Buried (TV series)

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Genre Crime drama
Created by
  • Jimmy Gardner
  • Robert Jones
  • Kath Mattock
Directed by
  • Morag McKinnon
  • Kenneth Gleenan
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
Original language(s)
  • English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Tony Garnett
Producer(s) Diana Barton
  • United Kingdom
Cinematography Mark Waters
Editor(s) Paul Endacott
David Gibson
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
Picture format 16:9
Audio format Stereo
Original release 14 January – 4 March 2003

Buried is a British television prison drama series, produced by World Productions for Channel 4 and originally broadcast between January 14 and March 4, 2003. The series stars Lennie James as Lee Kingley, a career criminal who is sentenced to serve a long prison sentence at HMP Mandrake in order to protect a member of his family from a violent thug. Critically well-received, the programme won the Best Drama Series category at the British Academy Television Awards in 2004.[1] The eight-part series also starred Stephen Walters, Jane Hazlegrove and Neil Bell in key roles. The series was co-created by Jimmy Gardner, Robert Jones and Kath Mattock, who had previously collaborated on the BAFTA-award winning BBC2 series The Cops.

The series was described by the show's producers as portraying "the strict hierarchy that exists among prisoners, and the unspoken co-operation that allows six officers to govern hundreds of inmates", and how the "prisoners and officers alike are locked in psychological warfare, and that each day is an exercise in survival."[2] It was suggested midway through the series run that it was unlikely to be recommissioned because of poor ratings. The series averaged just a million viewers and an 8% audience share in it's Tuesday night slot of 10:35pm.[3] A Channel 4 spokesperson said: "It's a good piece of drama, but the audiences haven't been as good as the critical response," the source said.[4] Due to poor ratings and "lack of viewer interest", the series has never been released on DVD. However, in 2016, the complete series was released as a box-set on All4 and is available to watch on demand.[5]



Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1 "Episode 1" Jimmy Gardner Kenneth Gleenan 14 January 2003 (2003-01-14)
Staff and prisoners at HMP Mandrake meet new inmate Lee Kingley, who has been sentenced to ten years for GBH and a firearms offence.
2 "Episode 2" Robert Jones Kenneth Gleenan 21 January 2003 (2003-01-21)
Ronaldo returns to D wing, having recovered from a stabbing and claiming not to remember who attacked him. Patty has been transferred for safety, and Lee is wary of possible reprisals.
3 "Episode 3" TBA Morag McKinnon 28 January 2003 (2003-01-28)
Lee's fearsome brother Troy arrives on the wing. Lee is happy to spend time with him, but reluctant to get involved with the drug dealing and money lending that his status immediately affords him.
4 "Episode 4" Richard Zajdlic Morag McKinnon 4 February 2003 (2003-02-04)
With his brother Troy 'ghosted', Lee is top dog on the wing. However, his reputation is endangered when a rumour goes round that Kappa, his sidekick, is a paedophile.
5 "Episode 5" TBA Morag McKinnon 11 February 2003 (2003-02-11)
Russo receives a tip-off that an officer is bringing drugs onto D wing. He orders Nick to lean on a renowned grass, Collit, in order to find out who's responsible.
6 "Episode 6" TBA TBA 18 February 2003 (2003-02-18)
Female officer DD retaliates when she is assaulted by an angry prisoner, who then makes a complaint against her. She is ordered to go and see Nick for counselling.
7 "Episode 7" TBA TBA 25 February 2003 (2003-02-25)
Lee returns from segregation noticeably more reserved. Shiel is now top dog and Lee is happy to let him run the wing, until he attempts to sexually harass vulnerable first-timer Lucas.
8 "Episode 8" TBA TBA 4 March 2003 (2003-03-04)
Lee gets a visit from his lawyer and the police. They want him to give evidence against Paul Brown, the policeman who put him inside.


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