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Better (British TV series)

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GenreCrime Drama
Created byJonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent
Written byJonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent
ComposerSamuel Sim
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes5 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Jonathan Brackley
  • Sam Vincent
  • Lucy Dyke
  • Nawfal Faizullah
  • Mona Qureshi
  • Jane Featherstone
  • Chris Fry
ProducerJames Dean
Running time59 minutes
Production companySister
Original release
NetworkBBC One
Release13 February (2023-02-13) –
13 March 2023 (2023-03-13)

Better is a British crime drama television drama series, created and written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, about a corrupt police officer who attempts to turn her life around, only for it to get much worse. The series began broadcast on BBC One on 13 February 2023, with all episodes available on BBC iPlayer simultaneously.[1][2]


After her son almost dies, corrupt police detective Lou Slack attempts to make amends for her sins and escape Col McHugh, the powerful criminal she has been working for.





No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
1"Episode 1"Jonathan BroughJonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent13 February 2023 (2023-02-13)4.69
Lou Slack recovers a firearm from a gangland shooting on behalf of businessman Col McHugh. A few days later she attends a party at McHugh's house, during which time her son Owen contracts meningitis and her husband Ceri takes him to hospital.[3]
2"Episode 2"Jonathan BroughJonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent20 February 2023 (2023-02-20)3.75
Owen is using a wheelchair and attends a support group, which McHugh sends his son Donal to infiltrate. Slack tracks down retired officer Vernon Marley who has experience of the West Yorkshire organised crime world.
3"Episode 3"Jonathan BroughJonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent27 February 2023 (2023-02-27)3.61
During a vehicle stop on the Malik gang, Slack plants drugs in their car which DC Esther Okoye notices.
4"Episode 4"Pier WilkieNick Ahad, Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent6 March 2023 (2023-03-06)3.49
To keep Okoye on her side, Slack sets up McHugh for an arrest but Okoye finds nothing incriminating on his person. Slack and McHugh have a showdown but he agrees to let her go. Later at Marley's house, McHugh's associate Bulgey tries to kill her but Marley shoots him first.
5"Episode 5"Jonathan BroughJonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent13 March 2023 (2023-03-13)3.75
Marley is killed in prison by one of McHugh's associates. Slack and McHugh agree to hand themselves in to the Police.


Sean O'Grady from The Independent gave the first episode four out of five stars, praising Farzad and Buchan.[4] Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian awarded the first episode three stars out of five, criticising the opening but finding it gained momentum by the end.[5] Anita Singh in The Telegraph also gave it three stars out of five, unimpressed by the plot.[6]


  1. ^ "Better cast – who stars in the BBC thriller?". Radio Times.
  2. ^ Cormack, Morgan (22 April 2022). "BBC One's Better: everything you need to know about the new drama". Stylist.
  3. ^ Stylist https://www.stylist.co.uk/entertainment/tv/better-bbc-one-episode-one-recap/761672
  4. ^ "In Better, Leila Farzad brings flawed humanity to a bent copper – review". The Independent. 13 February 2023. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  5. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (13 February 2023). "Better review – this moreish bent copper show gets stronger and stronger". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Singh, Anita (13 February 2023). "Better, review: the BBC brings back bent coppers – but this is no Line of Duty". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 3 March 2023.

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