would never admit it.

“I know where Matt comes from, I know he wears a St Christopher around his neck and there is an absolutism to his upbringing that he’s rejected but can’t help but replicate in the way he judges people, they are either guilty or not.”

So what was it like for Jamie working so closely with Bradley Walsh as Matt’s partner DS Brooks?

“First up I will say I’ve never really watched Coronation Street nor have I been a light entertainment guy so I didn’t really know what to expect but everyone else seems to have an idea of who they think Bradley Walsh is. What I have discovered is the most interesting, charismatic, clownish, fun guy to work with who is also a natural born actor and has really got a great brain when it comes to scripts, dialogues and dramatic sense. He is completely different to me in terms of backgrounds and sensibility but there is something there in the chemistry and I adore him as an individual so it is very easy for me to play Matt Devlin who clearly adores Ronnie Brooks. I like him very much as a guy, he makes everyone laugh all day long. He’s a clown and he can’t stop doing it. It’s a real insight when you see him doing Law & Order and then going off to rehearse his panto lines.”

When the bones of eight-year-old Tommy Keegan are discovered in the communal basement of a house in Ladbroke Grove, DS Ronnie Brooks(Bradley Walsh), DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) and DI Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter) have a twenty-five-year-old cold case on their hands. Tommy’s mother’s grief and the shoddiness of the previous investigation drives the team to bring Tommy’s killer to justice. But the only people who seem to know anything about the case are the man originally arrested for Tommy’s disappearance Ed Connor (Anthony Higgins), and Julia Mortimer (Holly Aird), Tommy’s best friend, but both are reluctant to help the new investigation. When Julia is persuaded to take part in EMDR therapy to revisit her memory of the night Tommy went missing, a terrible secret is revealed.

Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) and Senior Crown Prosecutor James Steel (Ben Daniels) proceed to build a case against the better judgement of George Castle (Bill Paterson) who is sure the jury will be highly sceptical about the recovered memory and what it has uncovered. Julia’s parents, Vernon (Keith Barron) and Catherine (Margot Leicester) warn James that this an opportunistic vendetta on Julia’s part, but James is convinced about what she saw that night. James sets out to prove against all odds, and compelling barrister Doug Greer (Colin Salmon) that Julia’s telling the truth.


 

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