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Leila Farzad and Andrew Buchan are Better with the BBC


Leila Farzad and Andrew Buchan are Better with the BBC

Filming has begun on BBC’s new five-part thriller Better from Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent.

Casting is announced, and filming has begun, on BBC One’s brand-new five-part thriller Better. A bold and surprising redemption tale, set and shot entirely in Leeds, Better is the story of one woman’s epic battle towards redemption, to reclaim the honour and honesty she handed over to a man many years ago.

Nawfal Faizullah, BBC Drama;

“Jonathan and Sam have created an iconic character in Lou Slack, and we are delighted that Leila Farzad is bringing her to life, alongside her brilliant partner in crime, Andrew Buchan. We’re excited to be working with SISTER again and we can’t wait for audiences to be hooked by this thrilling story of redemption.”

DI Lou Slack (Leila Farzad) – confident, quick-witted and wry – was always destined to be a copper. Like her father before her, a legendary detective in the same Yorkshire force, it’s in her blood. To her peers, she stands as one of the best detectives on the team, but Lou’s success lies on a foundation of deceit and corruption.

To all outwards appearances, Col McHugh (Andrew Buchan) – Irish, charming, charismatic, with a presence that commands any room he walks into – is a successful businessman and property developer. But to those closest to him he’s the highly disciplined and coldly ruthless head of a powerful citywide drug trafficking gang.

19 years ago, when Lou was a young police officer at her lowest ebb and Col a low-ranking but ambitious newcomer to the Leeds underworld, their paths crossed, and they struck a deal that changed their lives forever. The bargain allowed Col to become very rich and very powerful, and Lou to turn around her failing career. A complex but special bond between the pair was forged, and so began Lou’s gradual slide into corruption. It started slowly, almost imperceptibly – small favours for Col here and there in return for tip offs, a little money to help her through some tough times – but over time her criminality seeped into every aspect of Lou’s life and morphed into something far more sinister and dangerous as the stakes grew.

But now, when Lou’s family is brought to the brink of a tragedy that would tear apart everything she has built, she finds her conscience, for so long repressed, awakening. In determining to put right the wrongs that she has spent years rationalising and excusing, to have a second chance at a new, better life, she must first confront her own moral and ethical failings. To find her redemption she must bring down the man she has come to love like a brother. The man she has helped place at the head of Leeds criminal underworld. But while Col is a dangerous enemy to make, Lou’s biggest battle may yet be with herself.

Better is a fast-paced and utterly compelling thriller, shot through with wit and humour, that explores the complex and powerful bonds of loyalty and family, set in a world where everyone has their own version of “right” and “wrong”. Examining the power of human conscience and the need for redemption, Better examines the ties that bind, the ties that define, and the ties that break.

Also joining the cast are Samuel Edward-Cook as Ceri, Lou’s husband who loves her very much but is deeply conflicted about her arrangement with Col, Zak Ford-Williams as Owen, their smart, imaginative and sensitive teenage son. Ceallach Spellman plays Donal, Col’s son, a broken young man who fails to live up to his father’s expectations, and Carolin Stoltz plays Alma, Col’s wife and a crucial part of his inner circle.

Leila Farzad:

“Better is a brilliant fresh take on the morality tale. I am excited to have the opportunity to play Lou Slack, the vehicle through which we explore the multivalent layers of good and bad. A complex, flawed yet utterly human character. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful show with an incredibly talented team attached to it.”

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