In Defence

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In Defence
Genre Legal
Created by Mike Cullen
Written by
  • Maxwell Young
  • Abigail Fray
Directed by
  • Roy Battersby
  • Simon Massey
Composer(s) Debbie Wiseman
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 4 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Susan Hogg
  • Simon Lewis
Producer(s) Helen Gregory
Production location(s) London, United Kingdom
Cinematography James Aspinall
  • Anne Sopel
  • David Spiers
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) Granada Television
Original network ITV
Picture format 16:9
Audio format Stereo
Original release 26 June (2000-06-26) –
17 July 2000 (2000-07-17)

In Defence is a four-part British television legal drama series, created and partially written by Mike Cullen, that first broadcast on ITV on 26 June 2000.[1] The series stars Ross Kemp and Sophie Okonedo, and follows Sam Lucas (Kemp), a lawyer and legal detective, who takes it upon himself to investigate cases where the police have failed to uncover enough evidence to secure a conviction. The series was co-written by Maxwell Young and Abigail Fray, and was initially billed as a "star-vehicle" for Kemp, as part of a "golden handcuffs" deal to lure Kemp away from the BBC.[2] The series broadcast weekly until 17 July 2000.[3]

The first episode drew in just over seven million viewers, although by the end of this series, figures had dropped to just 4.9 million.[4] Poor ratings led to the series being axed by ITV, which in turn led to discussions regarding Kemp's contract with the broadcaster. However, following the success of Without Motive, a fellow ITV stablemate which Kemp filmed concurrently alongside In Defence, his contract was renewed, with a second series of Without Motive commissioned.[2] The series has yet to be released on DVD, and remains unrepeated since its initial broadcast.


In Defence was co-produced by Helen Gregory and Louise Mutter through Granada Television, and was one of a number of projects commissioned by the broadcaster as "star vehicles" for Ross Kemp.[2] Each of the four episodes in the series begins by outlining details of a specific crime committed, before Lucas attempts to gather further evidence and bring the perpetrator to justice.[2]

Despite rumours that a second series was in the pipeline, no further episodes were produced, and in November 2000, the series was axed by ITV's then head-of-drama, Nick Elliott.[2] A behind-the-scenes documentary, Best Defence, directed by filmmaker Peter Markham, was broadcast alongside the series, detailing the journey from commission to production, as well as interviews with the cast and behind the scenes footage from the set.[5]




Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

  • Idris Elba as PC Paul Fraser[8]
  • Jason Pitt as PC Steve Breeze
  • Ian McElhinney as DCS David Dillne
  • Vincent Pickering as DS Frank Burns
  • Nick Day as DCI Brian Minter
  • Timothy Davies as William Cole QC

Episode 4


Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1 "Episode 1" Mike Cullen Roy Battersby 7.03 26 June 2000 (2000-06-26)
Sources list the title of this episode as "Segment 3".[9]
2 "Episode 2" Maxwell Young Roy Battersby 5.75 3 July 2000 (2000-07-03)
Sam investigates when a prisoner being incarcerated as a result of a police cover-up leads to an innocent man being arrested.
3 "Episode 3" Abigail Fray Simon Massey 5.63 10 July 2000 (2000-07-10)
A policeman is framed for suffocating a prisoner by his seemingly racist colleagues, and it falls to Sam to prove his innocence.
4 "Episode 4" Mike Cullen Simon Massey 4.91 17 July 2000 (2000-07-17)


  1. ^ a b "In Defence [26/06/2000]". BFI. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "ITV orders new run of Ross Kemp drama". The Guardian. 27 November 2000. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "In Defence [17/07/2000]". BFI. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Best Defence (2000)". BFI. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e "In Defence (TV Series 2000)". IMDb. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  7. ^ "In Defence [03/07/2000]". BFI. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  8. ^ "In Defence [10/07/2000]". BFI. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  9. ^ "In Defence – Season 1, Episode 1 – Segment 3". Retrieved 17 November 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)

External links

  • In Defence on IMDb
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