Vertigo Films (Britannia, Bronson, Mammals, Monsters) today announces The Dirty Squad, an original series written by showrunner Tom Butterworth (Britannia, Gangs Of London) from an idea by David Morrissey (Sherwood, Britannia, The Walking Dead), who is also set to star.
“The basic test for a decent police force is that it should catch more criminals than it employs.”
Sir Robert Mark, Met Police Commissioner 1972
As yet another Met Police scandal unfolds in the present, the creative team behind anarchic historical hit Britannia are reassembling for ‘THE DIRTY SQUAD,’ a new, irreverent drama on the first exposé of corruption at the heart of the Met Police during the porn boom of the 1970s.
It’s where the “boys club” started.
While London was swinging, the Met Police was busy becoming the biggest criminal gang in the country. The line of duty wasn’t blurred, it was invisible. They turned the revolutionary rock n’ roll chaos and new freedoms of the times into hard cash through bribes, extortion and theft. And as law enforcers, made themselves ruthlessly untouchable.
In response, the newly appointed Met Police Commissioner, Sir Robert Mark, sets up the first police anti-corruption unit – A10.
It was time to clean up the Met police once and for all.
This is the story of why it didn’t work…
The true stories of police dealings with porn barons, judges, politicians and media are epic, mind blowing. Class, sex, money, politics and that uniquely British brand – establishment hypocrisy.
The national identity crisis it sprang from is erupting all around us again…
Like the teams’ previous show, The Dirty Squad irreverently focusses on a period of dramatic change in the UK with the energy of an edge of your seat thriller. It uncovers one of the biggest corruption stories this country has ever known. Tapping into every element of British society and the establishment, how on earth did they get away with it?
Tom Butterworth is lead writer and Exec Producer. David Morrissey is playing one of the leads and Exec producing and James Richardson is Exec producing for Vertigo Films.
David Morrissey says:
“I was looking into a story of present-day police corruption but everywhere I turned seemed to drive me backwards in time, to the officers that had come before, until I reached The Dirty Squad of the late 60s and 70 – a story of systemic corruption and misogyny so jaw-dropping you’d think it could never happen again…”
Tom Butterworth says:
“You couldn’t invent these true-life characters and their heinous, shameless, sometimes comically insane exploits. It’s like Narcos meets Carry on Up Scotland Yard. British myths have long fascinated me. The stories we tell ourselves about our institutions are no exception.”
James Richardson says:
“The facts are extraordinary. Each layer uncovers something more outrageous about society with the most incredible characters. As funny as it is dark, and as thrilling as it is shocking, we want it to be an edge of your seat look at the U.K. And perhaps a mirror into today.”