Where and When Does Criminal Record Take Place?

In Apple TV+’s ‘Criminal Record,’ the fate of an innocent person is at stake when pertinent information about the crime comes to the surface. It begins with an anonymous phone call for help, in which a woman reveals that her boyfriend is the real culprit of the crime, for which someone else is serving a sentence. This leads DS June Lenker to start her own investigation into the case, which puts her at odds with DCI Daniel Hegarty. As the tension between the two increases, the setting of the story and the background of the case becomes even more important in deciding how things will turn out.

Criminal Record is Set in the Streets of London

One of the things that make ‘Criminal Record’ such a gripping watch is how it feels more like a universal tale rather than being specific to a city or country. The issues raised in the story are felt by people around the world, and it is this relatability that makes it such an intense thriller. Still, there are times when the setting of the story plays a crucial role in the way things happen.

The story is set in London, with Hackney being one of the central locations. The story begins on the streets with a woman placing a call from a phone booth in Hackney Lane, and her location becomes one of the connecting dots to the case of Errol Mathis. In real life, Hackney is known for its diverse culture and community, with a vibrant art scene. People with diverse backgrounds call it home, and it shows in the Apple TV+ series as well, as we meet characters from all cultural backgrounds.

Another important location in the show is Whitecross Prison, where Errol Mathis is serving his sentence. It is a fictional location in the show, though its name coincides with a real Whitecross Street Prison. It was a debtor’s prison that was closed down in 1870. It is possible that the show’s creators used this name knowing the prison of the name existed in real life, but the similarities between the two end there as Whitecross in the show houses prisoners convicted of violent crimes.

Apart from this, the show references several real-life locations in London to give the audience a complete sense of the background of the characters while also shedding light on their true motivations and intentions.

Criminal Record Tackles Contemporary Issues

The events in ‘Criminal Record’ take place in contemporary times. The show sometimes features flashbacks that the audience back a decade or so, when the murder of Adelaide Burrows took place, and Errol Mathis was convicted for the crime. In the present day, June Lenker fights for justice while battling several other issues that plague her every day.

Actress Cush Jumbo was brought on board early into the production of the show, with the scripts still being written. This allowed her, as an executive producer, to be involved in how her character was being shaped and to make sure that things were depicted realistically and not presented in too explosive a way while missing all the relevant things in the process.

Actor Peter Capaldi, who plays Daniel Hegarty, revealed that Jumbo made a conscious action to ensure that the themes of racism and misogyny, among other things, were presented through a lens that would allow the viewers to relate to them. It was embedded in the day-to-day stuff, which is how most people face it in their daily lives instead of experiencing it in one grand scenario. The presentation of the issues was crucial to the storytelling as it gave the audience more space to get to know the character in a short span of time while also toying with the idea of whom to trust and whom to suspect of darker things.

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