If you’re looking for a new drama to replace Happy Valley in your life, you might want to try Better, a new Leeds-set crime drama which is coming to BBC One this February.
The series, which stars I Hate Suzie’s Leila Farzad and Industry’s Andrew Buchan, follows a police officer trying to end her working relationship with a local organized crime group – a group that’d much prefer to maintain their status quo.
Here’s everything you need to know about Better ahead of its release on BBC One.
What is it about?
The official BBC One synopsis for Better explains that the series “explores the complex and powerful bonds of loyalty and family, set in a world where everyone has their own version of right and wrong.”
“Nineteen years ago, when DI Lou Stacks was a young police officer at her lowest ebb and Col McHugh 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. But now, when Lou’s family is brought to the brink of a tragedy, she must put right the wrongs that she has spent years rationalising and excusing, to have a second chance at a new, better life.”
Who stars in Better?
Leila Farzad plays DI Lou Slack, a corrupt police officer wrestling with her conscience. Farzad is best known for starring in I Hate Suzie, where she plays Suzie Pickles’ best friend/publicist Naomi Jones, but you might also recognise her from Armando Iannucci’s space comedy Avenue 5.
Andrew Buchan plays Col McHugh, head of the criminal underworld in Leeds. Buchan is probably still best known for playing Mark Latimer in Broadchurch, but you might also recognise him from more recent roles in This England, Genius: Picasso, and Industry.
They’re joined by Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders) as Ceri, Zak Ford-Williams (Wolfe) as Owen, Olivia Nakintu (Vera) as Esther, and Anton Lesser (Andor, The Crown) as Vernon amongst others.
Who writes and directs?
Better was created by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, who co-wrote each episode together. Brackley and Vincent are best known for their work on spy drama Spooks, and as the creators of sci-fi drama Humans.
Jonathan Brough (The End, Rosehaven) serves as lead director on Better, with Pier Wilkie (Doctors) helming episode 4.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, there is! You can watch it right here.
When and how can I watch it?
Better begins on Monday 13 February at 9pm on BBC One, with every episode available to watch and stream as part of a boxset on BBC iPlayer.
How many episodes are there?
Better is a five-part drama, with each episode around an hour long.
Where is it set?
Better was set and shot entirely in and around Leeds and West Yorkshire, which you can read more about here.
Why should I watch Better?
It’s one to check out if you enjoy morally murky dramas about corrupt police officers in difficult situations, or if you’re a fan of Vincent and Brackley’s previous work on Humans. You can read our review of the series right here.