Courtroom Drama Silk Headed to Masterpiece This Summer

Maxine Peak as Martha (Photo: Courtesy of © BBC 2011 for MASTERPIECE)
Maxine Peak as Martha (Photo: Courtesy of © BBC 2011 for MASTERPIECE)
Move over, detectives – we’re getting a different kind of procedural this summer on Masterpiece Mystery! Legal drama Silk will premiere in the US in August and it will put barristers (that’s British for lawyer) front and center for once.

The series is focused on a group of barristers who are all rather competitively obsessed with attaining the highest rank in their profession, being appointed a Queen’s Counsel. This promotion is known as “taking the silk” and refers to the fact that Queen’s Counsel wear a distinctive silk gown (and a full-bottomed wig) when they appear in court. Obviously, it’s also what gives the show its name.

The story  largely follows the rivalry between Maxine Peak’s Martha Costello and Rupert Penry-Jones’ Clive Reader,  two rising stars who attempt to backstab, outwit and outdo one another because they’ve both applied to be Queen’s Counsel. Natalie Dormer and Tom Hughes play the chamber’s two new young pupils attempting to learn how to navigate the this complicated world.

Take a look at the BBC trailer for Silk below. 

The series was created by Criminal Justice’s Peter Moffat and is based on his own experiences as a barrister.

"I want to tell it as it really is," said Moffat. "The extreme pressure, the hard choices, the ethical dilemmas, the overlap between the personal and the professional, principles fought for and principles sacrificed, the Machiavellian politics, the sex, the drinking, the whole story – life at the bar is the richest possible drama territory."

The six hour long episodes of Silk will air in three two-hour installments, and the series premieres on Masterpiece Mystery beginning August 25th. It will air Sunday nights through September 8th.

What do you think? Sound interesting?

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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