Edinburgh Underbelly: Irvine Welsh’s Crime Cast

Irvine Welsh’s “Crime” isn’t your typical detective drama. Adapted from an unpublished novel by the renowned Scottish author, the series dives headfirst into the gritty underbelly of Edinburgh, weaving a complex narrative of crime, trauma, and redemption. 

But the heart of the show lies in its captivating cast of characters, brought to life by a talented ensemble of actors.

Leading the Charge: Dougray Scott as DI Ray Lennox

At the center of the storm stands Detective Inspector Ray Lennox, played by the stoic and ever- watchable Dougray Scott. Lennox is a hardened cop battling his own demons. 

Haunted by a past tragedy, he grapples with alcoholism and the ghosts of unsolved cases. Scott delivers a nuanced performance, portraying Lennox’s gruff exterior that slowly crumbles as he delves deeper into the darkness of the investigation.

A Beacon of Light: Joanna Vanderham as DS Amanda Drummond

Lennox’s partner, DS Amanda Drummond, played by the rising star Joanna Vanderham, serves as a vital counterpoint. Sharp, ambitious, and fiercely loyal, Drummond represents a new generation of police officers. 

Vanderham infuses the character with a refreshing blend of steely determination and genuine empathy, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the bleakness.

The Power Brokers: Ken Stott and Angela Griffin

Adding gravitas to the narrative are Ken Stott as Chief Superintendent Bob Toal and Angela Griffin as Trudi Love. Stott, a veteran actor known for his commanding presence, portrays Toal, a weathered leader burdened by the weight of his position. 

Griffin, on the other hand, brings a cunning edge to Trudi, a police informant with her own agenda. Their performances highlight the complex internal politics within the police force, where ambition and loyalty constantly clash.

The Rogues’ Gallery: Exploring Edinburgh’s Underworld

“Crime” boasts a rich tapestry of supporting characters, each adding a layer of grime and grit to the world. We encounter Jamie Sives’ portrayal of DI Dougie Gillman, a rival detective harboring a deep-seated animosity towards Lennox. Michael Abubakar’s DC Stuart McCorkel brings a touch of youthful enthusiasm to the team, while Gordon Kennedy’s DI Eddie Rogers embodies the jaded veteran cop.

Beyond the police force lies a cast of Edinburgh’s underbelly. Derek Riddell’s chilling portrayal of Richie Gulliver, a notorious criminal kingpin, sends shivers down the spine. John Simm’s charismatic yet unsettling turn as Gareth Horsborough, a wealthy businessman with a dark secret, adds another layer of intrigue.

A Touch of Humanity: The Victims and Their Families

The series doesn’t shy away from the devastating impact of crime. Laura Fraser’s portrayal of Sally Hart, the mother of the abducted schoolgirl, evokes a sense of raw grief and desperation. John Simm’s character, Gareth, also serves as a victim, entangled in a web of manipulation and deceit. 

These performances remind us of the human cost of crime, the shattered lives left in its wake.

Irvine Welsh’s Legacy: A Gritty Authenticity

Critically, the series benefits from the involvement of Irvine Welsh himself as a co-creator.  His signature dark humor and unflinching portrayal of Edinburgh’s underclass permeate every scene. The cast embodies this authenticity, breathing life into Welsh’s characters and their struggles.


Who plays Detective Inspector Ray Lennox?

Dougray Scott brings Detective Inspector Ray Lennox to life.  A seasoned actor known for his brooding intensity, Scott perfectly captures Lennox’s struggle with alcoholism, past trauma, and the weight of a demanding job.  His portrayal adds depth to this flawed yet determined detective, making viewers root for him despite his demons.

What’s the dynamic between Lennox and DS Amanda Drummond?

Joanna Vanderham portrays DS Amanda Drummond, Lennox’s partner.  They form an interesting contrast.  Lennox is a seasoned cop clinging to outdated methods, while Drummond represents a fresh, ambitious generation.  Despite their differences, a grudging respect develops between them.  Vanderham’s performance highlights Drummond’s intelligence and empathy, providing a much-needed counterpoint to Lennox’s cynicism.

Do any other actors stand out in the police force?

Absolutely!  Ken Stott delivers a powerful performance as Chief Superintendent Bob Toal.  Stott’s gravitas portrays a leader burdened by the pressures of his position and the complexities of managing a team.  Angela Griffin’s Trudi Love, a police informant, adds another layer of intrigue.  Full of cunning and wielding her own agenda, Griffin’s portrayal hints at the internal politics within the force where loyalty and ambition often clash.

What about the criminals? Who plays the villain?

The series boasts a captivating cast of characters on the wrong side of the law.  Derek Riddell chills viewers as Richie Gulliver, a ruthless criminal kingpin.  His menacing presence underscores the brutality lurking beneath the city’s surface.  John Simm delivers a complex portrayal of Gareth Horsborough.  At first glance, a wealthy businessman, Simm gradually reveals the dark secret that fuels Gareth’s actions, blurring the lines between victim and perpetrator.

Are there any other supporting characters that add depth to the story?

“Crime” thrives on its rich tapestry of supporting roles.  Michael Abubakar’s DC Stuart McCorkel brings a youthful zeal to the team, showcasing the dedication of new recruits tackling challenging realities.  Gordon Kennedy’s portrayal of DI Eddie Rogers, on the other hand, embodies the jaded veteran cop, a stark contrast to McCorkel’s idealism.

Does the series explore the impact of crime on victims?

Absolutely.  Laura Fraser delivers a heart-wrenching performance as Sally Hart, the mother of the abducted schoolgirl.  Her portrayal captures the raw emotions of grief, desperation, and a relentless fight for justice.  She serves as a constant reminder of the human cost of crime and the devastation it leaves behind.  John Simm’s character also becomes a victim, manipulated and trapped within a horrifying scheme.

How does Irvine Welsh’s involvement influence the cast?

Irvine Welsh’s role as co-creator significantly impacts the series.  His signature dark humor and unflinching portrayal of Edinburgh’s underclass are woven into the narrative.  The cast perfectly embodies this gritty authenticity, breathing life into Welsh’s characters and the struggles they face.

The cast of “Irvine Welsh’s Crime” is more than just a collection of actors. They are the beating heart of the show, each performance adding depth and complexity to the narrative. From the haunted detective to the ambitious rookie cop, from the cunning informant to the ruthless criminal, they paint a vivid portrait of a city grappling with darkness.

As the story unfolds, the lines between good and evil blur, forcing viewers to confront the uncomfortable truths that lie beneath the surface.  “Crime” is a testament to the power of a well-assembled cast, where every performance elevates the overall experience, making it a must-watch for fans of gritty crime dramas and Irvine Welsh’s signature style.

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