ITV Announces Three-Part Sequel To 'The Murder Of Stephen Lawrence'
The groundbreaking 1999 drama depicted the events of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, a teenager who was stabbed at a bus stop in a racially-motivated attack in London in 1993.
More than 20 years since the original aired, the new ITV drama - titled Stephen - will pick up the true story in 2006, 13 years after his murder.
The drama will focus on the struggle of Stephen's parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, as they continued their extraordinary plight to bring their son's killers to justice.
Despite anonymous tips in the days after naming suspects in the case - a gang of five who had committed racist attacks on Black teenagers in the area in the weeks previous - no one was arrested for two weeks after Stephen's murder and no real progress was made on the case some six years later.
Stephen will pick up in 2006, chronicling Stephen's devastated parents' relentless campaigning for justice.
It will tell of how detective DCI Clive Driscoll - working closely with the Lawrences - put together an case that finally - more than 18 years after his death - secures the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen.
In 2012, more than 19 years after Stephen's murder, gang members Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of murder.
Stephen's murder and the resulting response from the police, which failed to convict those responsible, lead to a public enquiry which found the Metropolitan Police to be institutionally racist.
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Neville Lawrence said of the upcoming drama: "It is important that the next part of the story is told, particularly at a time when, thanks to the Black Lives Matter campaign, concerns around institutional racism are so prominent."
ITV Head Commissioner Polly Hill said: "It feels appropriate for us to return to the Stephen Lawrence case on ITV. The brilliant film, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, could only take the story so far, Stephen continues that story.
"It's important to remember just how long it took Doreen and Neville to get a conviction for two of the men responsible for the death of their son Stephen."
While there is currently no casting or transmission date announced for Stephen, the original Bafta-winning drama, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, will be repeated on ITV on Thursday 16th July.
A live discussion programme entitled, Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain changed? will also air on ITV just before the re-broadcast of the original drama.
Given the ongoing conversation about racially inequality - which has recently seen a landmark moment with last month's Black Lives Matter marches after the murder of George Floyd - this sounds like it could not be coming at a more important time.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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