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North Square The main title caption of the series. Format Drama Created by Peter Moffat Starring Phil Davis Helen McCrory Kevin McKidd Rupert Penry-Jones Kim Vithana Dominic Rowan Victoria Smurfit Ruth Millar Tony Monroe Sasha Behar James Murray James Midgeley Country of origin  United Kingdom No. of episodes 10 Production Running time 50 minutes Broadcast Original channel Channel 4 Original run October 18, 2000 – January 1, 2001 Chronology Related shows Criminal Justice Silk North Square is an award winning British television drama series written by Peter Moffat and broadcast by Channel 4 at the end of 2000. Starring an ensemble cast including Phil Davis, Rupert Penry-Jones, Helen McCrory and Kevin McKidd, the programme is set around the practice of a Leeds Legal Chambers. The series was filmed in and around the real life Park Square, Leeds. This is the area near the city where the majority of legal firms are concentrated. Despite gaining considerable critical acclaim the show failed to garner a substantial audience resulting in only the one series of ten episodes being produced. In Australia the series was broadcast in 2001 on ABC and repeated in 2004 after popular and critical acclaim.[1] It has never been released on DVD. Contents 1 Cast 2 Synopsis 3 Awards 4 References 5 Scholarly article 6 External links Cast Actor Character Series Year Phil Davis Peter McLeish 1 2000 Helen McCrory Rose Fitzgerald 1 2000 Kevin McKidd Billy Guthrie 1 2000 Rupert Penry-Jones Alex Hay 1 2000 Kim Vithana Wendy De Souza 1 2000 Sasha Behar Stevi Goode 1 2000 Ruth Millar Morag Black 1 2000 Dominic Rowan Tom Mitford 1 2000 James Murray Johnny Boy 1 2000 James Midgeley Bob (John) 1 2000 Victoria Smurfit Dr. Helen Ferryhough 1 2000 Robert Mountford Hussein Ali 1 2000 Tony Monroe Michael Marlowe 1 2000 Synopsis North Square is a British drama about a group of young, irreverent barristers all hoping to make their mark in the legal profession at a Leeds defence chambers. They are all under the leadership of their by-the-book, Machiavellian chief clerk Peter McLeish, who is clever and obsessed by work and doesn't appear to have a social life. He's struggling to make this new enterprise work and will do anything to make it succeed and beat his arch rival Marlowe from whom he left, taking his best barristers with him. He establishes relationships with the top criminals in Leeds so he can get their best cases. He is not above persuading a client to offer a plea, not because it's in their best interests but because he doesn't want to miss out on a bigger case coming up. Early in the series Rose and Billy give birth to a baby boy and Rose comes back to work four days later while Billy is on an assault charge for defending Wendy De Souza, their head of chambers, whom another barrister, Wilson who works for Marlowe's chambers, claimed only got to her position because of her skin colour and is suspended but then cleared. However, Marlowe continues to ask Billy to come back to his chambers which he refuses to do and he instructs the case to go to trial. Morag Black is a new pupil at chambers, taken under the wing of Rose, and is used as a scapegoat to represent cases for Peter while he gives more high-profile cases to other barristers. Johnny Boy begins a relationship with Morag during series 1 however Peter is against the relationship and instructs them both to end it. Later on, Hussein Ali, another pupil, also joins chambers under the guidance of Tom Mitford, yet there is only one place in chambers available. Peter supports Hussein as he believes he will bring in business. At the end of the series the decision of whom should stay in chambers goes to Hussein, however Peter tells Morag that she can "squat" in their chambers. Alex Hay, the golden boy of Peter McCleish, is a smooth good-looking barrister with a city centre apartment and a relationship with Dr. Helen Ferryhough. But Peter is working with solicitor Stevi Goode, who can bring business to chambers away from Marlowe, and believes Helen is not strong enough for Alex so pushes Stevi and Alex together for the good of chambers. They embark on an affair, unaware that Peter is pulling the strings; using their relationship to secure big clients from Stevi. After a tip-off from Peter to Helen, she and Alex split up and Helen embarks on a relationship with Tom Mitford. At the end of the series Alex begs Helen to come back to him and it is unknown whether Helen leaves Tom for Alex. John is the nephew of Peter McCleish and starts work as a trainee at chambers but due to the confusion of his name with his colleague, Johnny Boy, Peter tells him that he is now known as Bob to the rest of chambers. No-one except Johnny Boy knows of their kinship, Peter admitting he has been installed "as his eyes and ears" of chambers. Throughout the series there is an underlying story of Wendy De Souza, who happens to be having an affair with Judge Martin, applying to be QC. She does not succeed in getting the position. Then Marlowe then finds out about the affair and asks Billy to confirm, stating that if he does the trial will be dropped. Billy confirms this to Marlowe whch results in the trial being dropped but Peter is suspicious as to why. He eventually learns from Billy about his admission and advises Judge Martin to end his affair with Wendy De Souza. Billy tells Rose about what he has done and is in despair about how Peter is controlling everybody's personal lives, how Wendy was betrayed and why Billy would go to Peter and not her. Plus, she is against Peter's dealings with criminals in order to secure work. At the same time Alex learns from Helen that it was Peter who told her about his affair with Stevi. At this point Rose lobbies the team to have Peter removed but in the end she gets no support and decides to leave chambers. However Peter asks her to do one more case: represent his son, whom he has had no dealings with for 18 years, on a drugs charge. She manages to secure a "Not Guilty" verdict. At the end of the last episode Rose walks back into chambers as the rest of the team are celebrating her victory, indicating that she has come back to work. With its mixture of legal and personal drama the series bears some similarity to the highly popular This Life. Awards BAFTA Television Awards 2001 - Best Editing (Fiction/Entertainment) - Jon Costelloe Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2001 Best Drama Series/Serial Best Actor - Phil Davis Best Actress - Helen McCory Writer's Award - Peter Moffat (Shared with Simon Schama for A History of Britain Davis was also nominated for Best Actor at the 2001 Royal Television Society Awards. References ^ Scholarly article ‘Sexy Men in Wigs’: North Square and the Representation of Law on British Television, Jason Bainbridge, Journal of British Cinema and Television. Volume 6, Page 83-102 DOI 10.3366/E1743452109000703, ISSN 1743-4521, Available Online May 2009 External links North Square at the Internet Movie Database This Life at the Internet Movie Database North Square at Interview with Phil Davies at