Better TV show: Cast of new BBC drama filming in Leeds includes Leila Farzad and Andrew Buchan

Better is a new five-part thriller coming soon to BBC One, created by the studio behind Chernobyl and starring Leila Farzad and Andrew Buchan.

By Simi Mundey
Friday, 6th May 2022, 2:58 pm

BBC One’s new five-part thriller Better has confirmed the actors joining the cast as filming begins in Leeds.

Read more: 15 famous films and TV shows which were shot in Leeds - including Peaky Blinders, Hollywood blockbuster and old favourites

The show has been written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, who wrote the 2015 Channel 4 sci-fi show Humans.

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Leila Farzad will star in the leading role of corrupt detective Lou Sanders. Picture: Pip Bourdillon

It is produced by award-winning studio SISTER, which brought the historical drama Chernobyl and medical drama This Is Going To Hurt to our screens.

Better is a bold and surprising redemption story, which is set and shot entirely in Leeds, focusing on the story of one woman’s battle towards redemption, to reclaim the honour and honesty she handed over to a man, many years ago.

What is the show Better about?

Better is a fast-paced, compelling thriller that explores complex and powerful bonds of loyalty and family, set in a world where everyone has their own perception of what is considered right and wrong.

It examines the power of human conscience and the need for redemption and forgiveness.

Soon after a family tragedy is averted, corrupt police detective Lou Slack undergoes a painful moral awakening, where she decides to make all the wrongdoings she has committed over the last 20 years right.

However, trying to satisfy her recent sense of conscience won't prove easy or straightforward at all.

In order to do so, Slack realises that her redemption will only be possible once she brings down the powerful gangster behind all of her corruption. The one person she helped rise to power, and has grown to love like a brother, as opposed to an enemy.

Who is in the cast of Better?

Leila Farzad plays the lead role of DI Lou Slack. Her character is destined to be in the Yorkshire police force, like her father before her; it’s in her blood.

To her fellow colleagues, she is perceived as the best detective on the team, but her success truly lies on a foundation of deceit and corruption.

Farzad is also known for playing Naomi Jones in the Sky Atlantic series I Hate Suzie, which earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2021 Bafta awards.

Starring alongside Farzad will be Andrew Buchan, as Col McHugh. His charming and charismatic Irish character first appears as a property developer and businessman. However, he is revealed to be the head of a powerful drug trafficking gang.

Buchan is best known for his work in ITV drama series Broadchurch (2013–2017) and BBC period drama Garrow’s Law (2009-2011).

Also joining the cast of Better are:

* Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders, Silent Witness) as Lou’s husband, Ceri, who is deeply conflicted about her arrangement with Col.

* Zak Ford-Williams (Wolfe) as Owen, Lou and Ceri’s smart, imaginative and sensitive teenage son.

* Ceallach Spellman (Cold Feet, Waterloo Road) as Donal, Col’s son, a broken young man who fails to live up to his father’s expectations

* Carolin Stoltz (Shetland, Liar) as Col’s wife, Alma, who is a integral part of his inner circle.

* Anton Lesser (Killing Eve, The Trial of Christine Keeler) as Vernon, an ex-detective who knew Lou’s dad and is now her confidante.

* Olivia Nakintu (Vera) as DC Esther Okoye, Lou’s closest colleague on the force.

What has been said so far about Better?

Bafta-nominated Farzad said: “Better is a brilliant fresh take on the morality tale. I am excited to have the opportunity to play Lou Slack, the vehicle through which we explore the multivalent layers of good and bad.

“A complex, flawed yet utterly human character. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful show with an incredibly talented team attached to it.”

Writers and executive producers Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent said: “We’re delirious and feel incredibly fortunate to have assembled - with SISTER and the BBC - such a gifted group of people to tell this story in the great city of Leeds, with a wealth of local Yorkshire talent on and off camera.

“This incredible cast are exciting us every day, pushing the show’s exploration of morality and redemption to ever more thrilling, surprising, and yet darkly funny places. With any luck, we’ve got enough brilliant people to make ourselves look good.”