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Leeds drama Better: “Blood is spilled and not everybody makes it out”


The cast and crew of the new Leeds-based drama from the writers behind Spooks have spoken about the “very dark thriller” ahead of its release.

Better has been shot entirely on location in Leeds and West Yorkshire and stars Leila Farzad and Andrew Buchan.

The 5-part series is made by SISTER (Chernobyl, This is Going to Hurt) and written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent (Humans, Spooks).

“There is a definite universality to this story, even though the examples we’re dealing with are extreme and it’s a very dark thriller full of high stakes, and blood is spilled and not everybody makes it out, but those themes underneath that layer of drama touch everybody’s lives,” said writer and Executive Producer, Vincent.

The drama examines “the complex and powerful bonds of loyalty and family, set in a world where everyone has their own version of “right” and “wrong”.”

Farzad plays DI Lou Slack as she seeks to bring down Col McHugh (Andrew Buchan), the man she has come to love like a brother and the man she has helped place at the head of Leeds criminal underworld.

“It’s a very complicated relationship,” she explained.

“When we first meet them, it’s an intense relationship that has an element of friendship but there’s quite an intimate power play between these two people. Early on, something very triggering happens to Lou, and she finds herself having to let go of this person, Col, who was so integral to her life. The crux of the story is that Col goes from friend to foe, which is why the story gathers momentum.”

Brackley added that the Yorkshire location was key to the drama:

“It was very important for us to set it somewhere with its own distinct identity. Somewhere that could become sort of a character, a part of the show in its own right.”

Vincent said:

“Our executive producer Jane Featherstone has connections to Leeds, and so she suggested it, and it was just perfect. It’s such a vibrant, cosmopolitan, interesting characterful city. Once we decided to set it in Leeds, it was about opening the whole thing up to as many cast and crew members as we could find to imbue it with that authentic flavour of the place.”


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