Monday, February 23, 2009

Law & Order: UK

A British re-make of the long-running US series Law & Order airs on ITV1 tonight. In The Telegraph, Matt Warman talks to the shows creator, Dick Wolf.
...the formula that has made Law & Order such a success in the US has not been tampered with. The show combines a police procedural with the more complex dilemmas of mounting a successful prosecution. Audiences are drawn in by a relatively straightforward attempt to catch criminals. But it’s the subsequent legal complexities that allow Law & Order to tackle broader themes.

Wolf maintains that because of this complexity “now more than ever, Law & Order is the smartest drama left on television. The first half of this show is a murder mystery and the second half is a moral mystery.”
The lead writer for Law & Order: UK is Chris Chibnall. In the ITV press release (Word doc) he explains his approach.
"I was looking for stories that I connected with emotionally, that had great opportunities for characterisation, and that felt relevant to Britain today. I watched about 150 episodes of the US Law & Order. Dick Wolf sent over a list of his favourite episodes and I watched all of seasons one to six, plus a number of episodes from seasons seven, eight and nine. It’s a very addictive show so it’s great to be getting paid to sit and watch them.”

Talking of the difficulties in adapting a US series for the UK, Chris says: “We are vigilant about being faithful to the Law & Order format, while also making sure that it feels fresh, modern and British as well. The stories have got to stand up strong in their own right, so you’re constantly making sure that the characters are interesting and original and are rooted in this country. There is always a balancing act between making sure the stories are authentic from a legal perspective but also that they are dramatic. We sometimes had the issue of legal procedure which is different between the two countries. You had to be constantly vigilant, while honoring the source material and making sure the drama is as exciting as it can be for a British audience. ”


  1. Anonymous11:08 pm

    They honoured the original all right!

    The pilot is a word for word ripoff of L&O Season 2 Episode 18.

  2. This post shows how to tackle the cases in the series and the criminals are also catch up in this series. But the positive thing which i like the most that is the outcome from this series.


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