On 22 April 1993, Stephen Lawrence was waiting for a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks when he was approached and fatally stabbed by a group of white men in a racially motivated attack.
Despite an initial investigation, and a private prosecution initiated by Lawrence’s family, however, all five of the case’s prime suspects had had their charges dropped or been acquitted of murder by 1996.
It was only later, in 1998, that the Lawrence’s fight for justice led to a public inquiry into the case, which found that the Metropolitan Police Service was institutionally racist, brought changes to the law and police practices and transformed public understanding of racial inequality in the UK. However, six years on from the fallout of that inquiry in 2006, still no progress had been made in Stephen’s case.
It’s at this point in the Lawrences’ fight for justice that the new ITV drama, Stephen, picks up the story. The three-part series, which is a sequel to ITV’s 1999 drama The Murder Of Stephen Lawrence, stars Sharlene Whyte, Steve Coogan and Hugh Quarshie, and will air on ITV later this year.
Here’s everything we know about the new drama so far.
What is Stephen about?
After the aftermath of the public inquiry into Lawrence’s case brought them no closer to securing justice for their son’s murder, Doreen and Neville Lawrence worked closely with a detective to put together yet another investigation into the case, which eventually led to the conviction of two of the original five suspects. And it’s the work that went into getting these convictions that forms the heart of Stephen.
As the official synopsis reads: “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 secures the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen.”
Who stars in Stephen?
Sharlene Whyte, who most recently starred in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe, will play Doreen Lawrence, while Hugh Quarshie (known for his recurring role on Holby City) will reprise his role as Neville Lawrence from the original drama.
Steve Coogan will also join the cast as DCI Clive Driscoll.
Who is behind Stephen?
Stephen is being produced by HTM Television, Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio’s production company, and executive produced by Mark Redhead, who produced the original drama back in 1999.
Jimmy Mulville and Jed Mercurio will also service as executive producers, and the script is being written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Joe Cottrell Boyce.
The drama is also being made with the full support of the Lawrence family, including Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Dr Neville Lawrence, who have given the drama their blessing.
Is there a trailer for Stephen?
A first-look trailer for the series was released on Twitter last week. You can watch it below:
We’ll bring you the latest news about Stephen when we get it, so stay tuned for more updates.
Images: HTM Television/ITV
As Stylist’s junior digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.