Irvine Welsh’s Crime will stream on ITVX from 11 May
Irvine Welsh’s Crime will stream on ITVX from 11 May
The abduction of a young girl, Britney Hamil, from an Edinburgh street pushes the detective to his breaking point, but Lennox is desperate to know what happened to this child.
He is driven by the secret, long hidden within him, of an abuse that touched his very soul. This detective inspector is not content with solving crimes, he sees the world in black and white, his mission to root out evil wherever he senses it.
But passion such as this comes at a cost and we watch as one by one, Lennox’ relationships grow distant and steadily are replaced by those old false friends, a descent into the bottle and the powder beckons.
However, Crime is a tale of redemption and Lennox manages to hold himself together. In the face of the overwhelming opposition of all around him, Lennox proves his case that Britney was murdered by a notorious serial killer responsible for previous crimes pinned on an innocent man. And so, begins a chase for justice, perhaps to the death.
Finally, the policeman and the killer come face to face, but it’s the man known as Mr. Confectioner who has the upper hand. Sensing the detective’s turmoil, Confectioner turns the tables and Lennox is driven to look deep inside himself, a spiral from which he may not emerge.
Crime: a psychological, procedural thriller that begets a battle for the soul.
DI Ray Lennox and his partner DS Amanda Drummond are investigating the disappearance of schoolgirl Britney Hamil. The bodies of a French couple are discovered and Lennox suspects the MO is similar to that of notorious serial killer Mr. Confectioner. Britney’s body is discovered…
Lennox struggles with his sobriety while hunting Britney’s killer. Charismatic French detective, Louis LeBlanc, arrives to investigate the death of the French couple. Crime trainspotter Gary Franklin confesses to the murder of Britney and other young girls, but Lennox suspects he’s merely a fantasist. Lennox discovers lead suspect Graham Cornell is missing and was having an affair with Richie Gulliver MSP.
Lennox interrogates MSP Richie Gulliver. CSI Bob Toal is furious, fearing for his job. Gulliver denies the relationship and refuses to give him an alibi, but Lennox uses his cunning to obtain the truth and publicly ridicule the odious MSP. Lennox introduces his girlfriend Trudi to his family at a tense dinner. Drummond finds the van used to snatch Britney, they head to Leeds…
Lennox and Drummond arrive in Leeds. The van is gone but a clue is left behind. Lennox knows that it’s Mr. Confectioner still at large and playing games. Lennox persuades Toal to CCTV the funeral and gravesite of Britney Hamil. When another girl is snatched, Lennox knows it’s Confectioner and that he will come to them…
After his capture, Lennox interrogates Mr. Confectioner. It’s now a race against the clock to find young girl, Kylie. In the midst of the chaos, Lennox learns that his mother was having an affair with his father’s best friend. His father has a heart attack shortly after the revelation…
With his therapist, Lennox flashes back to his childhood, to a moment that changed everything. At his father’s funeral, Lennox confronts his childhood trauma. He must face his demons in order to discover the truth and triumph over Mr. Confectioner.
DI RAY LENNOX – Dougray Scott
Detective Inspector Ray Lennox, with the bearing of a large, wounded animal, is on the brink emotionally and physically. His failure to save Britney, a little girl murdered in his most recent case in Edinburgh, has triggered a personal crisis, sending him back to the old addictions he’d put behind him. He is cracking.
Lennox is a victim of childhood abuse, an incident that burned into his soul and unleashed a vengeful spirit. He joined the police not to instil law and order, but to root out evil wherever it lay and crush it by fair means or foul.
But Lennox is also a rational and sensitive man whose emotions are raw and whose heart is large… his emotions are at once his saving grace and his Achilles heel. His girlfriend Trudi is the rock keeping him steady, but his guilt at failing Britney is overwhelming and when Lennox finally comes face to face with the infamous Mr Confectioner, it’s Lennox who’s at risk; his obsessive vulnerabilities clear to the killer. Crime is the story of one man’s fight for his very soul.
DS AMANDA DRUMMOND – Joanna Vanderham
Amanda Drummond has just been promoted to Detective Sergeant. As one of only two female officers in the department it means being partnered with Ray Lennox (the women have to be spread out, it’s all about quotas!) Lennox laments the loss of his long-standing partner, Eddie ‘Ginger’ Rogers, and begrudgingly takes Drummond under his wing. Drummond is determined, eager and works by the book, which is often at odds with Lennox’s manic approach to policing serious crimes.
Make no mistake, Amanda Drummond is no wallflower, and she is quick to confront her colleagues when they deem her to be so. She admonishes Lennox for his ‘mansplaining’ and tells Gillman how repulsive he is when sexism raises its ugly head. Drummond is the moral barometer through which we will examine the archaic attitudes still prevalent in the police force.
When Lennox’s mental state begins to falter, it’s Drummond that will keep the investigation on track, challenge his motives and attempt to bring order to his disorder.
BOB TOAL – Ken Stott
Chief Superintendent Bob Toal is a career cop with a short temper. He finds solace in talking to the plants in his office, eagerly awaiting retirement and his police pension. He likes order, due diligence, procedure and seeking justice through the proper means… So, when Lennox begins raising serial killer theories and inevitably goes rogue at every turn, it sends Toal into a state of apoplectic
madness. Lennox will accuse Toal of having an aversion to doing proper police work, but ultimately Toal will back Lennox to the potential detriment of his own standing amongst his superiors.
TRUDI LOWE – Angela Griffin
Trudi is Lennox’s girlfriend, and a successful professional working for the local energy company. Following a self-driven evolution from office junior to corporate managerial icon, Trudi’s dreams of living happily-ever-after are underpinned by a dogged sense of morality. New to her management position at Dunedin Power, Trudi finds herself caught in a #metoo situation with a younger work colleague. Trudi must devise her own devious plot to bring down the rife toxic masculinity in her workplace.
Trudi and Lennox are in the infancy of their relationship, so she’s never seen his sobriety compromised nor does she know the truth of his tortured past. As Lennox becomes consumed by the Britney Hamil case and the hunt for Confectioner, Trudi will see Lennox as a different man from the one she knew. Ultimately, Trudi will be the one to catch her avenging angel as he falls, threatening the shaky promise of her happy-ever-after.
DOUGIE GILLMAN – James Sives
Detective Inspector Dougie Gillman is a distinctive character from the Irvine Welsh universe, appearing in both ‘Crime’ and ‘Filth’. Gillman is crass, obnoxious, stubborn and belligerent. He’s casually racist, sexist and homophobic. He’s a bad husband, a philanderer and a casual law breaker. Whilst he embodies all of these dark extremes, he maintains a certain righteousness with the singular goal of ridding the world of scum; the kind of scum that would abuse children. Gillman is fearless in his pursuits and willing to hold anyone to account for their actions, whilst not being able to turn that same judgement inwards. Gillman investigates the murder of a French couple found asphyxiated in an Edinburgh flat. When the charismatic and eccentric Louis LeBlanc arrives from Paris to investigate the murder, the two are paired together to form a rather interesting duo.
GARETH HORSBURGH AKA MR. CONFECTIONER – John Simm
“He terrorized communities. Mister Confectioner was like the Yorkshire Ripper, he didn’t just send shivers down the spine of every woman, but of every husband, boyfriend, father, son… every man who ever truly loved a woman.”
‘Mr. Confectioner’ is the moniker given to the paedophile and child killer Gareth Horsburgh. In the late 2000’s, teenage girls started to go missing up and down the country. Some were found dead having been raped, kept in captivity, and strangled; some were never found at all.
Eventually, with pressure mounting from the media, the police convicted Robert Ellis for the murders of two young girls. Ellis, an unsavoury character, was found masturbating on one of the graves and became an easy conviction despite having alibis for the other cases. Many thought that Mr. Confectioner would return… including DI Ray Lennox of Lothian Police.
The abduction of a thirteen-year-old girl, Britney Hamil, from an Edinburgh street makes Lennox think that the abhorrent paedophile and child killer is still at large. When her body is discovered and the modus operandi matches the signature of Mr. Confectioner, Lennox is determined to bring him to justice, even if it means sacrificing his own soul.
Confectioner is a complex serial killer. Like so many others, he has psychopathic tendencies and narcissistic ideals of grandeur. His ambitions go beyond the act of killing. He wants notoriety and fame; he wants to be praised for his ingenuity and ability to evade capture. Eventually, he is caught, and the subsequent interrogation becomes a battle of wills between Lennox and Confectioner.
Mr. Confectioner aka Gareth Horsburgh hails from Yorkshire. Described as having thick brown hair with grey at the temples, a ruddy complexion, square jaw, and strange, deep-set eyes. Confectioner is more than a mass murderer… he’s involved in a game, not just with the police, but what he sees as the entire oppressive state apparatus.
“Organisations fascinate me. The substantive irrationality of a bureaucracy founded on eminently rational procedures…”
Confectioner will present the notion that he and Lennox are the same… both linked by the abuse they have suffered and the abuse they are capable of inflicting. Sensing the detective’s turmoil, Confectioner turns the tables and Lennox is driven to look deep inside himself, a spiral from which he may not emerge.
Irvine Welsh Interview
How did your 2008 novel Crime come to be a TV series?
It all came about with Dougray [Scott] really. I met him at a function for Franck Sauzee, the Hibs player, he read Crime and he was saying that Lennox was the character he was born to play. It became a passion project for him to get it filmed. We went through quite a lot of producers, and we almost got there a few times looking at it as a feature film. We switched to TV, and it was a great move because there’s a lot in the story and the character that you can bring out. We got hooked up with Tony Wood at Buccaneer who was absolutely brilliant and completely relentless about getting something done. That’s what you need a producer to be. We got involved with Polly Hill at ITV and they’ve been fabulous.
What were the challenges involved in adapting your novel for the screen?
Initially the biggest problem we had was that most of the book is set in Miami and the Edinburgh story is a backstory. If we wanted to tell the whole Miami story, we realised we’d need about 10 episodes and an American partner – and it’s hard to get an American partner for a British show with a British actor as the lead. So, we decided to not so much scale back our ambitions but to look at the backstory which is almost like a prequel within the book. The characters weren’t really arced in that story because it’s just a series of flashbacks in a way so we thought it would be interesting to tell that story in Scotland. That was where it all started.
How excited are you about your first TV series?
I’m more excited about Crime than anything I’ve done in a while. I was looking at the episodes again: I’ve just seen nothing like this ever on British television. I haven’t seen people represented in that way; I haven’t seen coppers represented in that way. I’ve never seen anything else that actually even looks like it, the way it’s shot. Whether that’s going to be a bit too much for some people or not what people expect from a British show I don’t know but it just seems to me to be so different from so much of the stuff that I’ve seen. I can’t think of anything like it on British TV.
Dougray Scott interview
Who is Ray Lennox?
I mean, if you were to describe Lennox, you know, I think you would call him some sort of very rough, fragile, avenging angel who is determined to give a voice to those people who don’t have a voice in society, and to protect the vulnerable. Stuff happened to him as a kid and so he went into becoming a copper because he felt that was the best way to avenge what happened to him as a child. What makes him a great copper also makes him a bad copper: he’s impetuous, he works off the cuff, he works on instinct. He’s left field – he’ll go down alleyways that no one else will go down in order to try and find the solution or the answer. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work. But he’s passionate, deeply passionate about what he does.
What research did you do for this role?
I am a bit of a geek when it comes to research and that kind of world. For years I’ve watched documentaries on serial killers. But obviously, for this, I’ve visited that whole dark, dark world. I have this guy who I’ve spoken to a lot, Ian, who is an ex-policeman; he’s an advisor on the show. So, I went through everything procedural with him. But Lennox is a maverick. His parameters are very wide.
When did you first become aware of Irvine Welsh and what do you like about him as a writer?
Well, I read him when Trainspotting came out. And, you know, for someone who has a very similar upbringing to Irvine – and I do – to read your world portrayed in novel form was really exciting and accessible and new. I connected with those characters and with that world. Just to read something like that in the vernacular was really exciting for me. And I still think Trainspotting is one of my favourite novels of all time. It’s just so connected to my experience of growing up in Scotland, and I fell in love with him as a writer. Later I got to know him, and I’ve read pretty much all of his novels. I just love his lyricism. I think Crime is quite a tender novel. The original is set in Miami as well and the Scottish scenes are all in flashback, but of course we flip that – so we’ve made the first series all set in Scotland. We’ve fleshed out that part of it, but it’s still in a brutal environment in terms of what Lennox and Drummond are dealing with – they’re looking for this killer – and what kind of killing it is – a young child, a young girl. That’s brutal, and it’s traumatising, and it’s upsetting and it’s just deplorable in every sense of the word. But at the same time, there’s wonderful tenderness within the characters that Irvine just produces. He has this incredible ability to emotionalize a subject like this so that it’s accessible. It’s an all-encompassing book and story that I think will appeal to lots of people.
Joanna Vanderham interview
Who is DS Drummond?
She’s one of only two female officers in the Lothian police department and she’s got ambitions that she’s going to set up a division of serious crimes that is led by women, and it deals specifically with women. When you first meet her, she’s just been partnered with Ray Lennox [Dougray Scott] but it feels as if her dreams have been taken away from her – even though she’s been promoted. She didn’t know that they were going to be partners; she didn’t know that they were going to be working together.
What is her relationship with Lennox like?
At the beginning Drummond and Lennox don’t know each other very well and she thinks that he’s part of this old guard, who needs to be brought up to speed with the modern world. But I think Drummond is often surprised by Lennox, because there’s more to him than that. What’s really fun about Drummond is that she’s not one of these women who’s fighting against the system. She’s not an angry woman. She really believes that change is coming and that she’s part of that change – that it’s inevitable. And so, she’s relaxed in the fact that she feels like she’s the future. With Lennox – and I don’t want to give the whole thing away –they go from being very much a sort of odd couple to working incredibly well together and really being a foil for each other’s weaknesses.
What does Irvine Welsh mean to you as an author?
Being Scottish he’s just such an icon. I actually was first introduced to his work through Trainspotting the film, and then I went back to the books. I was like, ‘Who is this? What is this? This is incredible!’ When I was at drama school, they made us do the famous ‘Choose Life’ monologue from the film. They made us learn it and do it in our drama hall. I thought, ‘What are you doing? This is blasphemous – leave him alone!’ So, to now get to reclaim it, and do it properly and to really be working on his work the way that he wanted it done feels so special. We’ve been told that he’s been watching all the rushes and that he’s really happy with it and is loving what we’re delivering. As an actor that’s kind of dream come true territory for me. And audiences are going to get something more from the TV show even if they’ve read the book. Some book adaptations, it’s like, you’ve read the book so you might as well not watch the show. But actually, with this one, we’re dramatising the bit of the book that’s alluded to in passing – Lennox’s past in Edinburgh. So, it’s new Irvine Welsh work. And that’s so exciting.
Angela Griffin interview
Trudi is somebody who has fought all her life to get where she is. And she started at the very bottom. She has worked and worked and worked and finally we find her at the beginning of the series, achieving her goal, which is becoming management at the electric company she works for. She wants the perfect life, she wants the job, she wants the car, she wants the body, she wants the nails, she wants the man she wants, she wants everything, and she deserves it. Of course, she does, every woman does. But she may have found in Ray Lennox possibly the opposite of what she thinks he is. They’ve not been together very long; it’s about six months. And up to this point I think he probably is everything that she thought he was. But when this particular case arises, it awakens in him something that she didn’t know existed. And she also falls prey to the thing of wanting to help someone and to fix them. So, when these troubles do arise, she thinks she can fix them, but she doesn’t understand the absolute depths of darkness that Lennox is actually in.
How does their relationship progress as the series goes on?
It begins in a warm, supportive place – he very much wants to invite her into his life, and he wants to open his life and his family up to her and she absolutely wants to go in there. She’s at the age where she’s getting to the last chance to have kids. This is a committed relationship and they’re taking it very, very seriously. But the relationship gets tested beyond all imaginings really. As I said, it awakens in him the darkness that she doesn’t quite know how to deal with. But because she’s a fighter, she tries to help. And she is a support to him: I think that maybe surprises him as well. I don’t think he necessarily knows that she’s going to be as strong. But when she has a problem? Well, Ray doesn’t necessarily take the straight road when it comes to solving problems. So, he takes her to the dark side too, you could say.
What was your relationship with Irvine Welsh’s writing before this project?
I watched Trainspotting in my teens, because who didn’t? Then I read Trainspotting, then I read The Acid House. Since then, I’ve kind of left his writing alone, so this is my first foray back into it as an adult. His work is much more complicated when you read it as a fortysomething kind of person. I read Crime but Crime the TV series isn’t quite the book. It’s actually the case that’s discussed in the book when they go to Florida. Anyway, Irvine’s writing is dark but it’s funny man. He manages to get that real, depraved darkness and really complex dark characters that really should be quite unlikable, but you ultimately invest in them. You do like them, and you want to go on a journey with them. It takes you to places that – touch wood – we haven’t been to, and it explores those issues.
Jamie Sives interview
Introduce us to Dougie…
He’s a man of many layers, most of which are distinctly unpalatable. He’s a man out of time. Without being too unkind to seventies cops he’s an echo of the view that we have of 70s policing. He doesn’t really have a place in a modern police set up but he’s somehow still there. There aren’t many redeeming factors with this character but there are one or two. It will be interesting to see how he is received!
How much fun is it as an actor to play such a monster?
Oh, it’s absolutely great fun. That’s the perversity of it – these monsters are great fun to play because you’d like to think they’re so far removed from ourselves. If you get really psychological about it, he’s obviously a very troubled individual and all the inner thoughts that are going on within him manifests itself in these quite horrific outers and explosions of anger and rage and hate and discontent. If you were being really kind to him then I’m sure it’s the problems that the man has that make him do and say the things he does. And they kind of sneak out in little places – you see his loneliness and you see his inner angst. Although that’s no excuse whatsoever for what he says and does, I think that there are obviously reasons that you could maybe see that there’s a good soul in there deep down. But maybe quite deep down.
What is Dougie’s relationship with Lennox?
There are lots of clashes. As individuals there’s a history between them – they’ve never really hit it off. Gillman thinks he’s just a pussy or whatever; he thinks Lennox is not a ‘hard cop.’ He’s got huge chinks and weaknesses that irritate Gilman, and they’ve obviously had one or two violent encounters with each other in the past. So, Gillman takes delight in seeing the unravelling of Lennox, for reasons best known to himself. When he sees that Lennox is losing it, he takes great delight in that. Even if it’s at the cost of cracking the case, there’s a lot of bad blood between them.
Ken Stott plays Bob Toal
Who is Toal?
He’s the Chief Superintendent so he’s Lennox’s boss. What drives this character along is this desperate desire to get past the finishing post and into retirement without any bloody trouble! The events that we come across in Crime are a huge barrier in front of him. He wants an easy life. Anything that gets in the way of that is a damned nuisance to Toal.
What is his relationship with Lennox like?
Lennox is his protégé: I think it would be safe to call him that. He is everything that Toal wanted to be. He has fashioned Lennox; he has created this character in his image and admires him accordingly. He wants to support him but there is a limit to where he will go because he is torn – he wants an early bath, a safe retirement with the cash as opposed to an ignominious exit from the force. Lennox has become a bit of a loose cannon and that’s a very dangerous prospect.
What made you want to play this role?
To work on a piece that is written by Irvine Welsh is something which is interesting in itself, regardless of what the character is. This character is something which I thought I could do because Toal is the opposite of the way I feel about myself. It’s a very interesting piece in so far as it is mad comedy – because there is comedy. And it’s crazy, because amidst tragedy and a subject that is quite awful there is deranged comedy. That in itself is rather exciting.
- Approved clips:
Episode 1 Clips
Episode 2 Clips
Episode 3 Clips
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