Trial & Retribution

Trial & Retribution
Genre Crime drama
Created by Lynda La Plante
Written by Various
Directed by Various
Starring David Hayman
Victoria Smurfit
Kate Buffery
Dorian Lough
Barbara Thorn
Inday Ba
Sarah Ozeke
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
Original language(s)
  • English
No. of seasons 12
No. of episodes 44 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Lynda La Plante
  • Liz Thorburn
  • Christopher Hall
  • Jolyon Symonds
  • United Kingdom
Running time 120 minutes (Series 1-7)
90 minutes (Series 8-10)
60 minutes (Series 11-12)
Production company(s)
  • La Plante Productions
Original network ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 4:3/16:9 (1080i)
Original release 19 October 1997 – 13 February 2009

Trial & Retribution is a feature-length ITV police procedural television drama series that first aired on ITV1 on October 19, 1997. Written and devised by Lynda La Plante as a follow-on from her successful television series Prime Suspect, each episode was typically broadcast over two nights. David Hayman stars as the main protagonist of the series, DCS Michael "Mike" Walker. Throughout the series, he has two main sidekicks: DI Pat North (Kate Buffery) and DCI Róisín Connor (Victoria Smurfit).

The first seven series each contained two two-hour long episodes, covering one feature-length story.[1] From series eight, the format was reduced to two 90-minute-long episodes. As of series ten, the format once again changed, incorporating multiple stories across one series. For the final two series, this format was retained; however the length of the episodes was reduced to 60 minutes.[2] The last ever episode was broadcast on February 13, 2009. The complete series was released on DVD on July 14, 2014.[3]


Each episode makes frequent use of split screen scenes, with usually three images shown in one screen. Similar effects were frequently used in other series such as 24 and Spooks, and in later episodes of the ITV police-soap series, The Bill. The camera angles used in the split-screen configuration of Trial & Retribution tended to be used to present the situation from different perspectives, including the angle from the suspects, angle from behind and in front of the characters, angle from the crime-scene and/or angle from different sides of the town.[4]



Series 1 (1997)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
1"Trial and Retribution (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteAisling Walsh19 October 1997TBA
Five-year-old girl Julie Harris goes missing from home after being seen playing in the local playground. Suspicion immediately falls on Julie's mother's new boyfriend, Peter James (Lee Ross). But when her body is found inside a sewage pipe, evidence points towards local misfit Michael Dunn (Rhys Ifans).
2"Trial and Retribution (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteAisling Walsh20 October 1997TBA
When items relating to the case are found in Michael Dunn's flat, Walker has no doubt that Dunn is responsible for Julie's murder. However, when it is revealed that a frantic young officer who found Julie's body planted the evidence, Dunn's trial is thrown into jeopardy.

Series 2 (1998)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
3"Trial and Retribution II (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteAisling Walsh18 October 19988.50
When young mother Susan Harrow fails to return home after a night out, her mother reports her missing to the police. Her body is later found on wasteground near to where she disappeared. A second victim, Marilyn Spark (Linda Henry), is attacked by the same assailant, however manages to survive and is taken to hospital for treatment.
4"Trial and Retribution II (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteAisling Walsh19 October 19989.00
As a third victim is found murdered, Marilyn soon identifies the man responsible as Damon Morton (Iain Glen), and Walker must gather evidence to secure his conviction. When Morton's accomplice confesses to murder, Walker is suspicious.

Series 3 (1999)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
5"Trial and Retribution III (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteJo Johnson7 October 19998.64
Fifteen-year-old Cassie Booth goes missing whilst doing her local paper round, and her blood-stained clothes are later found in a nearby boathouse during a police search. Walker is suspicious when the owner of the boathouse, Karl Wilding, has a dodgy alibi for the time of Cassie's disappearance.
6"Trial and Retribution III (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteJo Johnson14 October 19998.72
Pat is forced to deal with a persistent complainer, Stephen Warrington (Richard E. Grant), who has been hounding the station. Pat becomes concerned when Warrington starts stalking her, but soon realises that there is a link between Warrington and Walker's murder case.

Series 4 (2000)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
7"Trial and Retribution IV (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteMichael Whyte4 October 20006.87
Pat is asked to investigate a fifteen-year-old case in which Gary Meadows (Steven Hartley) was murdered by his boyfriend, James McCready (James Wilby), a case which was originally investigated by Mike. As the only witness to the murder was Meadows' young daughter, who was only seven-years-old at the time, she was unable to offer any kind of witness statement.
8"Trial and Retribution IV (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteMichael Whyte5 October 20006.93
Pat is forced to reinvestigate other lines of enquiry, while Mike finds himself trying to cover his own backside when evidence reveals that a psychic was used in an attempt to uncover evidence relating to the case.

Series 5 (2001)

Series five was originally recorded and due for broadcast in October 2001, continuing the regular yearly broadcasts in October. However, due to special programming regarding the September 11 attacks, the programme was removed from the schedule and was not rescheduled for broadcast until June 2002. Certain other territories, including Australia, still received the broadcast in 2001.

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
9"Trial and Retribution V (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteAisling Walsh19 June 20027.31
Walker is assigned to investigate the discovery of a seventeen-year-old skeleton underneath the patio of a former bed and breakfast. Disillusioned with having to investigate such a case, he is especially angered by the fact that he has been paired with Pat's ex-boyfriend Jeff.
10"Trial and Retribution V (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteAisling Walsh20 June 20026.58
When two further bodies and the skeleton of a premature baby are also found at the property, Kathleen Norton (Maggie McCarthy) is charged and sent to trial. However, Walker isn't entirely convinced that the alibi of former guest Graham Richards (Sean Chapman) is enough to keep in the clear.

Series 6 (2002)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
11"Trial and Retribution VI (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteFerdinand Fairfax6 October 20026.10
Back on the murder squad, Pat is asked to investigate when a young mother of two, Diane Leach, is abducted from a local wood. The confession of a local sex offender complicates matters, as Pat looks into the possibility that the father of a young protégé of the woman may be responsible for her disappearance. Meanwhile, Walker has worries of his own, as his ex-wife Lyn is dating an abusive, unstable man, Eric Fowler (Tim McInnerny), who turns into a manic-obsessive when she decides to leave him.
12"Trial and Retribution VI (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteFerdinand Fairfax7 October 20025.96
Mike decides to take matters into his own hands, resulting in Fowler's death.

Series 7 (2003)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
13"Suspicion (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteCharles Beeson1 September 20037.30
A severed female hand is found in the outreaches of Thames, which brings Róisín into contact with old friend Mike, who is now back in uniform after being found innocent at his murder trial. When a search fails to reveal the remainder of the body, a missing persons case which Mike has been personally asked to look at reveals the possible identity of the victim.
14"Suspicion (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteCharles Beeson2 September 20036.13
When the au pair Carla Worth (Neve McIntosh) is found to have been posing as the dead victim to fool friends and neighbours, the victim's husband Greg (Charles Dance) is suspected of the victim's murder.

Series 8 (2004)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
15"Blue Eiderdown (Part 1)"Lynda La PlantePaul Unwin11 October 20047.62
A young prostitute, Angela Dutton, plunges to her death from the eleventh floor balcony of a block of flats. The team discover that she was the daughter of a seventies TV star who was also found murdered twelve years earlier, wrapped in a blue eiderdown, although the killer was never found.
16"Blue Eiderdown (Part 2)"Lynda La PlantePaul Unwin12 October 20046.38
Walker and Connor investigate seedy club owner Colin Thorpe (Colin Salmon), who was having a relationship with Dutton at the time of her death. A cover up involving a shady MP and the current DSI of the Vice Squad leads both Mike and Róisín into uncharted territory to find the killer.

Series 9 (2005)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
17"The Lovers (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteTristram Powell7 November 20058.99
David Harrington vanishes while on his honeymoon in London, leaving his wife Susan distraught and frantically searching for him. Her father contacts Walker, believing the police aren't taking the case seriously, but there's very little evidence to suggest foul play. However, Lisa's review into the CCTV surrounding his disappearance throws up a possible lead, in the form of a man with striking similarities to American serial killer Ted Bundy.
18"The Lovers (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteTristram Powell8 November 20058.45
Tom Franke (Michael Feast) is brought to trial, only to plead innocent by way of insanity. Can Walker prove Franke is not insane?

Series 10 (2007)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
19"Sins of the Father (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteAndy Hay14 January 20077.02
The apparently happy Harrogate family are torn apart when they return home to discover their eldest daughter, Emily, dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs. Connor and Satchell begin to sift through the case and discover that the family isn't as stable as it first appeared, especially Emily's step-father, John Harrogate (Greg Wise).
20"Sins of the Father (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteAndy Hay15 January 20077.28
Connor appeals to Walker for some backup, but Walker is having problems of his own with his son, Richard. The team identify Emily's ex-boyfriend Michael Sommerby (Andrew Lee Potts) as a suspect, and close the net when vital evidence is found.
21"Closure (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteEdward Hall21 January 20076.06
Young school girl Madeline Fuller is raped and murdered in a disused pump house, but Connor and Satchell still have no leads or witnesses two months into the investigation. When Walker orders a review of unsolved cases, they turn up a string of similar cases of raped and murdered teenage girls over the last ten years, and the team find themselves searching for an apparent serial killer.
22"Closure (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteEdward Hall22 January 20075.85
When Connor opts to bring in a profiler, Max Stanford (Michael Brandon), Walker is initially dubous as to his involvement, but Connor soon uncovers the killer's identity, much to Walker's surprise.
23"Paradise Lost (Part 1)"Julie DixonAlex Pillai28 January 20075.45
After the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Milton Jones is arrested on suspicion of her murder. Walker is convinced that Jones killed her under the influence of drugs, but he insists that another man was present in their flat. Connor discovers that a serial rapist is targeting the black community by raping white women with black boyfriends.
24"Paradise Lost (Part 2)"Julie DixonAlex Pillai29 January 20076.21
Walker brings Milton on to the investigation to help, but this causes more problems than solutions. But could Connor's relationship with barrister Neil Dench (Adrian Lukis), who is working on the case, jeopardise the investigation and the subsequent trial?
25"Curriculum Vitae (Part 1)"Phillip GladwinTristram Powell4 February 20076.19
Young mother Susie McDonald (Victoria Hamilton) returns home from work to find her baby girl Poppy dead in her cot, and her nanny, Leanne, has vanished. The child's father, Matthew (Dominic Rowan) is no help to the case, having disappeared from Poppy's life many years ago.
26"Curriculum Vitae (Part 2)"Phillip GladwinTristram Powell5 February 20076.87
With Leanne on the run, and having used a fake CV to obtain her job in the first place, it seems an obvious conclusion that she is responsible for Poppy's death. However, when the trail leads to a second baby's death from two years previously, Walker believes he has a serial killer on his hands.
27"Mirror Image (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteMichael Whyte12 February 20077.40
The murder of Police Commander Jack Delaney and his wife Honor puts Walker, Connor and the team under pressure to get a quick result. Jewellery has been stolen from the house, which would indicate a burglary gone wrong, but several relatives profit from their deaths and so they focus the investigation on the family.
28"Mirror Image (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteMichael Whyte13 February 20076.21
Connor becomes suspicious of the identical twin sons in particular, and suspects that they may have worked together in order to get away with patricide. A key piece of evidence from their Aunt Nicole (Kim Thomson) proves to be Connor's key to unraveling the mystery.

Series 11 (2008)

DCI Connor takes leave in the episode "Conviction" and does not appear in the episode "The Box", returning in "Tracks". This was to accommodate actress Victoria Smurfit's pregnancy, as "The Box" was the first episode to be filmed.

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
29"Rules of the Game (Part 1)"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleDavid Moore17 January 20086.98
A suitcase is found abandoned at Heathrow Airport, and panic ensues, but it is soon discovered to be no terrorist threat. Inside is the naked body of Sofia Petrenko, a high-class prostitute, who has been strangled to death. The suitcase is traced to Vitali Malikov (Marcel Iureş), a Ukrainian billionaire who admits to hiring Sofia's services, but he claims she was alive when she left him.
30"Rules of the Game (Part 2)"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleDavid Moore24 January 20085.82
Walker arrests Malikov on suspicion of murder, but later has to release him, and soon realises he has become a pawn in a much bigger game. Connor discovers that Malikov may not have been involved after all.
31"Kill the King (Part 1)"Christian SpurrierGiles MacKinnon31 January 20086.64
A well-known paediatric surgeon, Jonathan Carlisle, is found dead, and Connor uncovers a conflict which arise following a recent operation which resulted in a young girl's death. Walker soon discovers the girl's father, Gary Webster (John Lynch), was the subject of a restraining order issued by Carlisle, and that he had been stalking him for months.
32"Kill the King (Part 2)"Christian SpurrierGiles MacKinnon7 February 20085.60
Webster disappears before he can be questioned, a game of cat and mouse ensuing, and he is eventually cornered, but this leads to further complications. However, Walker's attention soon turns to Adrian Lawson (Ben Miles), Carlisle's medical partner.
33"Conviction (Part 1)"Julie DixonPaul Wilmshurst14 February 20085.28
Terry Dyer has been recently released from prison, where he was imprisoned for a crime he still maintains he did not commit, and he returns to his East London estate in search of the truth. The father of the victim he was convicted of killing, Ken Randle, confronts and wounds him. Walker is empathetic to Ken's situation and releases him on bail.
34"Conviction (Part 2)"Julie DixonPaul Wilmshurst21 February 20084.64
Ken soon becomes doubtful of Dyer's guilt, growing convinced that a friend of his son's, Nick Fisher (Tom Ellis) was involved in his murder, and soon long-buried secrets are unearthed, leading to an unexpected twist.
35"The Box (Part 1)"Lynda La PlanteAlex Pillai28 February 20084.95
Walker goes on leave and returns home to Glasgow, where he is taking care of his increasingly senile mother. However, he soon becomes involved in the case of a missing woman, who is the sister of an old friend. Walker begins to delve into the life of her then husband, dentist Kevin Reid (Jamie Sives), and discovers a dark bond between him and his brother Ronnie. Soon, a body is discovered and is it is proved to be the missing woman.
36"The Box (Part 2)"Lynda La PlanteAlex Pillai13 March 20084.95
Kevin's second wife is reported missing – convincing Walker that one or both of the Reid brothers are involved in the crimes. Walker is paired with DI Moira Lynch (Kerry Fox).
37"Tracks (Part 1)"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleTristram Powell20 March 20085.08
The body of a teenage girl, Maria Cole, is discovered in a chalk pit, and the tracks of three different vehicles are discovered at the crime scene. They eventually lead Connor and Walker to the local hardman, Ray Harper (Roy Marsden). His son Andy (Matthew Beard) and his friend Darren (Jason Maza) admit being at the pit on the same night, though they claim that they never saw the girl there.
38"Tracks (Part 2)"Dudi Appleton & Jim KeebleTristram Powell27 March 20084.73
Cracks soon appear in Andy and Darren's story when CCTV footage reveals that they crossed paths with Maria before her death, later leading to the two boys being charged with her murder.

Series 12 (2009)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
39"Siren (Part 1)"Damian WaylingJulian Holmes9 January 20096.29
An ambulance is run off the road, killing a paramedic, and the patient being transported inside is then shot three times by a masked gunman. The victim is revealed to be Sebastian Cole, the beau of media 'it-girl' Imogen Buller-Turi (Tamsin Egerton), which sparks a high media interest in the case, prompting Walker to intrude on Connor's investigation as it becomes clear that the murder is not a simple case of road rage.
40"Siren (Part 2)"Damian WaylingJulian Holmes16 January 20095.68
Walker discovers that Cole was involved in something much more sinister which resulted in his untimely death. DCI McGill (Vincent Regan) of the drugs squad then invades Connor's investigation.
41"Ghost Train (Part 1)"Jane ProwseStefan Schwartz23 January 20095.92
A young girl falls from a ferris wheel to her death at the local fair, which is initially thought to be nothing more than a tragic accident. But then Satchell's aunt, who is a fortune teller at the fair, approaches the team saying she believes there is more to it. The number of accidents at the fair begins to rise. Before long a second death occurs, leading the team into a murder inquiry.
42"Ghost Train (Part 2)"Jane ProwseStefan Schwartz30 January 20095.79
Young Tommy Gilbert (Martin Brody) is initially suspected of committing foul play, before Walker discovers that one of the fair's trusted employees may have been using his other part time job as a bargaining tool in blackmail.
43"Shooter (Part 1)"Tony McHaleBen Ross6 February 20096.00
A shop manager is shot during a jewellery raid, and an accomplice to the killers, Joe Miller, turns informer, revealing the culprits to be a notorious crime family – the Bilkins - but then he himself shot dead. Satchell witnesses the crime, and soon finds that his life and those of his family are in danger, but can find no safety from the influence of the crime family who wish to keep him silent.
44"Shooter (Part 2)"Tony McHaleBen Ross13 February 20095.55
When Satch's wife Kay (Ruth Gemmell) and daughter Abigail go missing, he becomes desperate. Donna Bilkin (Sally Dexter), using his weakness, leads Satch into a potentially life-threatening situation.


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