Published On: Tue, May 11th, 2021

Toby Jones transforms into human rights lawyer in new BBC drama Danny Boy

The factual drama Danny Boy is set to air on the BBC later this Spring.

And Toby Jones transformed into human rights lawyer Phil Shiner on an Iraqi war crimes’ crusade in new images released from the upcoming show on Tuesday.  

The single drama follows the real life events of Phil’s pursuit of British soldiers accused of war crimes.

Serious: Toby Jones transformed into a human rights lawyer on an Iraqi war crimes’ crusade in new images released the upcoming BBC drama Danny Boy on Tuesday

Former lawyer Phil and his firm Public Interest Lawyers made more than 1,000 claims involving the British military following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. 

In the new pictures Toby, 54, dressed smartly in a beige overcoat and striped scarf as he carried a collection of files in his arms.   

The story homes in on soldier Brian Wood – played by Anthony Boyle – who embarks on a journey from war hero to alleged murderer following his time in Iraq.

Exciting: The single drama follows the real life events of human rights lawyer Phil Shiner's [Toby Jones] pursuit of British soldiers accused of war crimes

Exciting: The single drama follows the real life events of human rights lawyer Phil Shiner’s [Toby Jones] pursuit of British soldiers accused of war crimes

Disgraced: Shiner was struck off as a solicitor in 2007 after being found guilty of misconduct and dishonesty relating to false abuse claims against British troops

Real life: The real Phil Shiner is pictured outside the High Court in 2010

Disgraced: Shiner was struck off as a solicitor in 2007 after being found guilty of misconduct and dishonesty relating to false abuse claims against British troops (right is the real Shiner)

After returning home from service Wood is accused of war crimes by Shiner, who makes it his mission to undercover the ‘crimes’ of British soldiers.

Wood looked smart in a dark suit in one of the new images released as he waited outside a court room. 

He is also seen in another shot stood next to his wife Lucy Wood played by Leah McNamara. 

Lawyer Deena Aayari – played by Kiran Sonia Sawar – and Patrick O’Connor played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor are also seen looking over documents in another tense image. 

Star: The story homes in on soldier Brian Wood - played by Anthony Boyle (pictured) - who embarks on a journey from war hero to alleged murderer following his time in Iraq

Star: The story homes in on soldier Brian Wood – played by Anthony Boyle (pictured) – who embarks on a journey from war hero to alleged murderer following his time in Iraq

Real life: After returning home from service Wood is accused of war crimes by Shiner, who makes it his mission to undercover the 'crimes' of British soldiers

Soldier: The real Brian Wood is pictured during an appearance on Good Morning Britain in April 2021

Real life: After returning home from service Wood (pictured in April, right) is accused of war crimes by Shiner, who makes it his mission to undercover the ‘crimes’ of British soldiers

Drama: Viewers will see Shiner and Wood (actor Anthony Boyle pictured) go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the courtroom

Drama: Viewers will see Shiner and Wood (actor Anthony Boyle pictured) go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the courtroom

Family: Wood is also seen in another shot stood next to his wife Lucy Wood played by Leah McNamara

Family: Wood is also seen in another shot stood next to his wife Lucy Wood played by Leah McNamara

Viewers will see Shiner and Wood go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the courtroom.

The story is set to investigate one of Britain’s biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry. 

The drama explores the effect Brian’s experience has not just on him, but also on his family.  

Tough: The drama explores the effect Brian's experience has not just on him, but also on his family including his father and ex-soldier, Gavin, played by Alex Ferns, (right) and his wife Lucy

Tough: The drama explores the effect Brian’s experience has not just on him, but also on his family including his father and ex-soldier, Gavin, played by Alex Ferns, (right) and his wife Lucy

True tale: The real Brian Wood is pictured with his family after collecting his MC (Military Cross) at Buckingham palace, with the new BBC show recreating the moment in the show

True tale: The real Brian Wood is pictured with his family after collecting his MC (Military Cross) at Buckingham palace, with the new BBC show recreating the moment in the show

This includes his father and ex-soldier, Gavin, played by former EastEnder Ferns, and his wife Lucy, played by Leah McNamara. 

Boyle said: ‘I’m thrilled to be telling Brian’s extraordinary story. We get to explore not just the realities of war, but how they can come back to haunt you.’

Toby Jones added: ‘Robert has written an extraordinarily compelling, intelligent and nuanced script, and it’s a real honour to be working with Danny Boy’s exceptional cast and creative team to bring it to the screen.’ 

Work: Lawyer Deena Aayari - played by Kiran Sonia Sawar - and Patrick O'Connor played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor are also seen looking over documents in another tense image

Work: Lawyer Deena Aayari – played by Kiran Sonia Sawar – and Patrick O’Connor played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor are also seen looking over documents in another tense image

Real life: The story is set to investigate one of Britain's biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry (pictured is lawyer Patrick O'Connor played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor)

Real life: The story is set to investigate one of Britain’s biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry (pictured is lawyer Patrick O’Connor played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor)

Shiner founded and ran Public Interest Lawyers before it was shut in 2016 and he was later struck off in 2017 for ‘misconduct’.

Several of the allegations centered on the Battle of Danny Boy, when 28 Iraqi insurgents were killed and nine militants were taken to the Camp Abu Naji military base to be questioned – later claiming they had been subjected to torture.  

Shiner was struck off as a solicitor in 2017 after being found guilty of misconduct and dishonesty relating to false abuse claims against British troops. 

Job: Shiner (right) founded and ran Public Interest Lawyers before it was shut in 2016 and he was later struck off in 2007 for 'misconduct'

Job: Shiner (right) founded and ran Public Interest Lawyers before it was shut in 2016 and he was later struck off in 2007 for ‘misconduct’

Important project: Director Sam Miller is pictured with actor Toby Jones on location for Danny Boy

Important project: Director Sam Miller is pictured with actor Toby Jones on location for Danny Boy 

Writer Robert Jones continued: ‘Here’s a man who won a medal for valour, but whose toughest test was the scrutiny that followed. External scrutiny, and soul searching too – Brian Wood’s story is a fascinating one for a writer to explore.

‘It’s been a great privilege to work with producers of such distinction and I’m really delighted we’re going into production with Sam Miller at the helm and a terrific cast and crew.’

Sue Horth and Colin Barr, executive producers for Expectation, said: ‘Robert’s script is a razor-sharp examination of one of our most urgent and morally challenging questions: when is killing an act of war and when is it an act of murder? 

Tense: Several of the allegations centered on the Battle of Danny Boy, when 28 Iraqi insurgents were killed and nine militants were taken to the Camp Abu Naji military base to be questioned

Tense: Several of the allegations centered on the Battle of Danny Boy, when 28 Iraqi insurgents were killed and nine militants were taken to the Camp Abu Naji military base to be questioned

Opinions: Viewers will see Shiner (centre) and Wood go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the courtroom

Opinions: Viewers will see Shiner (centre) and Wood go head-to-head in a moral and legal battle that follows the story from checkpoint Danny Boy to the courtroom

‘The story of Colour Sergeant Brian Wood and human rights lawyer, Phil Shiner – who accused him of war crimes – goes straight to the heart of that question and it’s an incredible honour to be able to tell it.

‘Bringing it to life for BBC Two with Sam and Simon and an amazing cast only adds to that sense of privilege.’  

Danny Boy is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest).

It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. Executive Producers are Colin Barr and Susan Horth for Expectation, and Lucy Richer, Jo McClellan and Clare Sillery for the BBC.

Danny Boy will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this Spring. 

New role: Boyle (pictured) said: 'I'm thrilled to be telling Brian's extraordinary story. We get to explore not just the realities of war, but how they can come back to haunt you'

New role: Boyle (pictured) said: ‘I’m thrilled to be telling Brian’s extraordinary story. We get to explore not just the realities of war, but how they can come back to haunt you’

Upcoming: The show was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama

Upcoming: The show was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama

Talent: Danny Boy is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest)

Talent: Danny Boy is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest)

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