Frances Barber in Doctor WhoThe BBC has revealed more details about the second series of its legal drama Silk penned by Peter Moffat. Joining Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones in the new series will be Frances Barber (pictured left, as seen in Doctor Who) and Indira Varma.

Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice, Little Dorritt), Rupert Penry-Jones (Whitechapel), Neil Stuke (Reggie Perrin) return for a second series of the highly acclaimed legal drama Silk, which averaged viewing figures of 5.8 million on BBC One earlier this year.  Bafta award-winning writer, Peter Moffat’s original and modern take on the lives, loves and hard cases facing barristers on the front line of criminal law, returns to Shoe Lane Chambers, with three new arrivals in the courtroom proceedings, Frances Barber (Great Expectations), Phil Davis (Case Histories, Brighton Rock) and Indira Varma (Luther)

Martha Costello (Maxine Peake) has got silk. She’s in with the big boys now, every case is huge, the stakes are always high and winning and losing matters more than ever. She’s incredibly young to be a QC and there are those who think she only got silk because she’s a northern woman. The pressure is on. Will she handle it? Clive Reader (Rupert Penry Jones) didn’t get silk. How will he deal with rejection? Might it bring out the real Clive underneath the lawyer exterior? And what will Martha make of a changed Clive Reader? Or will his ambition make him fight dirty in his bid to get what Martha’s got?

The man in the middle is under pressure too. Hard times at the criminal bar make Billy’s (Neil Stuke) life a tough one. A schism between those who want to do defence work only and those who think chambers should prosecute too and Billy at the centre of the argument. He knows what he wants and he’s going to get it. But when a solicitor (Phil Davis) who looks after a seriously heavy crime family wants to be his best friend, Billy is asked to choose between professional success and moral compromise. Which way does a man like Billy Lamb go?

Frances Barber joins the cast as Caroline Warwick QC, 50-something, sharp as a stiletto and frightened of nothing. The Lady Macbeth of the Criminal Bar. Has Martha found an ally? Two brilliant women in a man’s Indira Varma in Torchwoodworld? Or is she about to get stabbed in the back? Indira Varma is George Duggan, a very beautiful and very principled solicitor, who knows what she thinks and is always happy to say it. She provides a much needed distraction for Clive, but will it be a fatal attraction for Clive? Can the personal and the political mix?  Will Shoe Lane survive and if it does at what cost?

“BBC Drama Production is very proud to announce the return of Silk; with Peter Moffat’s wonderful writing and a stellar cast, Silk combines cracking characters with powerful crime stories to bring us bang into the heart of the contemporary legal world.” – Kate Harwood, Controller Series and Serials

Silk was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning. The executive producer is Hilary Salmon (Criminal Justice, Five Days). Filming began in October in and around London.

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