Discussion: Law & Order: UK, Ep 1.2: "Unloved" - Jamie Bamber News
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Discussion: Law & Order: UK, Ep 1.2: "Unloved"

"Unloved," written by Terry Cafolla

Anyone who is just now watching L&O:UK for the first time on BBC America (or just wants to discuss the episode again), here is your thread for chatting about Episode 1.2. Couple of quick thoughts (because I haven't got time for too many at the mo!):

- On repeat viewings, little Richard Wisker (who plays Jono Blake) just continues to astound. It might be one of the best child performances I've EVER seen. Esp. the bit where he stares Ronnie down and says "You think you're sooo clever, don't ya?" Such a little smart arse!! But he absolutely sells the heartbreak and confusion when we realize just how rejected and removed from emotion he really is.

- I do still appreciate that Terry C. decided only to touch on Matt's past abuse with a few key lines - the one about baggy clothes hiding a lot, the manner in which he prods the stepfather in interrogation and of course the line about "I've been that kid". (I have always loved Jamie's delivery of that line, it's authentic and emotional and works nicely to defuse how steamed up Matt is just prior (when he's trying to advocate for the stepdad's guilt) and, without that to balance it, Matt would seem a little too cocky in his rush to judgment.)

- The second half of the scene in the soup kitchen got the ax on BBCA (including "I'm Old Bill, not Prehistoric Bill"...damn! Love that line. ;) ). Anyone else notice the other cut? I'm blanking.

- It always struck me as a bold choice to go with the defense brief James has a romantic history with in just the second episode, but it works in this particular case, a lot of that owing to Dervla Kirwan and Ben Daniels having great chemistry. Bea ends up being just as much of a thorn later in the series (in "Hidden") but in this one, I buy that there's a genuine sense of guilt for what she's started and the potential further damage she's done to this kid.

Anyone else? Thoughts? Questions?


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lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 11th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm in the midst of rewatching this one, and something that is standing out to me here is the interview room sequences.

I really liked seeing Natalie handling an interrogation. We don't see her in the room very often, do we? Thinking through all the episodes, I'm not sure I remember her being in the room more than a couple other times, and never as the primary person talking to a suspect. My memory could be faulty though.

I also noticed that Mattie was taking the lead on the questioning, which he usually does over the course of the series. Out in the field it tends to be closer to 50/50 whether Ronnie or Matt take the lead in the questioning, but in the interview room, it's Mattie at least three-quarters of the time, if not more. Ronnie definitely gets his share of total interrogation time, but Mattie is the one who starts things off. Is it because he's more the 'bad cop' and so he goes first, pushing and prodding and being intense and mean and provoking, and then when that stops working, Ronnie jumps in with the empathy? Maybe his style of questioning is more dramatic, so him starting off is a pacing/editorial choice, rather than a true indication of the coppers' interrogation style.

There's oodles more to talk about in this episode (the "I've been that kid" line is just so shivery when you're listening to the episode on headphones, as I am, you hear the pain in the very way his breath catches, just a wonderfully evocative moment by Jamie) but I'll save it for later.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 11th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I don't think they go into an interrogation with a good cop/bad cop mentality, but Matt is the more emotional and direct of the two. It may be a case of Ronnie standing back to see if Matt's approach will work and, if not, seeing what the suspect reveals about his or herself. It does seem that while Matt may not always be right, his instincts usually lead him to uncover truths. Stevie may not have been the murderer, but he was abusive.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 12th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yeah, to put a finer point on this, I agree that it's not really Matt & Ronnie's intent to have a good cop/bad cop routine, but they definitely work on the witnesses in tandem when one is not being very forthcoming. Matt is more likely to rush to judgment (which can backfire on him, and has a couple of times after he made some pretty snarky assumptions... again, I won't cite specifics for the benefit of those who have just picked up the show), but sometimes his offensive approach can lead to Ronnie being able to pry something out of them a bit more gently after he's observed and noted any potential vulnerabilities.

Mind you, we've seen this dynamic switched up a LOT in more recent eps.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 12th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Just realized how that sounded... I didn't mean "offensive" approach as in off-putting. ;) I meant it as in "playing offense."
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 12th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I really liked seeing Natalie handling an interrogation. We don't see her in the room very often, do we?

Not really, no. Her overall presence has been much more strongly felt in Series 3, though she still doesn't handle too many interrogations overall. (There is one more I can remember for sure where she dives in and really makes a hard play for information, leaving Matt to be the one to offer the witness a Kleenex. ;) I won't say any more though, so I don't spoil it.)
indigo419 From: indigo419 Date: October 11th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Not reading the spoilery bits, because I am far, far behind on eps, but that pic just made me sigh from the gorgeousness. :D
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 11th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It's the second episode of the series! Have you even cracked open the DVDs yet?! ;p
indigo419 From: indigo419 Date: October 11th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh! I missed the "1.2" reference. Duh. :P I do need to get the DVDs, I can't be bothered to ahem the later ones. Maybe when QoT is local to me we'll have a Jamie-fest one night! :D
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 11th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I do need to get the DVDs

So cheap now. SO CHEAP. *nudge* ;)
indigo419 From: indigo419 Date: October 11th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
So, I've seen I think the first 13 eps (the last being the one where Freema's char takes matters into her own hands with an unscrupulous doctor). Is that everything on the S1 DVDs, or is there more? Is S2 officially out on DVDs yet?

(I know Asta told me some of this already, I'm just v. v. forgetful!) /0\
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 11th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Series 1 and Series 2 in the UK = Season 1 (i.e. the U.S. DVD set, which I linked to), that's altogether 13 eps. The episode you're referring to is "Alesha" which is the halfway point in that set; there are 6 more episodes which comprised Series 2 in the UK, though they are all available as one package in the States.

Series 3 (currently airing in the UK) is out on DVD over there in January, and who knows when here; hopefully not too long after since BBCA is airing them all now.
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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 12th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Just answered your other comment. ;) See below.
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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 12th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC) (Link Me)
The DVD set contains the unedited episodes (as you're seeing On Demand), plus there are additional deleted scenes and/or extended versions of scenes for each episode. Some of which are really, really great. ;)
lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 12th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) (Link Me)
OMG the car scene. I'm dying until that episode airs in the US and I can safely talk about the deleted bit.
indigo419 From: indigo419 Date: October 12th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC) (Link Me)
\0/ Can't wait!!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 11th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I think I'll wait with my rewatch until after this series has finished airing, so no thoughts, but i did find this great review online:

I love how so many of the reviews popping up specifically mention Jamie as a highlight!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 11th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The reviews in the States have been overwhelmingly positive. Emilia found this one which the other writers subsequently re-tweeted; it plays up why the UK version works vs. all of the spinoffs over here (particularly LOLA which hasn't been well received):

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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 12th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I would like to see an episode next week that doesn't involve little boys/baby boys dead or committing murder. Let's kill some adults for a change!!

You'll get your wish. XD Plus it's a good episode!
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 12th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The minor characters/guest stars have been brilliant in ALL the episodes. I discussed on a recent post how I felt the UK version does a far better job casting then the US counterparts because they hire actors and don't go in for stunt casting.

Let's kill some adults for a change!!

Oh, they kill plenty. But, I get where you are coming from. Why can't we have more spouses offing each other? ;)
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lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 12th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
In general they seem to go for 'beauty lighting' on this show. The natural light, but not harsh natural light (yay overcast London) and then the soft, rather shadowy, but not dark lighting of the interiors, which plays very nicely with sculpted jaws and cheekbones. I'm thinking about how many of the 'late night doing paperwork' scenes are done with low lights, rather than the bright overhead florescents that would have been equally valid as nighttime office lighting.

Also, Matt Devlin is a confident character. He holds himself like someone who has power. Though he has vulnerabilities (and we adore that about him) in general, this is a strong man. He's not given to maudlin introspection, or self-doubt, he's just not self-reflective in that way. And as much as I adore the emo, and have the fondest of fond places in my heart for Archie and Lee, there is also something quite attractive about unadulterated confidence, even cockiness. While I personally would love Mattie to get a bit more tortured for maximum hawt, anyone who likes their men less twisted is bound to find Matt Devlin as he is now more attractive than previous, more complicated and damaged characters of Jamie's.
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lemurling From: lemurling Date: October 12th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I know you meant physical appearance, I just figure that how an actor carries himself, the facial expressions, etc. do differ based on character, and affect how the actor appears. Devlin smiles more (and differently) than Lee, has a different posture, holds his head at different angles, a lot of subtle little things that I think do change Jamie Bamber's actual appearance. For instance, somehow Matt seems taller to me than Lee, isn't that odd? Just the huge difference in how much Matt versus Lee smiles would be bound to change how attractive someone finds him, depending on whether they generally find happy men more attractive than moody ones.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 13th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Well, it's funny because they have drawn pretty big names (Sean Pertwee and Juliet Aubry, both in next week's ep, are very well known over there and known if you're into British productions over here), but yeah it's not trumpeted in that stunt casting way that you're talking about. The way we'll get 20 commercials a day for Sharon Stone guesting on SVU. ;)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: October 14th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
While this was a very serious episode, I have to admit, when the victim's full name, Daniel Jackson, was used, the Stargate fan in me had to laugh a little. ;)

Others have already touched upon the further revelations of Matt's abuse. I very much appreciate how the writers have revealed how the abuse has affected Matt both personally and professionally (in how it informs his reaction and approach to cases involving children) in such an understated and realistic manner.

While there are terrible foster parents, it was refreshing to see a woman who chose to take in so many children and truly cared about each and every one of them. Even her reason for not reporting Danny missing was compassionate. She was fearful of him being removed from the home and further bounced around the system, perhaps ending up in a place where no one cared.

In the early episodes of the series, it seems there had to be a least one scene of Matt flirting with Alesha. "How come he gets to have breakfast with you?" We still get a bit of that in the current episodes, but it seems to have been toned down. I don't know if it's because the writers decided they didn't want any potential romantic entanglements to detract from the stories at hand or if they are planning to go in another direction. ;)

It's interesting to draw comparisons between "Unloved" and "Broken". Until almost the bitter end, Jonno is very much demonized whereas Rose was seem as just as much a victim as the boy she killed from early on. As George vows to help Rose when the time comes, he's content with leaving Jonno's fate in the hands of the system, even though both children came from abusive and unloving homes (though Rose's mother showed regret and remorse for her actions in the eleventh hour). Part of me wonders if the two were, at least in part, viewed and treated differently because Jonno is male, with the belief boys are more naturally aggressive, and girls who resort to murder must be a product of a bad home life.

Jonno's mother was a real piece of work. I love how James got her to slip up on the stand. It wasn't her fault! His genes are bad! Yet, she won't make the same mistakes with her next child.

Favorite line had to be George in reply to finding out they got Judge DeMarco for the case, "Oh, God, let's panic." Hee!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: October 14th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
In the early episodes of the series, it seems there had to be a least one scene of Matt flirting with Alesha. "How come he gets to have breakfast with you?"

Though Jamie is adorable in that little moment, in retrospect I think Bradley’s my favorite part of that scene. “What, all of ‘em?! You are taking the Michael!” XD

Re: comparing “Unloved” and “Broken”, I think all of that is ripe for discussion and seeing as we have Twitter access to both writers, maybe we should put the question to both of them. ;) (When they have time to answer, I know the show’s in production now so it can wait if it has to. We still have Emilia’s Q&A coming!) Another aspect to take into account – though in reality I suppose it shouldn’t matter from a legal standpoint, murder is murder – is the differences in ages and immediate circumstances between the victims. Danny, I believe, was a little bit older than Jono (or were they same age?) and killed while they were out plotting a theft, i.e. rebellious teen behavior; meanwhile, Rose killed a very small child in a situation where she was ostensibly meant to be caring for his well being (even though she hadn’t been strictly given that task by his mum.) How do each of those sets of circumstances inform the reactions, and how much of that was the writers’ intent? It definitely presents a debatable contrast.

Oh, and thanks for pointing out the foster mum – I posted the thread quick and meant to bring her up, she’s a really wonderful/realistic character in that situation.
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