A new documentary looks back at the murder of a teenager that shook the nation 25 years ago. Here’s how to watch it and what to expect…
What time is Stephen: the Murder That Changed a Nation on TV?
Stephen: the Murder That Changed a Nation begins on Tuesday 17th April at 9pm on BBC1.
The second and third episodes will air on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th at the same time.
What is it about?
Stephen Lawrence, a promising athlete and a conscientious student, was 18 when he was stabbed to death 25 years ago at a south-London bus stop in an unprovoked attack by a gang of white youths.
His murder would convulse the nation, forcing it to look at attitudes towards race and crime, and the repercussions echo to this day – not just because the killing is still being investigated.
In the first of a three-part documentary, film-makers Asif Kapadia, Janes Gay-Rees and James Rogan track the events from that night, 22 April 1993, and the catalogue of police and wider society failings that followed.
The focus of the first episode is Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother and his great champion in the struggle for justice. “People seem to think I’ve moved on and got over his death. I haven’t.”
In episode two, the second police investigation reveals shocking surveillance footage of the gang alleged to have killed Stephen, and with the help of their lawyer Imran Khan, Doreen and Neville Lawrence launch the first private murder prosecution in 150 years. However, when it collapses, questions about the failure of the first police investigation mount.
The final part of the documentary focuses on the public inquiry, which leads to a change in the law meaning the suspects can be retried. Detective Clive Driscoll takes on the case, and with the help of advances in forensic science he arrests Gary Dobson and David Norris. But as justice seems to have finally been done, revelations that the police spied on the Lawrence family begin to surface.