The Syndicate (TV series)
|Created by||Kay Mellor|
|Written by||Kay Mellor|
|Opening theme||"All or Nothing"
by Small Faces
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||11|
|Executive producer(s)||Polly Hill
|Running time||59 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Rollem Productions|
|Original channel||BBC One|
|Picture format||16:9 1080i|
|Original release||27 March 2012– present|
The Syndicate is a British television drama series. It was written by Kay Mellor and is broadcast on BBC One. The first series concerns five supermarket workers in Leeds, who enter a lottery syndicate and win. The second series focuses on another syndicate in a similar situation, this time workers at a public hospital in Bradford, Yorkshire. Each episode centres on a different character.
BBC One has renewed The Syndicate for a third series of six episodes, which will air in 2015.
- Bob Davies (played by Timothy Spall), the manager of Right Buy U in Leeds, who is hit over the head with a bottle of whiskey in a staged robbery in the shop. He later discovers he has a brain tumor and goes to Africa for surgery, after marrying life partner Anne. (Series 1)
- Denise Simpson – Lorraine Bruce (Series 1, 2)
- Jamie Bradley – Matthew Lewis (Series 1)
- Leanne Powell – Joanna Page (Series 1)
- Stuart Bradley – Matthew McNulty (Series 1)
- Amy Cartwright – Amy Beth Hayes (Series 1)
- DCI Newell – John Paul Hurley (Series 1)
- Joyce Bradley – Clare Higgins
- Peter Davies – Anthony Lewis
- Gareth Powell – Kai Owen
- Annie Davies – Katherine Dow Blyton
- Mandy Atkinson – Siobhan Finneran
- Rose Wilson – Alison Steadman
- Alan Walters – Mark Addy
- Becky Atkinson – Natalie Gavin
- Tom Bedford – Jimi Mistry
- Steve Atkinson – Steven Waddington
- Reah Atkinson – Roma Christensen
- Helen Dolan – Sally Rogers
- Luke Summers – Karl Davies
- Denise Simpson – Lorraine Bruce
Series 1 (2012)
|#||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers
|1||"Stuart"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||27 March 2012||5.87|
|Stuart Bradley lives in Leeds, West Yorkshire with his mother Joyce, his pregnant fiancée Amy, his younger brother Jamie and his and Amy's son Jack. Joyce is a dinner lady at the local primary school. Stuart and Jamie work at a local convenience store, Right Buy U, where Stuart has worked since he was 15, and is now the assistant manager. Jamie was formerly a drug user, and has had trouble with the police. He is a bit of a jack-the-lad, in contrast to Stuart, who, although not being clever, is sensible and responsible. Amy and Joyce hate each other and often argue about how to bring up Jack. Amy treats Stuart very poorly, and in one particularly selfish moment, bought herself lots of expensive things with Stuart's credit card, landing him in a lot of debt. Jamie is trying to turn his life around. He hasn't touched drugs in over a year, has just finished his probation period and is saving up his money. He wants to move out of his mother's house because he is sick of all the arguing between Joyce and Amy, which disrupts the peaceful lifestyle he is trying to build. One morning, with Amy 8 months pregnant, she and Joyce have one argument too many, and she decides to take Jack and go to her parents' house. She tells Stuart he has to find the three, soon to become four, of them a place to live. He goes looking at flats, but needs £2000 to pay a deposit and the first 3 months rent. He asks Bob, the manager of Right Buy U, for a pay rise or a bonus, but Bob instead tells him the shop has been bought by a bigger company, Newbury's, and they might all lose their jobs. Leanne, Denise, Jamie, Bob and the unfortunate Stuart are the 5 members of the syndicate, and make up the staff of Right Buy U. Stuart finds out that Amy has gone into labour and he runs to hospital to see her, only to pass out as he is asthmatic. Jamie comes to the hospital and tells Stuart his plan. The two of them could rob Right Buy U to get Stuart the money he needs. At first Stuart dismisses it as criminal and just another of Jamie's jack-the-lad schemes, but he comes round and, using Jack's toy gun, they plan to stage a robbery, with Stuart locking up the shop and Jamie bursting in, pretending to be a robber. Jamie leaves the shop early saying that he is going out on a date. Denise, Bob and Leanne all go home. Stuart stays behind to cash in and close the shop. After everyone has gone, Jamie runs around the corner, dresses up as a robber and takes out the toy gun. He covers his face and runs to the shop. Because of the CCTV cameras, he and Stuart act out a robbery, with Jamie waving the gun around and marching Stuart into the back of the shop, where the safe is. Stuart is putting the money from the safe into bag, when he hears Bob coming back into the shop. Bob had left his phone in the bathroom. Jamie hides behind some boxes while Bob gets his phone. In a blind panic, and unnecessarily, Jamie grabs a bottle of whiskey and hits Bob over the head with it. Jamie grabs the money and runs, while a distressed Stuart calls an ambulance. The ambulance arrives and takes Bob to hospital. DCI Newell of West Yorkshire Police also arrives and begins to question Staurt. Straight away he is unkind and unnecessarily hostile to Stuart, and doesn't believe his story as an innocent victim. He is later very hostile to Jamie, because he is an ex-drug user, and is highly suspicious of the brother's involvement, especially because of a scene on the CCTV where Stuart waves his arm down and clearly mouths the words "Get down" to the robber when he hears Bob coming back into the shop. There is no sound on the CCTV, but there is no mistaking the words Stuart says. Stuart goes in the ambulance to hospital with Bob after being questioned by a detective. Stuart goes back to his mother's house to confront Jamie where Denise enters and tells them all that they have won the lottery. The next day Stuart goes to the shop to meet with the members of the syndicate and an American representative of the lottery. Stuart has not paid in five weeks so Denise, Leanne, and Jamie vote to see if Stuart is allowed a share of the money. The vote comes back 2-1 so they visit Bob at the hospital where he says that Stuart can have a share of the money. They have a public announcement which was flash-backed at the beginning of the episode. Leanne mysteriously tries to shy away from the cameras.|
|2||"Denise"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||3 April 2012||6.09|
|Denise is considering plastic surgery, she has had her eyes "lasered" already. The episode skips back five days where she returns home to her mother who is bedridden. She tells Denise that Dave, Denise's unemployed husband, has gone out and not come home, and is not answering his mobile. Denise overhears the lottery and hears the syndicate's numbers. She then tells Jamie and Stuart. The next morning she is awoken by Dave where he says that he wants to break up with Denise as he says that the marriage has failed. The episode switches to after the appointment concerning plastic surgery where we learn that DCI Newell is back at the shop and Denise is trying to have surgery. She tells him to meet her at her mother's birthday party. Denise and Leanne return to the shop and see Jamie pull up with a Ferrari. Denise tells DCI Newell that when she went to tell them about the win, Jamie was also there which contradicts his alibi. Denise gets her teeth whitened, hair done, and buys new clothes to win back her husband. They visit Bob where he tells them that they found something in a head scan. She then goes back home and tries to persuade her mother to go to a hotel while she secretly has the operations for the plastic surgery. At the birthday party Dave comes back after hearing Denise has won the lottery and Denise welcomes him back. Leanne tells Denise's mother about the surgery. The next morning Denise is told by a male carer of her mother that Dave has been living with him. Stuart is called back to the station for more questioning where he is asked why in the CCTV does it appear that he is telling the robber to "get down"? Leanne is sick of the replacement manager from Bob and quits her job. Denise confronts Dave next to some "Land For Sale" next to a dog centre where she dropped off a stray earlier in the episode. She tells him that she is breaking up with him for going out with the gay carer and he cannot have much of the money from the lottery win. She later declares to her mother she is not going to have the surgery and she is going to buy the land next to the dog centre so she can volunteer at the centre.|
|3||"Bob"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||10 April 2012||5.98|
|Bob has the results of his scans back at the hospital, where he is told that he has terminal brain cancer. Bob discovers the truth about the robbery from Stuart, and decides not to pursue any action against him and Jamie. As Stuart leaves the house, Bob's long-term domestic partner, Annie, informs him of Bob's illness. Meanwhile, Bob meets with his ex-wife, June, and gives her a cheque. Stuart informs Leanne of Bob's illness, and they conduct research, in which they discover that there is a treatment available in South Africa, which so far has had amazing results. However, Bob is sceptical about the treatment. He decides to throw a party at a hotel, where he proposes marriage to Annie. She accepts, but only on the condition that he goes to South Africa. Bob agrees, and Annie accepts his proposal.|
|4||"Leanne"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||17 April 2012||6.08|
|The episode starts by showing us Bob's party from the perspective of Leanne and Stuart. They go to Stuart's suite for a celebratory drink. As they lie in front of the fire, Stuart's asks Leanne not to move away. He talks about his constant rows with Amy, and how he hates how being rich and living in a mansion has changed Amy. He then admits he's falling in love with Leanne. While it is clear she feels the same way, she tries to resist. They kiss, and are about to have sex, when Leanne stops and thinks about what she is doing. There is huge sexual tension between Stuart and Leanne, as they are the obvious young-and-attractive members of the syndicate, they both know what it's like to be young parents and they are good friends. Amy and Jamie correctly suspect Stuart and Leanne of having feelings for each other. Without them knowing, Jamie takes a picture of them leaving Stuart's suite on his iPhone. He even remarks "What are you two doing? As if I had to ask." implying that Jamie was well aware of the sexual tension well before Bob's party. Leanne's past catches up to her as her daughter goes missing from Bob's party. As she tries to frantically search for her, she reveals the truth to Stuart. Once he knows, he attempts to help Leanne run away from her ex, but when he realises she's got a husband she's never told him about Stuart starts to wonder if he really knows everything. When the police arrive at Stuart's mansion to arrest Leanne the truth finally comes out. Leanne and her husband were unable to have children. They fostered a newborn baby girl, and had her for two years. They were a few weeks away from adopting her when the birth mother, a drug user, wanted her back. In a blind panic, Leanne took the baby to Swansea railway station and got on the first train that was leaving. She started again in Leeds, and got a job at Right Buy U. When she applied to Bob for the job, she made up her national insurance number, although Bob, notoriously slack on his paperwork, never realised this. Her husband was left behind in Wales. He is now looking for her because he wants a divorce, because his new girlfriend is pregnant. He doesn't want any money, her back, nor to take Stacey, which are the three things Leanne thought he wanted. When Jamie shows Amy a picture of Stuart and Leanne together she gets the wrong end of the stick, and commits actions which have bad consequences for everyone involved. Meanwhile, it's the last day at the shop for the members of the syndicate, except Leanne and Jamie who have already quit. However, Stuart doesn't last until the end of the day when he is fired for leaving during working hours. The police correctly arrest Leanne for child abduction and take her to the police station. Peter, Bob's solicitor son, is called by Stuart to provide legal representation for Leanne, and her manages to get her bail. She is currently under investigation jointly by West Yorkshire Police and South Wales Police. Although DCI Newell, and DCI Owen of South Wales Police, are sympathetic to Leanne, they know that she has done wrong. She is charged with child abduction and released on bail, awaiting a court hearing.|
|5||"Jamie"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||24 April 2012||6.04|
|Jamie thinks he is untouchable now that he has won the lottery. The police are convinced that he has had something to do with the robbery at Right Buy U supermarket. Jamie tries to live his dream, but his old past lingers in the shadows. When the local drug dealer, Boss, pays Jamie a visit, he is forced to go head to head with him with dramatic consequences. There is a break in at Jamie's part owned club and when he arrives, he finds his Ferrari has got paint on it that says 'NOBODY SAYS NO' but when he asks the people who he thinks trashed it, they didn't know what he was talking about. The police are there as is the main police officer throughout the series, DCI Newall. The break in at the club is the same day Jamie was interviewed by the DCI and he was almost arrested. He manages to hatch a plan with DCI Newell to get Boss arrested for intent to supply by arranging to buy two kilos of cocaine from him, and then tipping off the police. Leanne's court case in Wales is imminent and Stuart is torn between his life with Amy and Leanne who he is desperate to support. The lottery gets in touch with the Syndicate to find out how their lives have changed. Meanwhile in South Africa, Bob and Annie marry, and Bob undergoes surgery. He later returns to England and announces that although they can't be certain, the tumour was successfully removed and he is hopeful that the cancer is now in remission. Amy and Stuart are due to go on holiday to St Lucia, where Amy wants to get married. Leanne leaves with Stacey, but tells Stuart she won't change her phone number and when he's free and has sorted things out with Amy, he can call her. Amy sees them talking, and tells Stuart she is going to St Lucia without him, with just his mother and the children, and that winning the lottery has changed him. Stuart tells the lottery people that he doesn't think he's changed, but instead 'it is the people around me that have changed' (meaning Amy). He calls the police and tells them the truth about the robbery, and they go to arrest Jamie. Jamie flees from the police, and after a short car chase, he accidentally crashes the car when distracted by an incoming call from Stuart, who is ringing to warn him that he has told the police everything. The police come to see Stuart and tell him that Jamie has been killed in the crash. At the end of the episode, a previously recorded video of Jamie says smilingly that winning the lottery is the best thing that has ever happened to him.|
Series 2 (2013)
The second series aired in 2013 on BBC One. It revolves around another syndicate in a similar situation. It was written by Kay Mellor. The series looks at a syndicate involving workers at a public hospital in Bradford, Yorkshire. Series 2 began on BBC One on 19 March 2013 and consisted of 6 episodes.
|#||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers
|1||"'Becky'"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||19 March 2013||6.50|
|Mandy Atkinson resides in a terraced house in Bradford, with her husband Steve and 22-year old daughter Becky. Both she and her daughter work at the local St Anthony's Hospital, where they are part of a syndicate composed of themselves, auxiliary nurse Rose Wilson (who is on the waiting list for knee surgery), nurse Tom Bedford and porter Alan Walters, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Having left her father to babysit her 5-year old daughter Reah (whom she had at the age of seventeen) Becky heads out to a nightclub with her friend Tamsin. Having purchased the syndicate's Euro Lottery ticket earlier in the day from Fat Frieda (the over-talkative shopkeeper) while still at work, Becky inadvertedly hands it over to a stranger that she had been talking to, Luke Summers, who claims to be a rugby player for Bradford Bulls. Soon, Helen Dolan (a nurse at the hospital who left the syndicate four and a half months ago and was replaced by Becky) discovers that they have won the lottery.|
|2||"Tom"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||26 March 2013||5.58|
|Tom is a male nurse at St Anthony' Hospital, who is married to Natalie, a nurse on Maternity. Tom's episode focuses on him and Natalie trying for a baby, however after 3 unsuccessful attempts of IVF off the NHS, the couple cannot afford another course of treatment which will cost £5,000. Tom's episode shows the effects of him winning the lottery, including the jealousy his friends have after Tom treats himself to a Bentley as well as having a bike, even though his friends do not realise that Tom is having a hard time after learning that his father was already married when he met Tom's mother and that he had another family, including a wife, a daughter and two other sons.|
|3||"Rose"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||2 April 2013||6.34|
|Rose's episode begins with Rose having a nightmare of her being prosecuted and found guilty of fraud and jailed to a 7 year custodial sentence, however she soon wakes up and it is discovered that she was having a nightmare while coming out of anaesthetic. She had a knee operation, after damaging her knees many years previous. Rose's episode flashes back to her family, including her daughter Bethany dancing with her dance group for the patients on the wards and her son Sean who's been kicked out by his partner Kelly for 'doing nothin', and her job and how winning the lottery had changed her life, as the DWP find out she was fraudulently claiming benefits as she had 5 children and her wages weren't covering the expenses. Rose's episode ends with her receiving a letter to say she has to pay £87,000 and she will be cleared. Unfortunately, some tabloid journalists then turn up, later revealed to have been tipped off by a bitter Helen, and take a photograph of Rose outside of her house, to use to run a story on her case.|
|4||"Luke"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||9 April 2013||6.22|
|Becky is delighted to be reunited with her lottery ticket and Luke, but as she becomes a millionaire, life isn't as easy as it may seem. Her and Luke's relationship seems to be budding and prospering better than expected, however when it seems like her friend is just using her for her money she begins to get agitated. Fearing Luke is staying with her for the same reason, she gets irritated when he mentions a holiday with his mentally disabled brother on a night out. This leads them to argue and Luke reveals that he knew that he had the winning lottery ticket on the night of the win and intended to keep it until Becky turned up looking for it, before adding that his brother is mentally disabled because he had fallen off the back of Luke's motorbike without wearing a crash helmet. Reeling from his revelation, Becky invests £100,000 into the Bradford Bulls Rugby Club in hope of impressing Matt Greco. Although he admits being interested in Becky, he declares that she comes second best, behind his Rugby Career. Afterwards Becky realises the mistake that she has made and not wanting to lose Luke, she attempts to apologise to him for her behaviour. Luke accepts and their relationship is re-ignited. The episode ends with Becky giving Luke her BMW Car, although reluctant Becky insists and he takes the car thankfully.|
|5||"Alan"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||16 April 2013||6.37|
|Alan is a several times divorced man and recovering alcoholic, and has a budding relationship with Rose, with whom he smokes home-grown cannabis on a regular basis to help her with the pain in her knees. Upon winning the lottery, his latent alcoholism begins to return, despite his friend's reminders of what his alcoholism did to his relationship with his son. His forgetfulness frequently leads to him forgetting items he is supposed to transport through the hospital, such as corpses, and after being suspended, he angrily quits his job. Alan goes online and orders a mail-order bride from Thailand, whom he asks Tom to pick up from the airport after running into some difficulty. He meets her at a luxury hotel, and plans to take her to visit London. His new bride hesitantly agrees to a kiss on their first night, but flinches when he tries to get intimate, saying that they need to get to know each other first, but agrees to travel with him. In London, he is encouraged to try and repair his relationship with his estranged son. However, his behaviour offends his son, who reveals that he has only just kicked a heroin habit, and expresses disgust at his father's irresponsible behaviour. Alan is upset, but his new bride consoles him, and, while walking along the Thames Embankment, they see an expensive yacht for sale, and Alan buys it on the spot. That night, his new bride agrees to get intimate with him, but when she undresses, he discovers that she is a kathoey (explaining why she flinched at his earlier attempt to get intimate), and, despite her protests, Alan flees the boat, promising to pay for her flight back to Thailand. He returns home and goes up to his cannabis farm, lights up a joint and pours himself a glass of whisky. Unfortunately, he falls asleep, accidentally dropping his lit joint and igniting the cannabis plants. Rose, who had been concerned by his absence, runs into his equally concerned friend, and the two see smoke billowing from the house, and manage to break in and drag him to safety. After the fire is extinguished, Alan comments that his friend is probably feeling light-headed because of all the cannabis smoke that he inhaled, and resolves to sort himself out. He and Rose form a relationship.|
|6||"Mandy"||Kay Mellor||Kay Mellor||23 April 2013||6.71|
|Mandy, the main organiser of the Syndicate, has been secretly stealing medication from work for years and mixing it with beer, in order to control her violently abusive husband, Steve's behaviour. She longs to escape from her marriage, and her victory in the Lottery may be her ticket out. Unfortunately, Steve catches her putting the medication into a beer she was about to give him, and violently attacks her. The two tussle, and the fight ends with Steve falling down the stairs into the basement and breaking his leg. Horrified, and not wanting him to go to the hospital, where he may reveal what she has been doing, she makes him comfortable in the basement and ties him up, planning to nurse him herself. The only people she tells are Alan, whom she asks to help, and who has been trying to protect her from Steve for years, and Helen Dolan. After learning of what Mandy is doing, Helen tells her that she will have to report her to the police. Mandy, realising that Helen is still bitter about not getting any of the lottery money despite having paid into the syndicate for years, agrees to pay her a million pounds to keep her quiet, but then angrily tells her she was going to offer two million before she made her threat, so Helen resolves to report her anyway. Steve recovers, and Mandy plans to leave for good, but Becky foolishly unties him after finding out, and he attacks Mandy again. At that moment, Alan arrives, witnesses the commotion, and attacks Steve, accidentally causing him to fall and injure his skull, and forcing them to take him to hospital. The fall makes Steve forget everything that has happened, and, with Tom's help, Becky is able to cover up her mother's theft of the medication, leaving Helen's case in tatters. Resolving that a holiday is what they need, Mandy and Steve decide to go on holiday to Ibiza. However, at the airport, Mandy discovers that Becky has left her another ticket, to Greece, and placed some water and a screwdriver in her father's hand luggage, causing him to be stopped by security. Seeing her chance, Mandy abandons Steve at the airport and gets on the plane to Greece, where she buys herself a new house next to the sea.|
Series 3 (2015)
BBC One has renewed The Syndicate for a third series of six episodes, which will air in 2015. Series 3 will be filmed in Yorkshire in 2014.
The BBC announced the details of the third series of the programme on October 21, 2014. Actor/comedian Lenny Henry will star in the series, which chronicles the lottery win of a staff syndicate at a crumbling stately home.
On 1 February 2013, it was announced that ABC ordered a pilot for a US remake. It was renamed Lucky 7 and written by David Zabel and Jason Richman. Lucky 7 was cancelled on October 4, 2013 after only two episodes were broadcast, due to extremely low ratings.
- Munn, Patrick (August 1, 2013). "BBC One Renews 'The Syndicate' For Third Season". TVWise. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "Weekly Top 30 Programmes (See relevant weeks)". BARB.co.uk. Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "'The Syndicate' picked up for second series by BBC One". The Syndicate (TV series). Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "'The Syndicate' Episode Guide". The Syndicate (TV series). BBC One. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Anthony Andrews, Lenny Henry and Elizabeth Berrington head cast for third series of Kay Mellor's The Syndicate". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "'The Syndicate': BBC drama to be remade for US television". Digital Spy. 1 February 2013.
- "'Lucky 7' canceled: Fall's first axed show". Entertainment Weekly. 4 October 2013.