EXCLUSIVE: Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones) and BAFTA winner Francesca Annis (Fresh blood) are among the stars taking part in the second season of Ben Richards’ BBC legal drama Demonstration test.
The pair join previously announced Adeel Akhtar, Nathalie Armin and Michael Socha in the five-part season from Line of duty producer World Productions. Dempsie will play DI Miles Southgate, while Annis will play a character called Dame Harriet Kenny.
The other major cast reveal today is Nina Toussaint-White (Bodyguard) and Fisayo Akinade (Heart catcher). Tom Padley (The Lost Pirate Kingdom), Kerrie Hayes (Blue denim), Ali Khan (Haunting in Venice), Daniel Kendrick (Inside Man), Frankie Wilson (Against ice cream), Anna Próchniak (Tattoo artist from Auschwitz), Anna Wilson Jones (Victoria), John Light (Around the world in 80 days), Aidan McArdle (Master of spies), Daisy Badger (Sandman), Flora Montgomery (Crown), Pearce Quigley (Detectives), John Marquez (Doctor Martin), Anna Healy (Mother’s Day) and Barney Fishwick (Living) also got roles.
“Watching new cast additions is always one of the most rewarding parts of creating a show,” Richards said. “It’s truly an honor to have actors so diverse and talented.”
Demonstration testthe first season aired in October 2021 on BBC One, starring Tracy Ifeachor and Céline Buckens. It came after a murder trial that shook the national consciousness and was picked up by Sundance Now and Acorn TV in the US last year.
The synopsis for season two reads: “When renowned climate activist Marcus Calderwood is left for dead in a brutal hit-and-run, he uses the moments of his death to identify his killer – a cop on duty. But who is this unnamed “Officer X”? What does his own story reveal about the nature of trauma and revenge, and whether Marcus’ death was a careless accident or cold-blooded murder?”
The series follows the case from the victim’s last breath to the jury’s final verdict, following cocky officer Justin Mitchell (Socha), a troubled defense lawyer with a reputation for winning lost cases, Sam Gill (Akhtar) and Leila Hassoun-Kenny (Armin), a rigorous CPS lawyer leading case against the accused. The series will once again explore public outrage and the question of what happens when a trial is dominated by contentious issues.
“I’m a huge fan of everyone involved and can’t wait to bring Ben Richards’ compelling scripts to life with all of them,” said Dempsie.
“Ben is a wonderful writer and I am thrilled to bring the complex character of Dame Harriet Kenny to life,” added Annis. “I was enchanted by the scripts and left you guessing until the last page.”
Julia Ford (Everything I know about love, safe) directs season 2 with Ken Horn (Line of Duty, Moorside producer. Executive producers are Simon Heath and Emma Luffingham for ITV Studios’ World and Nawfal Faizullah for the BBC. Demonstration test Filming is currently taking place in and around Belfast, with support from Northern Ireland Screen in association with ITV Studios, who will also distribute internationally.