Desperate Measures: Channel 5 release date, trailer, and cast with Amanda Abbington and Warren Brown

Amanda Abbington, Sunetra Sarker, and Warren Brown star in Channel 5’s new crime thriller Desperate Measures, starting this February

Desperate Measures, a new crime thriller starring Amanda Abbington, is coming to Channel 5 this February.

The series, which also stars Luther’s Warren Brown and Ackley Bridge’s Sunetra Sarker, follows a woman driven to, well, desperate measures when her son’s life is threatened.

Here’s everything you need to know before watching Desperate Measures.

What is it about?

The official Channel 5 synopsis explains that Desperate Measures follows “diligent bank clerk Rowan, who has raised her teenage son Finn on a lawless estate whilst paying off her absent father’s debts. Rowan’s life spirals when Finn is coerced into a botched drug deal by a local gang.”

“With Finn’s life on the line and a violent gang leader encroaching on her life, Rowan is faced with recuperating the money that Finn lost. Desperate to save her son and having exhausted all options, Rowan commits to a dangerous heist at the bank she works in.”

Who stars in Desperate Measures?

Amanda Abbington as Rowan in Desperate Measures, surrounded by falling bank notes (Credit: Channel 5)Amanda Abbington as Rowan in Desperate Measures, surrounded by falling bank notes (Credit: Channel 5)
Amanda Abbington as Rowan in Desperate Measures, surrounded by falling bank notes (Credit: Channel 5)

Amanda Abbington plays Rowan, a bank clerk planning a heist to save her son. You’ll recognise Abbington from performances in Sherlock, We Are Not Alone, Wolfe, The Unfriend, I Hate Suzie, and The Family Pile.

Sunetra Sarker plays Varisha, Rowan’s loyal best-friend and co-worker. Sarker is probably best known for appearing in Ackley Bridge, but you might also know her for performances in Cold Feet and Casualty.

Warren Brown plays Rowan’s ex-partner Patrick, a career criminal who she reconnects with in order to help Finn. Brown is best known for playing police officers in a number of crime dramas, from Luther to Trigger Point to The Responder. He’s also appeared in Doctor Who (again playing a police officer).

They’re joined by Francis Magee (White Lines, The Witcher, Brassic), Jonathan Nyati (Motherland, Breeders, This Way Up) and Seb Cardinal (After Life, This Time with Alan Partridge, Sally4Ever) amongst others. Newcomer Jesse Cescatti-McFarlane makes his screen debut playing Rowan’s son Finn.

Who writes and directs the series?

Anthony Philipson (Our Girl) directed all four episodes of Desperate Measures, with Michael Foott (Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama) writing the screenplay for each episode.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! You can watch it right here.

When and how can I watch it?

Desperate Measures begins at 9pm on Channel 5 on Tuesday 21 February. New episodes will air at the same time nightly, with the fourth and final episode airing on Channel 5 on Friday 24 February.

How many episodes are there?

Desperate Measures is a four part drama, with each episode running to around 45 minutes.

Where was Desperate Measures filmed?

Like a number of recent Channel 5 dramas, Desperate Measures was filmed in Hungary to take advantages of certain tax incentives that make it cheaper to film there. Otherwise, though, it’s still set in the UK.

Why should I watch Desperate Measures?

It’s one to check out if you’ve enjoyed recent Channel 5 thrillers like The Catch or The House Across the Street - they’re making big steps to increase their drama output at the moment.

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