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Danny Boy FIRST LOOK: BBC release tense trailer for new series


A new trailer for factual drama Danny Boy has been released.

A first look at the BBC series follows the real life events of human rights lawyer Phil Shiner’s [Toby Jones] pursuit of British soldiers accused of war crimes in Iraq.

Former lawyer Phil Shiner and his firm Public Interest Lawyers made more than 1,000 claims involving the British military following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. 

Trailer: A first look at the BBC series follows the real life events of human rights lawyer Phil Shiner’s (pictured) pursuit of British soldiers accused of war crimes in Iraq

The story homes in on soldier Brian Wood – played by Anthony Boyle – who embarks on a journey from war hero to alleged murderer following his time in Iraq.

After returning home from service Wood is accused of war crimes by Shiner, who makes it his mission to undercover the ‘crimes’ of British soldiers.

In the opening scene for the trailer, Shiner can be heard saying: ‘They’ll tell you you’re a bleeding heart, that you’re naive, British soldiers get away with murder.’

Wood’s father Gavin [Alex Ferns], then says: ‘[They] Give you a medal with one had and knock your teeth out with the other. The men who are trying to kill you.’

The story homes in on soldier Brian Wood - played by Anthony Boyle - who embarks on a journey from war hero to alleged murderer following his time in Iraq

The story homes in on soldier Brian Wood – played by Anthony Boyle – who embarks on a journey from war hero to alleged murderer following his time in Iraq

Crusade: Former lawyer Phil Shiner and his firm Public Interest Lawyers made more than 1,000 claims involving the British military following the invasion of Iraq in 2003

Crusade: Former lawyer Phil Shiner and his firm Public Interest Lawyers made more than 1,000 claims involving the British military following the invasion of Iraq in 2003

While Wood responds: ‘They get your head in a spin, get you thinking what you did…’

But his father insists: ‘You did a good job!’

The next shot sees lawyer Deena Aayari [Kiran Sonia Sawar] questioning where one line stops and another begins when it comes to war. 

She says: ‘If you’re fired at, you’ve been shot at while charging across a field, where does the war bit stop – and the arrest and restraint bit start?’

Plot: After returning home from service Wood is accused of war crimes by Shiner, who makes it his mission to undercover the 'crimes' of British soldiers

Plot: After returning home from service Wood is accused of war crimes by Shiner, who makes it his mission to undercover the ‘crimes’ of British soldiers

Wood then adamantly adds: ‘If these people want to make war a crime it’s up to them, but I fought for my country and I’m proud of what I did.’

Viewers will see Shiner and Wood go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the courtroom.

The series is set to investigate one of Britain’s biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry. 

The drama explores the effect Brian’s experience has not just on him, but also on his family. 

What's going on? Deena Aayari [Kiran Sonia Sawar] (pictured) questions where one line stops and another begins when it comes to war

What’s going on? Deena Aayari [Kiran Sonia Sawar] (pictured) questions where one line stops and another begins when it comes to war 

This includes his father and ex-soldier, Gavin, played by former EastEnder Ferns, and his wife Lucy, played by Leah McNamara. 

Boyle said: ‘I’m thrilled to be telling Brian’s extraordinary story. We get to explore not just the realities of war, but how they can come back to haunt you.’

Toby Jones added: ‘Robert has written an extraordinarily compelling, intelligent and nuanced script, and it’s a real honour to be working with Danny Boy’s exceptional cast and creative team to bring it to the screen.’

Moral combat: Viewers will see Shiner and Wood go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the court room

Moral combat: Viewers will see Shiner and Wood go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the court room

Shiner founded and ran Public Interest Lawyers before it was shut in 2016 and he was later struck off in 2017 for ‘misconduct’.

Several of the allegations centered on the Battle of Danny Boy, when 28 Iraqi insurgents were killed and nine militants were taken to the Camp Abu Naji military base to be questioned – later claiming they had been subjected to torture.  

Shiner was struck off as a solicitor in 2007 after being found guilty of misconduct and dishonesty relating to false abuse claims against British troops.

Following: The series is set to investigate one of Britain's biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry

Following: The series is set to investigate one of Britain’s biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry

The drama explores the effect Brian's experience has not just on him, but also on his family (pictured Wood's wife Lucy, played by Leah McNamara)

The drama explores the effect Brian’s experience has not just on him, but also on his family (pictured Wood’s wife Lucy, played by Leah McNamara)

Writer Robert Jones continued: ‘Here’s a man who won a medal for valour, but whose toughest test was the scrutiny that followed. External scrutiny, and soul searching too – Brian Wood’s story is a fascinating one for a writer to explore.

‘It’s been a great privilege to work with producers of such distinction and I’m really delighted we’re going into production with Sam Miller at the helm and a terrific cast and crew.’

Sue Horth and Colin Barr, executive producers for Expectation, said: ‘Robert’s script is a razor-sharp examination of one of our most urgent and morally challenging questions: when is killing an act of war and when is it an act of murder?

Credits: Danny Boy is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest)

Credits: Danny Boy is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest)

‘The story of Colour Sergeant Brian Wood and human rights lawyer, Phil Shiner – who accused him of war crimes – goes straight to the heart of that question and it’s an incredible honour to be able to tell it.

‘Bringing it to life for BBC Two with Sam and Simon and an amazing cast only adds to that sense of privilege.’  

Danny Boy is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest).

It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. Executive Producers are Colin Barr and Susan Horth for Expectation, and Lucy Richer, Jo McClellan and Clare Sillery for the BBC.

Danny Boy will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this Spring. 

Release: Danny Boy will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this Spring

Release: Danny Boy will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this Spring



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