Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Law & Order LA “Westwood” Promo

Here is the promo for Law & Order LA “Westwood which will air on Monday, July 11, 2011 at 10PM ET on NBC.
My recap and review of Law & Order LA "Westwood" can be found at this link.






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Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order LA “Van Nuys” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal 

Law & Order LA “Van Nuys” was an interesting episode that featured the softer side of Detective “TJ” Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) when he seems smitten with an adult film star who was targeted for murder. Corey Stoll is one of the bright spots of Law & Order LA and this episode only made me more sad that the show has been canceled. The legal aspect of the episode was also interesting; having both DDA Morales (Alfred Molina) and Dekker (Terrence Howard) is something the series should have done more often. Alfred Molina is clearly a commanding presence and makes even the dullest legal scene come to life. I find myself wondering - as I have with the last few episodes – what they thought was so wrong with this episode that they couldn’t air it while the show was being revamped.

Bob Saget was perfect as the creepy adult film producer Adam Brennan who set up a mass murder to cover up that one of his stars contacted HIV. I could have done without the corny ending which attempted to elicit sympathy for adult films actors. Yes, they are real people who have lives much like normal people. But one has to wonder if having repeated unprotected sex with several partners is something most normal people would do, especially in this day and age of numerous sexually transmitted viruses like HIV. To me, it’s like working on a skyscraper without having a safety harness and tether - one never knows when a slip may occur.   While I am not saying Erin deserved what she got,  she certainly is not blameless in catching HIV and spreading it to others in her profession.


Here is the recap:
At a birthday party with some girls hired as party guests, one of the girls standing outside sees partygoers being beaten and she runs off. Later, Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and “TJ” Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) are at the scene and hear that the homeowners, David and Chloe Schwab and three party guests were beaten to death. The scene is gruesome. Someone left a rubber grip – it looks like a professional hit. The jewelry and cash is not taken but they may have been after coke.

Lt. Arleen Gonzales (Rachel Ticotin) and arrives, and reporters are on the scene, and she tells the detectives the killings already have a name – the Appian Way murders. TJ tells her the killers may have been after a stash of coke in the bedroom, a brick, maybe more. The homeowners were in the movie business, Jeff and Betty Reed had a tropical fish store. The girl found by the pool, Lacy Von, has a conviction for cocaine possession and she had two joints and $800 in her purse. Gonzales tells them to check on the guest with the drug conviction.

At the home of Lacy Von, the detectives arrive to find the home in complete disarray. It seems Lacy had a roommate and TJ notices a jacket at the party that matches one found in a photo in the home. They think she is a witness and she got away. She also appears to match a girl in a photo for a adult themed DVD they found in the room. Rex thinks they girls were the paid entertainment.

At Velour Pictures, the detectives speak with Adam Brennan (Bob Saget) to try to find the other girl, Sasha Janes. They find her real name is Erin  Gradin and she has been under contract for a year with Velour Pictures.

Back at RHD, the detectives tells Gonzales that Erin has been paying off a mortgage at a residential property in Bakersfield and she last made an ATM withdrawal the day before at 6 by a Dennys on the 5 which is on the way to Bakersfield.

At the home of Elizabeth and Phil Gradin, her parents, they tell the detectives they don’t know where Erin is but she called the day before saying she was going to take a break from work – she is a jewelry designer. She has been helping to pay their mortgage since they were both laid off. Rex notices a purse and Phil says that she is a good daughter. Rex talks loudly saying that he is sure he would not want to put them in danger. TJ explains the possible danger from the people she is running from. She comes out of a room and she asks if they will protect her family.

Erin (Addison Timlin) explains she and Lacy were paid to be there and for photos, nothing dirty. His wife knew her friend Jackie from their martial arts class. She was by the pool when they were called in by Jackie’s wife and Lacy went in but she stayed by the pool. She say Lacy stumbled out covered in blood and Erin ran. She did not know there were drugs there, and she said Lacy asked to light up a joint and they told her not to. Jackie had to leave early and he was the one who got them the job. He left just before the cake and he keeps calling her but she has not called him back. She shows them a video left on her friend’s face page. It’s Jackie begging her to call him. Rex asks her to call Jackie from her parent’s land line. She is worried about that but TJ tells her to trust them. She starts dialing.

Later, the detective wait and see a black car pull up to the house. They get their guns ready as two men approach the house, also with guns. The men a distracted by a raccoon in the garbage can and the detectives, along with police, jump out at them with guns drawn. The 2 men drop their guns.

At arraignment, DDA Evelyn Price (Regina Hall) asks for bail of $1 million each for the 2 men and states they are members of the Armenian Power gang and face sentencing under 3 strikes. Their attorney Brandon Able (Rob Brownstein) tries to counter it but the judge agrees with Price. Afterwards, Price tells Able there are no deals, she wants to see the jury piss themselves when they hear his “lost in Bakersfield” story. She comments that the man’s boss Mike Sarkissian (Michael Peter Bolus) must be worried otherwise why would he be there? She turns to Sarkissian who tells Able not to waste his time talking to the help. When they walk off, the defectives approach and Price asks them how a nice couple like the Schwabs got involved with those guys. They think Jackie double crossed them and set them up for a rip-off. She says they need to tie them to Appian way and they have to find Jackie.

At the Los Angeles Plaza Hotel, the detectives speak with Erin to try to find Jackie. He had a boyfriend in Palm Springs named Larry. When Rex goes off to make a call. TJ tries to calm Erin. Rex watches and interrupts just as TJ is making a move to touch her. He tells them Jackie spoke on his cell to a Larry Hauser in Palm Springs. As TJ walks away, Rex gives him a hard glare and then tells him to drive.

At the home of Larry Hauser, he says he does not know where Jackie is. He seems annoyed with Jackie, saying he took a shuttle down from LA a few weeks ago and crashed there. On Sunday, Jackie asked to borrow his car to run an errand and was gone three hours and thought Jackie found another “daddy.” He tracked the GPS to some swank address in Palm Desert where there are tennis courts.

They get to the house to find some work being done on it. There was a break in at the home two weeks ago on a Sunday. The detectives head to the local police who tell them the security alarm went off and the home was a shambles and someone defecated on the master bed. The homeowner, Mrs. Eileen Gold did not want to make a report and her son – Michael Sarkissian - showed up with a lawyer and threatened to sue if the officers didn’t leave. Rex asks them to put out a BOLO on Jackie Lee and they need a warrant on the Gold house for fingerprints, drug dogs, the works. Rex thinks they had this all backwards – that Sarkissian had the drugs stashed at his house and Jackie ripped them off and Jackie saved his skin by giving up his accomplices. They soon find that Jackie Lee is already in the Palm Desert system for 3 drunk and disorderly arrests and was last picked up threatening patrons at a nightclub with a Samurai sword. Larry bailed him out the first two times but the third time by an Adam Brennan of Velour Pictures.

They go back to Adam who said Jackie is his actor. He says Jackie called him yesterday and said people were after him and he thought he was just being paranoid. He told him he could crash at one of the sets he was not using.

The detectives go to the set and find Jackie there, dead.

Later, they explain this to Price and DDA Ricardo Morales (Alfred Molina) who is not happy that the Armenians beat them to him. The found slugs at Sarkissian’s mother’s house which match the slugs found in Jackie. But no gun was recovered and they have nothing to tie them to the Schwabs. Morales says now they have motive, and that and the slugs can get them an arrest warrant for Sarkissian.

Later, the detectives watch the news coverage of their arrest of Sarkissian with Erin. She asks if she can go home but Rex tells her it depends on the DA. As Rex gets his jacket, TJ tells Erin she does not sound so scared anymore. She asks to see her parent and TK says they can arrange it. He asks if there is anything else, and she replies no but adds he has been great. She tells him his job must make it hard to sleep and when TK says yes, sometimes, Rex interrupts him again to ask if TJ is ready, adding a glare. TJ says they will check out her parents and tells her to take care of herself.

In the car, Rex shakes his head and says he is all for hand holding a witness but cautions TJ to take it easy. He adds that he knows that look and wonders what TJ has in mind for this girl. He says maybe after the trial he will take her out for dinner. Rex asks if he can really wait that long. TJ gets impatient and says screw the traffic and turns on the lights and sirens but Rex turns them off. Rex thinks Erin could be in on it and they begin to argue about Erin and TJ accuses Rex of being jealous. Rex warns TJ not to burn this case.

DA Jerry Hardin (Peter Coyote) is having a press conference about Sarkissian’s arrest while Rex, TJ, Price and Morales watch on TV. Morales says every link in the evidentiary chain must be unassailable and asks where they are weak. It is the lack of connections to the Schwabs’. Morales tells them to put Sarkissian there before the hearing.

Back at RHD, the detectives go over what they have. They found a charge card charge for Chloe Schwab for an ER and wonder if she was injured during the break in.

At Angel of Mercy Hospital, they find she came in for what Chloe said was a kitchen accident. Chloe also asked for a latex glove as she was worried about getting salt in the wound. She said she was going sailing.

Later, Morales and Price turn over the information to Able and Sarkissian that the Schwabs were in fact sailing at the time of the Palm Springs robbery. Morales reminds them that this does not mean they were not involved as there was coke at the Schwab residence. Hall also adds they still have the case for the death of Jackie Lee. The defense said the gun in question was stolen during the break in at the Palm Springs house and was reported to the insurance company. When Morales makes a crack about the coke not being reported to insurance, Able and Sarkissian get up to leave and Able tells Morales he will never get past the prelim. After they leave, Price tells Morales that one plus one must equal two, but Morales thinks not if  Jackie wanted it to look like they stole the coke. He wonders about the girls Jackie arranged for the party.

Erin is in the conference room with Morales, Rex and TJ, and she tells them that she just got laid off and Jackie invited her but she asked Lacy to come. Morales asks Erin if she can think of a reason why Jackie would want her killed, and she says no. She looks at TJ and comments he said it was bad luck she was at that party, and he sheepishly says maybe it wasn’t. She says she and Jackie don’t even know each other well. She does not do drugs and mentions and ex-boyfriend Joe who did and she last spoke with him a few weeks ago. He called and said he hoped she was happy but his voice was mean.

The detectives speak with Joe about him being an IV drug user. He said he did not try to kill her, and says he hardly leaves his apartment. TJ sees meds there that indicate Joe may have AIDS and he confronts Joe about it and asks if Erin knows. When TJ literally gets in Joe’s face about it, he tells them to leave. Rex pulls TK back.

Later, Rex explains this new development to Gonzales and TJ said the same day Joe called Erin, Joe also called the head of Velour Pictures, Adam Brennan. She got laid off. Porn actors jet HIV tests monthly and if Erin tested positive the health department get alerted and the porn industry shuts down. If Brennan though Erin had AIDS he would not want her tested and as his business is having financial problems, he can’t take another shutdown. The only way to avoid the test is being dead. They think the drug hit was a cover for killing Erin. Gonzales tells them before they talk to Erin and the DA to find out what Brennan knew and when he knew it

The detectives check with someone on the movie production staff and find the last time Erin was tested was 21 days ago and she was negative and is due to be tested again in 9 days. She was laid off as Brennan wanted to “go in another direction.” She told Brennan that Erin tested negative. He had her bag up her props – the sex toys used in her movies – and send them to his office.

Later, the detectives tell Morales that Brennan could have used the props to get body fluids to test Erin without her knowledge and without the department of health finding out. Once she tested positive he had to get rid of her so he set up the killing to make it looks like Erin was collateral damage. Morales says the first step to proving it is to confirm that the intended victim is HIV positive. Rex races out and TJ pauses then tells them the intended victim has a name.

Later, the detectives tell Erin of their theory and she admits she had unprotected sex. She said she got lonely, and TJ tells her no one is blaming her. He adds they will take care of Brennan. She cries and says they didn’t always use condoms on set and is upset she could have infected others. Rex says they will have her tested. She looks at TJ and says she was ready not to be scared and angry and after the trial her real life would start.

Back at his desk, TJ gets a call and seems upset at what the caller tells him and he walks off. Later, Price tells Morales that Erin tested positive. Morales says now they go after Brennan.

Jerry Hardin, looking at the newspaper headline about Brennan’s arrest, tells Morales he isn’t thrilled that he went on camera to swear he was going to take down the Armenians. Hardin things Brennan’s involvement can help the case against the Sarkissian’s, but this angers Morales who says Brennan should be the priority as he is legally and morally culpable. Hardin says he promised Sarkissian’s head on a platter and tells Morales to make a deal with Brennan. Morales walks out of the office with Price and tells her to see if Joe Dekker is around.

Later, Morales and Price, along with DDA Joe Dekker (Terrence Howard) speak with Brennan and his attorney (Meredith Scott Lynn) to outline their theory. Brennan tells them his help will cost them and asks if they will play ball, Morales says they will and says that is why Dekker is there. Dekker has the Sarkissian trial and says Brennan would be a witness for that trial. Brennan’s attorney says Brennan wants immunity on all Appian Way murders and he adds for Jackie Lee. Dekker agrees. Brennan says the jury will eat it up, he’s a producer and that’s what he does, he manipulates idiots and between Sarkissian and Jackie Lee it did not take much. He also says he wants protective custody, and not in some dump, asking for the Four Seasons. Dekker grudgingly agrees.

In court, Brennan testifies at the Sarkissian trial and about Jackie Lee and the coke and the robbery. He also told him to relieve himself on Sarkissian’s bed to make it look personal and Jackie would pin it on some friend he knew from martial arts. He admits he set it into motion to get rid of Erin and make it look like a drug murder. He tells them about the plan for Jackie to leave the door open and to take the drugs and kill everyone. He said he knew Sarkissian was involved because he listened to calls between Jackie and Sarkissian. Dekker presents the phone records to support that Brennan was listening to the calls.

Under cross examination, the defense attorney gets on Brennan about his business, but he says he is just providing a service. The defense says the deal with Dekker for immunity gave him to lie. Dekker redirects and Brennan says that the deal was made out of fear, he says Dekker had no case against him. Dekker brings up that Brennan is afraid of Sarkissian and Brennan admits that is true and that he will be going into witness protection.

Later, Dekker tells Morales that Sarkissian was guilty on all counts and now the ball is in Morales’ hands. Morales tells Price they will go break the news to Brennan.

At the Four Seasons hotel, Morales and Price tell Brennan that Sarkissian was guilty. Morales then has TJ and Rex arrest Brennan as Price tells them they have a warrant for his arrest for 12 felony counts of aiding and abetting unprotected sex with an HIV carrier. Morales said Brennan didn’t tell Erin of her HIV status and let her work unprotected on a set for 12 hours and that is criminal transmission of the HIV virus. As the detectives take Brennan off, Price tells Morales that she is all for creative prosecution but no one who wasn’t actually having sex has ever been convicted of criminal transmission. Morales said so they get to work and the next step is getting Erin’s testimony.

Morales and Price, with TJ present, try to convince Erin to testify. She admits she has not told her parents what she does and then they will know. When TJ seems to want to defend her stance, Morales asks to see him outside. TJ tells Morales he is bullying her, but Morales says he invited TJ there because he has a rapport with her, not to sandbag his case. TJ thinks they are just as bad as Brennan, but Morales says they are doing the right thing. Meanwhile, Erin tells Price that she wants Brennan to go to jail but Price says it is her decision. Morales tells TJ he does not know what is going on with TK and that witness, and TJ says she is not a witness, she is a person and deserves to be treated that way. Price opens the conference room door and Erin steps out and says it is OK, she knows this is not just about her.

In court, Erin testifies about doing adult films and also about not always using condoms because Brennan wanted it. She trusted him. Morales mentions Joe’s testimony about telling Brennan about his HIV status, and Erin says Brennan never told her. She adds she was laid off from the film 3 days later. She had sex with four people and group scenes with 8 others in that time and did not use condoms. Had she known, she would have stopped doing sex scene and told her partners. Under cross examination, Erin admits she got sex from a boyfriend, not at the pictures, and that she was not forced to have sex for the films, and she also got more money for more acts. She said she would have preferred to use condoms and did not know Joe was an addict when she had sex. She has to admit that contracting HIV was her fault. The defense attorney says that her performing partners assumed the risk of having sex with a person like her, and this comment upsets Erin. She says what the attorney is doing is wrong, she and Brennan are trying to make her look worthless. She said Brennan knew she was sick and tried to kill her so he could keep making money. She said he used her and she is not worthless or trash, she is a person and she deserves to be treated like one.

Afterwards, the defense and Morales argue about the HIV tests and Brennan testing her secretly and that he wanted to protect his business. Morales says these adult actors work legally and pay their rents, they feed their children, and every life has dignity and is worthy of protection. The judge agrees that the people have met their proof and Brennan will be help for trial. TJ looks at Erin and smiles and she seems happy. The defense attorney suggests to Morales that they talk.

Outside the courtroom, Erin thanks her parents for coming. Morales tells them Brennan took a plea and will serve just under 20 years. Her parents say they will take her home to Bakersfield. She comments to them that she will meet them in a minute and she turns to TJ. He asks if she is ready for her new life. She comments “ready or not, right?”  He says Bakersfield isn’t such a long drive. She says it is and she will call him and let him know how she is. As she walks off, Rex approaches TJ and as they watch Erin leave, Rex says, “Let’s get outta here.” As they walk away, we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted

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Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Law & Order SVU Adds Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish to Cast

Several sources report that Danny Pino ("Cold Case") and Kelli Giddish ("Chase") are joining the cast of Law & Order SVU for season 13. They will be series regulars, along with Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Richard Belzer, and Dann Florek.

My initial reaction is not positive. I watched “Cold Case” for the first season and was unimpressed with Pino. I do not think his name or his reputation is big enough to draw in viewers,  or replace the Chris Meloni fans who threaten to bolt next season. I also wasn’t thrilled with Giddish on “Chase” but I admit that I only watched one episode and the show itself was awful.

Does this mean the end of SVU - or will the addition of these two actors keep the show going past season 13? Always the Law & Order fan, I will, of course, continue to watch the show and hope that these new cast members help the series to thrive.



Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order Criminal Intent "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap" Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal

Well, it’s over. Law & Order Criminal Intent closed out the series with a mediocre case in "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap", still,  the ending to the series was satisfying. The case was a “ripped from the headlines” story based on a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg;  in this episode’s fictional case, twin brothers end up dead as as result of a disagreement over who had the idea for the web site "Kizmate."   There was a tease of a possible interesting twist when we saw an attorney – who appeared to be Danielle Melnick (Tovah Feldshuh) but who was never named – consulted with one of the soon to be dead twins. But, that turned out to be a big red herring as her appearance was only in that brief scene that would be have been missed if one blinked.   I was very distracted simply waiting for her to show up again.

The case itself was overshadowed by the fact that I – along with millions of other viewers I’m certain – were simply waiting to find out how the series would wrap up. Fans get a happy ending for Bobby Goren – he’s cleared for duty and just needs to continue his therapy to help him work through his anger and trust issues. When Goren leaves the office, it seems like a weight is off his shoulders. Finding his work partner Eames waiting there with a smile on her face also seemed to make the future seem bright for Goren. I know I felt happy.

My thanks to both Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe for their hard work on Law & Order Criminal Intent and for keeping viewers entertained all these years. The writers made this final season a wonderful send off. Personally, I still have hopes that someday, Goren and Eames will come back to life, maybe even in a short mini-series or TV movie special, or possibly by resurrecting their characters on another incarnation of Law & Order. Both Vincent  and Kathryn made Goren and Eames come to life and seem like real people, and characters like that are hard to come by these days. Goren and Eames are just as iconic to the Law & Order brand as Jack McCoy, and it would be nice to see them out and about again in the Law & Order universe someday.


Here is the recap:

At a nightclub, Rex Tamlyn (James Van Der Beek) tries to calm Danielle Magee (Natalie Gold) about the Gaffneys taking their company “Kizmate” from her. Parker Gaffney (Thad Luckinbill) along with Samir (Manish Dayal) approach Rex and Danielle and make threats about the lawsuit. Rex has them thrown out. Later, Parker talks with an attorney (Danielle Melnick? – Tovah Feldshuh) who tells him she needs evidence to put this over the top and to bring him a smoking gun.

Elsewhere, Danielle and PJ Edwards (Pawel Szajda) talk about the lawsuit and PJ says the Gaffneys can’t fight destiny. But Parker’s twin brother Thomas (Trent Luckinbill) talks to his father (Richard Bekins) about his concerns about the lawsuit and his father says his approach is not the Gaffney way. He adds that he needs to man up and fight or die. Parker comes in and adds that his father is right.

Later, a janitor finds Parker and Thomas dead on the floor in the offices of “Kizmate.” Detectives Bobby Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Alex Eames (Kathryn Erbe) are called to the scene – Eames commenting it’s their first for a case with dead twins. Kizmate is a dating network. The security cameras had been shut down at 7:42 PM. Parker has been stabbed and Goren notices Thomas has heavy perspiration stains and has been dragged away from a pinball machine and thinks one of the dead guys hit his head on the pin ball machine first. They think that as Parker was dragging Thomas’ body, someone killed him.

As the bodies are taken away, Goren and Eames speak with Danielle who claims she doesn’t really know the men or know why they were there. She says Kismet is a romantic networking site and she developed an application that at first she did not know what it was good for. She met PJ when she dropped her wallet and he found it – PJ is the man in the company logo wearing the blue knit cap. He took off and she used her program to track him down and they have been together ever since. She turned her program into a web site.

They detectives speak with Parker and Thomas’ father who said the idea for the web site was Thomas’s and he and Parker met with Danielle to develop it. They boys had different personalities. He insists that Danielle may have come up with the mechanics of the process but it was his son's idea. He was with Thomas that night and he got a phone call after 10 and said he had to leave for a business emergency. He points them to the boys’ business partner, Samir Doss.

At the offices of Samir Doss, the detectives question him about the emergency and he has no idea what the emergency was or why the Gaffneys were at the office. He explains that 2 years ago they had approached Danielle to write code for their site. Six month later she launched the web site and they later asked for their fare share and she would not pay. She knew she was being sued and tells the detectives about the meeting at the nightclub.

The detectives confront Danielle on this matter and she says her lawyer told her not to talk to anyone about the lawsuit. She said she was at home, and PJ walks in - wearing his blue knit cap - and confirms it. Goren notices he is the guy in the ad. PJ is on the board of directors and he seems surprised they are considering they did it. Eames comments that the two alibiing each other does not impress them. Eames mentions the argument at the nightclub and Danielle said PJ was not there, she was there with Rex, a partner in the company and principal strategist.

The detectives head to the club to speak with Rex and Goren sits down next to him and squeezes into Rex’s space. Rex is just into the cash. It was his idea to have Danielle and PJ as the poster kids. Eames outlines what happened with the murder, and Rex say Parker had a major chip on his shoulder and Thomas had nothing to prove, he made millions of his own ideas and think Parker was the one behind the lawsuit. Rex says he was at the club that night and that the lawsuit was nothing and they had no proof. He asks Eames to dance and she passes. After he walks off, they think maybe Parker was in the office looking for proof. Goren also notices everyone dancing and their underarms and sweat and has an idea and that they need to call Rodgers.

Meanwhile, back at Kizmate, Danielle and PJ argue about why he lied to them. He threatens to call the cops and tell them she went along with it. He doesn’t go through with it, and says he is just trying to keep them together.


At the morgue, ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) says that Goren is right, Thomas’s deodorant was on Parker’s hands – it seemed Parker was the one who dragged Thomas, and they think then Parker killed his brother.

Back at Major Case, the detectives explain their theory to Captain Hannah (Jay O. Sanders). They think Parker broke into Kizmate and Thomas got a call from him about it and tried to stop it. They think they got into a fight an Thomas hit his head and Parker was trying to drag Thomas out of the office and then get help. They think Parker was looking for proof for the lawsuit against Danielle.

Back at Samir’s office, he shows them an impression left on a legal paper that Danielle left behind at their meeting which has the algorithm for the site. Goren says they needed to prove the algorithm was the basis for Kizmate and Samir thinks that Parker was probably trying to hack into the Kizmate computer that night. Eames asks for a copy of the doodle. As Samir does this, Eames tells Goren she got a message which told them someone accessed the office with a key card belonging to Hildy Whitmore.

At Major Case, they speak with Hildy (Kellyn Lindsay) who says she didn’t give her card to anyone. She is Danielle’s assistant. Goren questions on when she signed off her computer that nigh and also that the security cameras were turned off 6 minutes after she signed out of her computer. She gets indignant about it and when Goren continues to press, she tells them she is leaving. When she exits the room, Goren comments, “Pants on fire?” and Eames responds, “Totally.”

Elsewhere, Danielle speaks with Rex and he says if she knows what is good for all of them she will keep her mouth shut.

Back at Major Case, their computer tech (who looks like a Goren and Eames lovechild, in my opinion!) shows them how he found the algorithm in the Kizmate source code – the proof they needed. They wonder if Hildy had second thoughts about helping the Gaffneys.

Back at the Kizmate office, the detectives speak with Danielle and tell her about the source code found in her site. She denies stealing the idea from the Gaffneys. As she tries to back away, Goren grabs her arm. But Samir approaches and says Danielle is telling the truth, Danielle was with him the night of the murder and they were together all night.

In Major Case interrogation, Goren questions Samir and he says he was with her not having sex but working out a settlement. He offered her a deal, and the Gaffneys did not know about it, he wanted Danielle on board first. Eames questions Danielle and swears she was with Samir. Eames thinks they both have a motive to win big. Samir says they deal would have meant paying out $37 million but says sometimes you win by surrendering. Goren thinks that by Samir alibiing her, he is alibiing himself and he has the most to gain with the twins out of the way and that is motive. When Samir asks Goren if he is insane, Goren replies , “The jury’s still out on that one.” Samir says he is calling his attorney.

Afterwards, Goren enters the observation room where Cpt. Hanna is watching and listening to Eames question Danielle. Danielle said Parker was ruthless, and hesitates before she said Thomas was too. She says she would do anything to return to her life with PJ.

Back at the office, PJ is incensed that Danielle was trying to make a deal. Rex is with him and he tells them to both chill out. He says they can’t forget why they are there – Kizmate – and that people believe in it so they’d better keep living it.

Back at Major Case, Eames tells Hannah that Samir’s alibi check out but that does not mean Danielle was there with him. It’s worth it to him to lie for her. Hannah thinks Danielle had no financial motive. He wonders who did have the motive, and they look to Rex.

At the Kizmate office, the detectives speak with Rex and confront him and his alibi. Goren makes a comment about Rex being a coke head. They think he went after Hildy that night and they turned off the security camera and later were interrupted by Parker. He says that did not happen and shows them that the security cameras take one last shot (from a cupid hanging on the wall) before being turned off to see who actually shut the cameras off. Only he and Danielle know about it and maybe Danielle told Hildy. When he shows them the image, it appears the camera was covered by a blue knit cap.


Later, with PJ in the Major Case interview room with Goren,  Goren tells him to take off the cap. Goren takes the cap and hangs it on the cupid that had the hidden camera and then confronts him about PJ’s cap hanging on the camera at the time of the murder. When PJ says they can’t prove it is his cap. Goren points outside the room to Hildy, who is sitting down with Eames, and says she can prove it. He accuses PJ of having an affair with Hildy.  Meanwhile, Hildy sees PJ in the room and gets rattled. She asks if she is in a lot of trouble and Eames says yes. Goren continues to press PJ and but PJ won’t budge. Goren says he will get it out of her.

When Goren leaves the room, he tells Hildy he got everything. She caves and says she and PJ have been in a relationship for the past two months and PJ knew how to turn off the security camera but that night they left about 8:30. She knew Parker was going to be there, Parker blackmailed her with her relationship with PJ and Parker threatened to tell Danielle. She could not risk her shares with the company.

The detectives go back to Samir and confront him on having the settlement talks with Danielle the same night that Parker was breaking in to the office. Goren threatens an obstruction charge and he says he had an inkling of what Parker was up to but he advised him against it. He knew Parker was blackmailing Hildy and that she was sleeping with PJ. He thinks Thomas told Parker. Goren tells Samir he wants to send a text for him on his cell phone.

Later, in Central Park, the detectives are there when Danielle arrives, she thinks she is meeting Samir. They tell her they know about the affair and that this is why PJ turned off the security cameras. She said she did not know about it. The detectives don’t buy it. Goren calls what she sells on her web site fluff, and Eames calls it “apps for saps”, Goren adding “caps.” As she storms off, they tell accuse her of telling Thomas about the affair, and then he told Parker who used the information to blackmail Hildy to get access to the office. They accuse her of being in love with Thomas, but she denies it. The detectives say she called him that night after her meeting with Samir using her no name cell phone and that is when Thomas told her Parker is on her way to break in and he was going to stop him. She got there too late and saw Parker standing over Thomas’s body. She says things got so complicated and she questions that he does not believe that true love is possible. Goren says he wants to believe and asks her to make him believe. He asks if that is how she felt about Thomas. She says they were so different but she loved him and he was her true love. Goren says she needs to help him show she would do anything for love, even kill the man who took his life and she was willing to give it all up for Thomas. She admits that she felt she lost everything and Parker blamed her for turning Thomas against him and he came at her. She grabbed scissors from the desk and stabbed him. As Eames cuffs her, Danielle says it was self defense and Eames says they will let a jury sort that out. She says she is sorry. As the officers take her off. Eames comments that they all want to believe in true love.

In the office of Dr. Paula Gyson (Julia Ormond), Goren says she lied to him last week when she said that the sessions are to get to him to know about his own mind but he thinks this is not what it is about as the NYPD is paying her. She says she is trying to help and evaluate him. She thinks right now the job is vital to him and it gives him structure and a sense of purpose. She thinks Goren thinks it is the only thing that defines him and that without the puzzle he does not matter. She adds it is a lie that he has chosen to believe. She asks him to consider that if everyone lies, by definition that has to include him. If that is true, then there is no way he can trust his own judgment, not when he puts the job before the man and there is more to him than that. He asks if she is going to take his job  away, and she says she is going to tell them he is more than capable of holding down his job and that he has anger and trust issues that would benefit from further treatment. He replies he has been to anger management and it has made him angrier. She says he needs to learn how to curb his anger to keep his job and his will be hard but he is smart. When she recommends other therapists, he says he does not want to start with somebody new. She says he will be fine.  She gives him a business card and he takes it and gets up. She asks if he thought about the riddle and the doors, and he continues that one guard heaven and the other hell and if you have one question to ask what would it be. She says what would the other guard say if his is the door - to heaven.    Goren hands her the business card back and then says, “Same time next week?” She replies “OK.” He leaves the room looking happy.

As he exits the building. Eames is outside, waiting next to the car. He calls her by her name Alex (not “Eames”) and she asks how did it go. He tells her that it was good. She also replies “good.” She adds that a call came in, a DOA at a bank on West 44thStreet and the Feds are on the way but she thought they might want to…and he finishes the sentence along with her, saying “…get there first.” They both smile and there is a pregnant pause. She gets in the car in the driver’s seat and he gets in the passenger seat. They look at each other, and he says, “Let’s go!” They both smile and seem happy,  and as their car drives down the street, we fade to black.


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Law & Order Criminal Intent – The Musical?

If Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe really did a musical for Law & Order Criminal Intent, here’s my idea of what the trailer would look like.





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Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe Appear on The Today Show

In case you missed it – here’s a video of Law & Order Criminal Intent’s Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe as they appeared on "The Today Show" on Saturday, June 25, 2011.




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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe Say Goodbye To Law & Order CI

Here’s a short video where Law & Order Criminal Intent’s Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe bid farewell to the series – and also thank the fans for their support.




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Law & Order CI Finale:James Van Der Beek Behind the Scenes Video

Here is a behind the scenes look at the series finale of Law & Order Criminal Intent, "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap" which will air on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 9:00 PM ET on USA Network. The clip features guest star James Van Der Beek.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap" can be found at this link.




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Friday, June 24, 2011

A Tribute to the 10th Season of Law & Order Criminal Intent

From Wolf Films, here’s a tribute to the 10th season of Law & Order Criminal Intent.




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Law & Order UK: Jamie Bamber on DS Matt Devlin

(Source: ITV publicity)

Jamie Bamber is 
DS Matt Devlin

Jamie Bamber admits he was shocked by some of the storylines in this series, but not necessarily the most apparent ones.

"Some of the cases are so out there; random events causing other eventualities. The initial intent of someone's actions can have far-reaching repercussions down the line which can end in the death of someone completely unconnected," explains Jamie.

"Law & Order: UK tells so many stories, each episode, every series there are so many characters and some of the stories we are exposed are very shocking to me for obvious reasons but recently I find the unfortunate ones more shocking.

"We think we're in control of our lives, making sound choices but on a daily basis we are involved, through no fault of our own, because we are living in a community. We've done horrible cases where people are truly evil and those are harrowing but I always think that wouldn’t happen to me because I'm not a sociopath I don't hang out with these people. Fortunately in my life I haven't encountered evil but what is scary is that random, apparently innocuous behaviour that nonetheless can inflict great harm.

"In series five there is someone so drunk he can't remember killing two people. Things like that I find genuinely appalling, when people aren't out and out evil but end up doing something horrendous. You wonder how that could happen to functioning human beings.

"Then there is the kid on the estate dealing drugs, in with the wrong crowd who ends up killing someone not remotely involved with their gangs. I find this the most shocking living so cheek-by-jowl in this big city and inevitably one man's actions can affect another."

Talking about his successful on-screen partnership with Bradley Walsh, Jamie says: "I'm thrilled viewers like our partnership. The chemistry comes from the fact that Brad and I really enjoy being together. There's a joy that comes from being in someone's company like that whilst working. We have got lot of interests in common, enjoy a lot of the same things in life and we like each other. Brad is hilarious. I've just enjoyed watching him, going see him in panto; his whole life experience is fascinating to me.

"I have also learnt tonnes from him. Because he has a comedy background he has an incredibly technical mind; he senses rhythms and speech patterns and is always talking about trigger words. He can sniff out why a scene is not lifting off the page, maybe because the information is coming across in the wrong part of speech. Brad directs and writes when he does panto. At times I tease him that he is verging on being anal, you can go too far but a slice of life can be a good thing in this business. And his comic timing is second to none."

Talking about the challenges of filming in the capital, Jamie says:" Certain episodes are easier to shoot because of location and other pose bigger challenges. For one episode we were filming on a condemned estate in Elephant and Castle. That was very eerie; the skeleton of people's very recent lives all around and still some families holding out there. It was hard because we were witnessing a failed urban community - one waiting to be knocked down, that is sad to see. We shoot in flats where they are still pictures on the walls. Why didn't it work? This is the kind of show Law & Order is; it asks the question 'what went wrong here?'

"Then the next week it's all mock Georgian mansions in Surrey footballer's wives territory. All varieties of people dealt with and we throw ourselves into the chaos of life."

And Jamie particularly relished working with the American director Marisol Adler, who has also worked on the US franchise.

"Marisol was so keen and positive and she had such great energy. It was so interesting to have her thoughts having worked on both shows. Because I have worked a lot in the States, I was used to working her way rather than the British way so it was good to have someone from same background. Things I thought we could be doing, she seamlessly fitted in.

"There are different styles of directing and in the US since film is used less and less they don't tend to cut between takes. The ethos being the crew do their work but once you start rolling it belongs to the director and actors. And Marisol liked to use more cameras when shooting. The creator of Law & Order, Dick Wolf famously said the camera is the third cop in the show, so fast moving camera work really adds to the feel. Series five is a lot pacier which feels natural for our half of the show."


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Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

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Law & Order UK: Freema Agyeman on Alesha Phillips, Crown Prosecutor

(Source: ITV publicity)

Freema Agyeman is
 Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips

Freema Agyeman was very pleased to have fellow Dr Who alumnus, Peter Davison join her in Law&Order: UK.

"I had previously met Peter at the Monte Carlo Film and TV Festival a few years back. I was there with a Dr Who producer who had been nominated and while he was off fulfilling his press requirements I spent a lot of time in Peter’s family set up," she recalls. "He was there with his wife and children and they invited me to join them for dinners and lunches; he completely scooped me up and welcomed me into his fold.

"So having that prior experience of him and of course the Dr Who connection I was over the moon when he joined the cast. Peter has such a youthfulness about him, a great sense of humour and such a great general attitude towards life so it's really been a joy.

"Dominic was a little bit worried he wouldn’t be able to understand our Gallifrey speak. But we don’t talk about it a lot so we don’t leave him out!

"Dominic and I are like fire and ice; we couldn’t be more different. He is like the furious older brother and I’m the slightly mad, hyperactive younger sister. He is so dry and so witty; it's been like peeling the layers from an onion, learning more about his personality every day. He is such a gentle soul and I really enjoyed working with him. And he brings something different to the show and certainly looks the part in that wig and gown which can make people look comedic but really suits him."

Talking about her character, Alesha's relationship with new colleague Jake Thorne, Freema says: "I think Alesha feels mild irritation towards Jake a lot of the time, which I like to think is homage to her strong feelings about James Steel. The nature of the show is to move forward and it is about the job not their personal lives, but I like to feel the change is not simply a complete substitution without it being marked in her mind. However they do have to work as a team. Alesha also seems to show a level of amusement towards Jake at times, which gives her a more mature appearance - almost like a wry smiling parent.

"She certainly comes across as the more patient and wiser of the two on occasion which is a different dynamic. It was a nice change. I think there is a power balance shift within the new team. That means different requirements for me as her level of involvement has increased. I sense a real equality between Jake and Alesha; he is in a senior role but she has been there longer so that balances their dynamic a little bit. With Henry she has a father figure, a calm, patriarchal devil's advocate but with all three it feels on more of an even keel with the new line up.

"That is great for me as an actress as my participation is upped. Alesha unearths new facts by looking for those shades of grey. She is the liberal voice and does let her emotions inform her decisions but that's great as we all have a different role to play but within that we get character developments. The audience will get a strong sense of the three of them being a team while still hearing their individual voices. It is nice after four series knowing who you are but being allowed to evolve."

Pinpointing her favourite episode of the series, Freema says: "Episode three, Crush, where Alesha is a little bit more at the helm was really enjoyable to film. Jake is unavailable so Alesha cross-examines a key witness. Typically she goes with her gut instinct and something is bothering her about that case. In the real legal world, someone in the position she is in, a junior, would be doing the plea and case managements, the bail hearings and within bigger trials the paperwork but in our world of drama Alesha gets to do the digging and the background work, the witness interviews and is sort of a bridge between the cops and the CPS.

"The other characters know that she is a bit like a dog with a bone. And if she gets an instinct about something she will want to follow it but there is a really nice moment in this episode where she is putting that forward and Henry says she can look into it in her own time. It's a nice moment in their relationship; he doesn’t just lay down the law, but gives her this free rein to do what she does best. Jake isn't best pleased in that scene, there is very much a kind of sibling like rivalry between them, an element of competition that crops up at times.

"This episode is an example of why the show continues to interest me. When you go to a script read-through you never know what angle the storyline will take. Law&Order does have a format but it can vary whether it's a case of law; how you actually prosecute someone, or a whodunit or a massive twist that exposes everything in a different light. It keeps things interesting."

Concludes Freema: "So much has changed this series but what I honestly felt proud of was when guest actors said this is one of nicest jobs they've done. You feel a sense of pride like you've had someone round your house for dinner! There is a real leveller whether you are the guest star or doing one scene because the show moves at such a pace you have to nail it every time.

"Personally I really enjoyed working with Penny Downey whose recurring character is this formidable defence lawyer, Rachel Matheson. She is so strong and characterful in the part but because she is so lovely I think her likeability spills over into the character. She gives the CPS such a hard time but Alesha has a soft spot for her nonetheless. Plus she is so much fun to have on set."

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Law & Order UK: Bradley Walsh on DS Ronnie Brooks

(Source: ITV publicity)

Bradley Walsh is 
DS Ronnie Brooks

Bradley Walsh is back playing DS Ronnie Brooks, a down to earth copper who is married to the force.

Bradley believes he and Jamie Bamber are lucky to have great on-screen chemistry as police partnership Brooks and Devlin.

"I think maybe it works because they’re so different in their original upbringing. I think Matt’s an intelligent lad whose education was good and he’s come from what we deem to be a well-to-do family. They are very pleased he is in the force and has done so well. Whereas Ronnie is an ordinary, mainstream council estate boy who has grown up amongst villains and decided he wants to be part of the upholding of the law. But he still sees a lot of himself in Matt and that is pretty important. You can see the respect Matt has for Ronnie and it is evident that they make a good team," says Bradley.

"Ronnie sees Matt as the son he never had. People forget but Ronnie has a difficult relationship with his family because of his drinking and the bad memories they have of him, so his work colleagues are his family and Matt is his son and they have this wonderful blokey type relationship going on. Some of it is very light hearted, although he appreciates Matt’s more gung-ho approach he thinks he gets too involved. Ronnie believes you've got to look at it subjectively, his view is this is the job, don’t get too involved and that juxtaposition of character really helps.

"Matt has an eye for the girls too, he's always chatting them up making Ronnie think 'here we go again'. I could never imagine them meeting outside of work though. Ronnie doesn’t want to go to the pub or meet women. It would just be awful for any lady to undertake. He's already had two disastrous marriages and at this stage in his life he is honest enough to think 'this is no life for a wife'. Sometimes he gets to work at 7am and wouldn't get home till 4am because of a case. The force is his third marriage and he's happy for things to stay that way."

One storyline in particular had an affect on Bradley's character Ronnie in series five.

He explains: "An episode called Safe in which a little boy goes missing and his mum is in pieces. Ronnie looks on her as if she were one of his own daughters and he wants to help but this is one time he gets far too involved. Ronnie gets sucked in and ends up being used which he doesn’t appreciate. I like that it shows the sort of bloke he is; nice.

"Ronnie is genuinely and generally a very nice man because of his troubled past. He wants to help people and he sees this young girl and blindly walks into all sorts of situations whereas he should really have stood back and dealt with the case from a neutral perspective. That was a sad episode to do."

And how does Ronnie feel about his new counterparts at the CPS?

"Ronnie immediately takes to Jacob; he likes his forthright attitude and knows where he stands with him. Also the first thing Jacob says to him is “West Ham supporter? Bad luck”. Ronnie likes that banter.

"And with the new cast changes we are mirroring the way the series works in the US. Regular cast changes ¬sustain the drama. That is why the show has lasted so long in the States. Law & Order is a great franchise and long may it reign."

Bradley only had one major problem while filming the last series; puddings.

"I've got a terrible weakness for sweet things and our caterers make wonderful puddings. Sometimes I'd just have a tiny salad to start then two helpings of dessert. I love their custard; they even save the skin for me. And their apple crumble…It's just my luck that Ronnie also has a sweet tooth as he is a recovering alcoholic and craves the sugar. I have a huge jar of jelly beans on my desk at the police station but this series I have been really good, I haven't touched one. I'm proud of myself."

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Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order UK: Harriet Walter on DI Natalie Chandler

(Source: ITV publicity)

Harriet Walter is 
DI Natalie Chandler

Harriet Walter believes having worked with new Law & Order: UK co-star Peter Davison before it gave the pair a head start in their scenes together.

"You get a sense of history between Natalie Chandler and Henry Sharpe, says Harriet. "He's got a very different way of working from Bill Paterson's character George Castle, the former director of the CPS. He seems to have a different style and a different dynamic within his team.

"It's interesting as my character interacts with different heads of the CPS and when Natalie meets him there is a sense of history that they've worked together before. A sense of two leaders of their teams confiding in one another in a way that cuts out a lot of chat and gets right to the point.

"He certainly affords her a certain respect for her way of doing things. He allows her the time to do things her own way.

"I've worked with Peter a couple of times on Dr Who and we also played husband and wife in a Channel 4 film so perhaps we are building on that history; using that prior knowledge to add atmosphere to the part."

Harriet continues: "With the other new character in the CPS, Jacob Thorne, Natalie is withholding judgement. He seems younger than James Steel and less confrontational although still forthright. I think Natalie is still waiting to find out more about him, she hasn't quite got a handle on him yet. She is not quite sure of where they stand.

"There is a natural tension between the police and judiciary. We are all ultimately working towards the same cause but there are times when the police know full well they've got their person but so often the prosecution is less straight forward and the CPS make demands on the police to go back and do something again.

"It can be frustrating when they can't prosecute for lack of evidence or because a defence lawyer throws in a left field tackle. We see that frustration in the legal team but rarely revisit the police to see how it takes its toll on them."

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Law & Order UK: Emilia di Girolamo, Lead Writer

Law & Order fans don’t always get much information on those people who work the show off screen, so here’s a short Q&A that gives some background on lead writer Emilia di Girolamo.

(Source: ITV publicity)

Emilia di Girolamo
Lead Writer

As ever the storylines are hard hitting and all set in very different worlds. There are some emotional, some shocking and some terrifyingly close to home…

"This season we really delve into our regular characters’ lives and explore the emotional impact these cases have on our heroes. Both Matt and Ronnie go on huge personal journeys this season and I love where these seven stories take them. We also do a Law & Order UK first and close the season with a two-parter. Having two hours rather than one to tell a story with our regulars was an exciting challenge and I’m very glad I got to write both episodes. I’m immensely proud of the double bill - Deal and Survivor’s Guilt – which not only explore some of the most challenging territory we’ve ever covered but also feature stunning performances from Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber and guest actor, the utterly brilliant, Charles Mnene.

"There’s plenty of topical issues raised throughout the season from a gun rampage, the death of a child under the eye of social services to gun toting child drug dealers. We can boast a whole host of fabulous guest stars too – James Fox, Lesley Manville, Colin Salmon, Greg Wise, Lucy Speed and Patricia Potter to name but a few."

Is this your dream job? You have admitted in the past to being a huge Law&Order fan.

"I am a huge Law & Order fan and watched the mothership religiously for 20 years so landing the job as lead writer and co-producer on Law & Order: UK was a dream come true. I think all those episodes have seeped into my veins and I find writing for the show as easy as breathing. I don’t think there’s another UK writer quite as geeky as me when it comes to Law & Order! I’m also a huge fan of Law & Order Special Victims Unit and their more emotional style of storytelling has definitely been an influence on my writing for Law & Order: UK and this season as a whole."

How has your background, working in prisoner rehabilitation, helped you as a writer?

"I worked in prison for eight years and have a PhD in the rehabilitation of offenders using drama based techniques. It was an incredible experience and brought me into contact with some unique characters. The work I did varied but ultimately it was about examining an offender’s story – what brought them to prison, what they did, why they did it, what they could have done differently and rehearsing for change so they could become equipped with the skills to recognise trigger points and stop themselves re-offending. Inevitably my experience of working with offenders has had a profound affect on my writing.

"I spent years working with people who had done terrible things and getting to the heart of why they offended. I stepped into some very dark places and got a glimpse of a side of humanity most writers probably never see. It’s left me with a need to tell stories in a very honest, open and emotional way. I like to be as truthful as possible when writing about offending behavior because there are a whole stack of clichés TV crime writers seem to rely on and they just become accepted as real. I think in terms of my episodes of Law & Order: UK we’ve made some brave decisions in our representation of offenders and their behavior and we strive to avoid those crime show clichés."


Do you find yourself drawn to gruesome or puzzling crime stories on the news and in the papers wondering how you could work various elements into storylines?

"I like to be true to the original concept of the mothership but then it’s about going on a journey with that idea and telling a story I want to tell. I don’t have any desire to write docudrama so documenting a real crime case using our regulars doesn’t appeal to me. But taking a topical issue, for example, the death of a child on the at risk register, as in Safe, and then exploring how and why that might happen or who is to blame, in a fictional context, does. It means I can explore topical, difficult territory and say something I hope our audience will care about."


How closely do your scripts resemble the US originals? Do you ever find having to adapt existing storylines restrictive or have you made these very much your own?

"All the writers work differently but in general there is very little left from the US originals and anyone who avoids our show because they watched the original and thinks they’ll know who the killer is should give us a go. Even where some elements of the original US episode remain, the killer isn’t always the same. I’ve written 10 episodes in all now and I actually found adapting really liberating. I always choose episodes which feel relevant to a UK audience and where I have something I want to say about our society. But I really only use the original script as a starting point – a theme or story idea I want to explore – and then I make it absolutely my own."

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Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order UK: Dominic Rowan on Jake Thorne, Senior Crown Prosecutor

(Source: ITV publicity)
Dominic Rowan is 
Senior Crown Prosecutor Jake Thorne

Playing Senior Crown Prosecutor Jake Thorne certainly had an effect on Dominic Rowan; he started to cross-examine in his sleep!

"Apparently I wasn't cross-examining a particular witness but I was lodging 'an objection my lord' in my sleep, which I have no recall of," says Dominic. "Because of a relatively tight schedule and courtroom scenes between me and a witness, which can be four or five pages long, I was drumming the lines into my head so I had flexibility and always knew what was coming up. I must have been rehearsing it in my sleep because I wanted to be sure I could do it well. Luckily the sleep prosecuting didn't last.

"In the first episode I had James Fox in the witness box and we had a four and a half page duologue which was fantastic but a bit nerve wracking. It was tricky because not only was there 'legalese' but as he was playing a doctor, medical terminology too but he was great and very professional and we just got on with it."

Talking about his character Dominic explains: "Jake has only recently joined the CPS. He had previously been practicing as a Treasury Council prosecutor, but his heart wasn’t completely in it. He is an only child, whose father died when he was very young and he never forged a particularly strong relationship with his mother. She sent him to boarding school which gave him a measure of self- reliance and a strong sense of right and wrong.

"Alesha asks of him 'Is there no grey in your world?' But Jake believes there’s a time for that in the pub over a drink, not in the law. He has a strong sense of purpose in the job of convicting people. His mantra is about people making a choice. He is less in favour of mitigating circumstances; he may be sorry about a defendant's background but he believes ultimately they had a choice.

"He is tough and while Alesha wants to know context for people's actions he is more concerned at prosecuting them for what they did not why they did it.He will always push for the harshest sentence possible and use every means he can to convict. I also think Jake is quite competitive and wants to prove his self- worth, fight his way up. His sense of making sure people do the time for the crime attracted him to the CPS; he wants to see justice done but is not shy of using techniques to win if he finds a sneaky route.

"It was useful to learn about the relationship between the CPS and the police during my research. The creation of the CPS caused resentment in some quarters which was helpful to know. I have scenes where I go and see the coppers to hear what evidence they have and charges they have made but it is then my say whether we go ahead with a prosecution or not. Being aware of that status helped as Jake has a run in early with Ronnie Brooks where he is telling Jake 'you can’t drop a murder charge to manslaughter; you couldn't do this if you had kids.' But it doesn’t matter to Jake, it wouldn’t make any difference as to how he does his job. And that’s not how the law works. The police get very close to it, they see disturbing scene of crime stuff but ultimately they present to the CPS who make those final decisions."

Talking about his character's relationship with colleague Alesha Phillips, Dominic continues: "Initially when putting a case to the boss, Henry Sharpe, the prosecutors have to argue the relative merits of the evidence they have. There are a couple of case in the series, particularly ones involving children, where Alesha says we need to know why this is happening so we can stop it and Jake has a waspish response about it being time to put away the liberal text books. Alesha was close to James Steel and he was more crusading in his approach so we tend to spark off each other initially. I’m not dismissive of her but am a bit abrupt. Jake is adamant that officers of the court are not social workers and her attitude gives him something to butt up against.

"But although he is a bit grumpy with her at times, Jake realises her abilities and although he might not agree with her opinions, he can’t argue with her results. In her investigations Alesha finds out crucial bits of evidence which means he can do his job. So there is respect, to the point where we have this scene when I am about to cross-examine a witness and I am practicing on Alesha who says my approach is too harsh. Jake trusts her opinion and encourages her to cross-examine on his behalf. He thinks she has the ability and certainly doesn’t treat her like a junior partner. They still have a bit of knockabout with each other and Alesha puts him in his place."

Dominic is no stranger to legal dramas…

"Ten years ago I did a Channel 4 drama called North Square and that was the last time I had visited the wig makers Ede and Ravenscroft to get a wig and gown. I defy anybody to look good in a wig, so it wasn't something I relished. This time after trying on many wigs I had a new one but it looked too new apparently so Sam in make-up had to rough it up a bit for me. The barristers carry them around; sling them in a box or a locker. Wearing the wig is second nature to me now. But it doesn't get any more comfortable. The courtroom set in Law&Order: UK is a climate control room but they can’t control it so by the end of the day I am melting under the wig."

Dominic wasn't a Law&Order devotee when he landed the part but is looking forward to a box set marathon.

"When I got the job I hadn’t seen the series as I'd been doing a lot of theatre …it is one of those things if you’ve watched, it's quite compulsive. But when I got the audition I did a compare and contrast and there is a tonal difference. In America it seemed as though everybody who came into the room was as important as everybody else. Status levels didn’t seem that different. In Law & Order: UK it seems people are deferring to other characters a lot more. I didn’t want to watch too much of the UK series after I had the strange experience of learning a scene for a cross-examination then turning on the telly and seeing Ben Daniels doing a cross-examination.

"Ben and I had done a couple of plays together at The National Theatre; The Three Sisters in which he played a proud, alpha male character and I was an overweight boy who hid away, and brothers in Iphigenia at Aulis when he was the warrior hero and I was a jumped up oik. So having played the minor to his major in those then seeing him in full flow I thought it best not to watch any more! But it felt nice knowing him and having the baton passed on. I’d love him to come back and be a defence barrister opposite me…but only if I won."


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Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order UK: Peter Davison As Henry Sharpe, Director of the CPS

(Source: ITV publicity)

Peter Davison is 
Director of the CPS Henry Sharpe

Peter Davison is currently playing two lawmen; Professor Callahan on stage in Legally Blonde the musical and Henry Sharpe, new director of the Crown Prosecution Service in Law & Order: UK.

"They don't really compare at all; there is a stark contrast between Callahan in Legally Blonde, who is very successful but rather arrogant and enjoys the power trip of lording it over his students, and Henry Sharpe who is driven by the pursuit of justice," says Peter.

"My career seems to go in phases. I've gone through the doctor phase, the policeman phase and I'm now in the lawyer phase!" he laughs.

"If I had to follow one of these professions I would probably be a barrister as it is the closest thing to being an actor – the theatricality of it; all that performing in court. Being a barrister seems a bit like being in Parliament; opposing sides shouting at each other in court, or in the House, then propping up the bar together afterwards, leaving animosity behind.

"And there is something endlessly fascinating about the juggling of law versus justice to get a result."

Playing the director of the CPS, Peter is very aware of the importance of the end result.

"Getting a result is an issue that keeps affecting my character. And sometimes it is about compromising. Sometimes he knows they're not prosecuting the defendant for the right crime but they might have to be content with that because he can't risk wasting the tax payer's money. So if it means getting a conviction for manslaughter as opposed to losing a trial for murder then so be it. He needs the guilty verdict. Consequently they can only prosecute when confident about the result.

"Ultimately Henry wants justice out of the process. He is driven by the pursuit of truth and justice to work in the CPS because it's not about money. If you're good you have to be very dedicated because if you had your own firm the money would drive your ambition."

Talking about his character, Henry Sharpe, Peter explains: "I think Henry is a good boss. He is very inclusive and listens to what his team say to him. He is not aggressive but if he has to he'll tell them off and put them on the right track. There is no dark side to him. He is in a position of power and trust for a good reason. I think he's an amiable man. He has made a career of this and thinks he is doing a good job. He can be tough when it is needed and he has to be pretty tough to be in that position.

"What troubles him is this feeling that he can't waste money – it's that Daily Mail headline he lives in fear of. He has to think about public reaction and opinion.

"The reality of the situation is it's a game of cat and mouse. The defence barristers will do anything to get their clients off, so occasionally Henry and his team have to bend the rules a bit to even the playing field. They may bend the rules to get justice and that is what has always fascinated me; the difference between law and justice, because they are really not the same thing at all. The law can get someone off quite easily meaning justice isn't served."

Star of many a successful TV series himself, Peter is now a big fan of the Law & Order franchise.

"What's so great about Law & Order: UK, is that for us it is almost completely about the case that develops from the crime to the courtroom. We don't waste time on the other stuff.

"I had to stop watching the show when I got the part as I saw my character's predecessor, George Castle on screen and started worrying as I had to step into Bill Paterson's shoes!

"I think it is a good series with empathetic characters. From the point of view of a leading character you want to feel what the audience feels. For the most part I play fairly nice people.

"Dangerous Davies, my character in the Last Detective, was doing the best he could but Henry has more on his shoulders. I try to make him a bit more human. I imagine him a bit like my uncle John who worked in the city. At home you would never believe he was a city high flyer because he was an amiable and happy family man. I like to think of Henry as having a house full of teenage children and a rather eccentric wife!"

Talking of his new team Peter adds: "It has been fun working with Freema and Dominic and they are both excellent actors. Freema's character, more than anyone, gets to the heart of the cases. Her position is to raise the questions and nudge us in the ribs. I met her while she was still doing Dr Who, my children were very taken with her – we are big fans of the show. She helped me out with a video for a Dr Who convention.

"Dr Who is a prestigious programme now, a front runner for the BBC. I'm very happy for Matt Smith to have usurped me as the youngest ever Dr Who – they all seem to be getting younger and younger."

Peter's own daughter Georgia has recently had a daughter with fiancée former Dr Who, David Tennant.

He smiles: "Being a granddad again is great. This is my first grandchild who will be separated in age from her cousins (Peter's two sons are around the same age as Georgia's son). I love little babies so it is nice to go round and be a grandpa. It is a fun role and one I enjoy."

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Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.