ITV has announced a three-part sequel, Stephen, to the award winning single drama, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence.
The series will be directed by Alrick Riley (The Cops, NCIS and Hustle) and produced by Madonna Baptiste (The Stranger, Black Mirror, Silent Witness) and is written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary and Jackie, Millions, 24-Hour Party People) and Joe Cottrell Boyce (Treasure).
The drama will portray events from 2006, thirteen years after Stephen’s death on the evening of 22 April 1993 in a racially motivated attack whilst waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham.
ITV share: “Even though the Lawrences knew the identity of their son’s killers, the original investigation had failed to convict those responsible, and their extraordinary campaign for justice led to a public inquiry which branded Metropolitan Police institutionally racist and brought about sweeping changes in the law and police practices and transformed thinking and understanding of racial inequality in the UK.
“Yet six years on from the Inquiry no progress had been made into the case. The drama tells the story of the ongoing struggle by Doreen and Neville Lawrence to achieve justice and how a detective, DCI Clive Driscoll – working closely with the Lawrences – puts together an investigation that finally – more than 18 years after his death – secures the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen. ”
The production has the full support of Doreen and Neville Lawrence.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence said: “I am pleased that The Murder of Stephen Lawrence is being broadcast again. Though the events portrayed in the film took place many years ago they are even more relevant today.
“I am aware that the experience of police racism that we suffered as a family has been the experience of many in the UK.
“I hope that the film and the drama which has been commissioned will provide some insight into what we went through and give some hope to others that justice can eventually prevail.”
Neville Lawrence added: “I welcome the announcement of this new TV series by ITV, made with members of the same team who wrote and produced the 1999 original drama. That first film was important in telling Stephen’s story.
“It is important that the next part of the story is told, particularly at a time when, thanks to the Black Lives Matter campaign, concerns around institutional racism are so prominent.
“The recent BLM protests have served to remind people that black men and women continue to be subjected to racially motivated attacks. It was true when Stephen was killed and it still happens.
“It has always been my view that the most powerful response to racism is non-violent resistance and I am heartened to see people from all backgrounds who have come together peacefully across the country to show they will not tolerate racist attitudes. I hope this new film will further help raise awareness.”
ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill said: “It feels appropriate for us to return to the Stephen Lawrence case on ITV.
“The brilliant film, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, could only take the story so far, Stephen continues that story.
“It’s important to remember just how long it took Doreen and Neville to get a conviction for two of the men responsible for the death of their son Stephen. Frank and Joe have written beautiful scripts and I am delighted to have Alrick on board to direct this important drama.”
The original Bafta winning drama The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, written and directed by Paul Greengrass and produced by Mark Redhead will be repeated on ITV on Thursday 16 July.
A live discussion programme entitled, Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain changed? will also air on ITV immediately before the re-broadcast of the original drama.
Casting and broadcast dates for the follow up drama will be confirmed in due course