New drama about murder of Stephen Lawrence to follow parents' fight for justice
A new drama about the murder of Stephen Lawrence will be set 13 years after the black teenager was killed and will depict his parents’ fight for justice.
Stephen, which has been commissioned by ITV, will be a three-part sequel to 1999’s The Murder Of Stephen Lawrence and will portray events from 2006.
It will tell the story of the ongoing struggle by his parents Doreen and Neville Lawrence to achieve justice and how a detective, DCI Clive Driscoll – working closely with the Lawrences – put together an investigation that finally secured the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder, more than 18 years later.
Their son was murdered in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993.
The original investigation had failed to convict those responsible, and the campaign for justice by the Lawrences led to a public inquiry which branded the Metropolitan Police institutionally racist and brought about sweeping changes in the law and police practices.
However, six years on from the inquiry, no progress had been made in the case.
The Murder Of Stephen Lawrence, which was written and directed by Paul Greengrass and produced by Mark Redhead, will be repeated on ITV on July 16.
A live discussion programme entitled Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain Changed? will also air on ITV immediately before the re-broadcast.
Baroness 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.”
Mr Lawrence said: “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 (BLM) 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.”
The new drama will be produced by HTM (Hat Trick Mercurio) and executive produced by Redhead and Greengrass, alongside Jimmy Mulville and Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio.
It will be directed by Alrick Riley and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Joe Cottrell Boyce.
Polly Hill, head of drama at ITV, 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.”