The Walk-In on ITV is the latest true crime story to be played out on television thanks to executive producer Jeff Pope. The five-parter stars Stephen Graham as reformed neo-Nazi Matthew Collins, who then infiltrated a far right group and helped to foil the murder of Labour MP Rosie Cooper back in 2017. Other stars include Jason Flemyng, Leanne Best, Christopher Coghill and Dean-Charles Chapman. The series explores tough themes including racism, freedom of speech and terrorism.
"It’s a hard-hitting story that pulls no punches," Stephen Graham reveals. "But it’s very important we have dramas like this that bring people the truth about these stories to start conversations."
So here's everything you need to know about ITV drama The Walk-In...
The Walk-In release date
The Walk-In is a five-part thriller launching in the UK on ITV from Monday October 3 at 9pm. All episodes then play out on ITV Hub as a box set or you can watch weekly on ITV on subsequent Mondays at the same time 9pm. We will update when we hear of a US channel or air date, plus word on the drama's international release.
Is there a trailer for The Walk-In?
ITV has released a trailer for The Walk-In, starting with Stephen Graham as Matthew Collins giving students a lecture about the Far Right. Take a look below...
The Walk-In plot
The Walk-In is based on the true story of Matthew Collins (Stephen Graham) who is a reformed Neo-Nazi, who then worked as a bona fide journalist for the anti-racist organisation, Hope Not Hate. The five-part drama focuses upon Matthew Collins and his work to stop the radicalisation of young white men before it begins. He soon identifies a Far Right Neo-Nazi group marking itself out with a youthful clean-cut image but still hell bent on creating race war. His modus operandi is to infiltrate such organisations by running moles, or walk-ins, with the goal of publishing information online about their activities to expose and fracture them.
In spite of repeated attempts he wasn’t able to break into this particular group. Consequently, they continued to grow in strength relatively unchecked until the horrific murder of an MP Jo Cox brought their potential into sharp focus and they became the first Far Right organisation to be banned by the government since the Second World War.
Although the marches and the social media posts stopped, Matthew Collins knew the group would only have been driven underground and that he had probably lost all chance of getting information from within. Until one day in March 2017 when he received an email from someone claiming to be a member. A mole ready to talk about a horrific plan to murder a second MP. He eventually foils a murder plot against Labour MP Rosie Cooper.
The Walk-In cast — Stephen Graham on playing Matthew Collins
In The Walk-In, Stephen Graham plays journalist Matthew Collins, and he gave us his thoughts on taking the lead role and the story: "I had a vague idea of the real story, but as soon as I started doing research and reading Matthew’s book I realised there was no way I wasn’t going to do the drama. He started off one way and did a total transformation in his way of thinking, which made him a fascinating character to play."
Stephen Graham previously played chef Andy Jones in Boiling Point, was Line of Duty baddie John Corbett, and starred in Help with Jodie Comer and Time alongside Sean Bean. He’s currently starring in the comedy Code 404 and will play Mr Wormwood in the upcoming film Matilda. Stephen played Lee Sankey in Coronation Street in 1999 and went on to appear in Band of Brothers, Gangs of New York and the 2000 movie Snatch. He starred in This is England and has gone on to star in Little Boy Blue, Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, The Virtues, A Christmas Carol, Save Me, Peaky Blinders and White House Farm. He's currently filming Prime Video drama A Thousand Blows.
Who else is starring in The Walk-In?
The Walk-In has a top notch cast including Jason Flemyng, Andrew Ellis, Leanne Best, Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones, 1917) and Christopher Coghill, known for his role as Tony King in BBC1 soap EastEnders. For information on their characters, take a look below...
The Walk-In characters — who's who
Here's our rundown on the six main characters in The Walk-In...
The former far-right extremist is familiar with how white power groups operate, but believes National Action are the most dangerous organisation he has encountered.
Matthew’s partner and his two young children have become used to constantly moving houses in a bid to avoid revenge attacks by Matthew’s former counterparts.
The disillusioned young man finds himself being drawn into the world of National Action after attending one of their marches. ‘I’ve known Andrew for years and worked with him on This Is England," Stephen Graham told us. "He’s an outgoing and lively guy, so it was always strange to come on set when he was in character as Robbie, because his whole demeanour would completely transform!"
A young and committed member of National Action, Jack is a rising star of the organisation and inspires new recruit Robbie with his passionate speeches.
The leader of National Action believes the organisation can learn from the disciplined of Islamic terrorists and believes drastic action is needed to protect the white race.
Nick works for Hope Not Hate alongside Matthew and fears the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in the run-up to 2016’s EU referendum could trigger more attacks.
The Walk-In episode guide (with spoilers)
Here's our guide to The Walk-In episodes which we'll be updating to take in all five, so do check back. Of course if you want to avoid a few spoilers do glance away!
Episode 1: Monday October 3, 9pm
The story opens in 2015 with Matthew Collins (Stephen Graham) determined to make amends for his past by working as a journalist for the anti-racist organisation, Hope not Hate. Matthew is deeply concerned by the emergence of an extreme new right wing group called National Action and is determined to find out what they’re up to, but so far all his efforts to infiltrate them have failed.
Meanwhile in Widnes, a disillusioned young man named Robbie Mullen (Andrew Ellis) finds himself drawn into the dark world of the far right after attending one of National Action’s marches and listening to the speeches of Jack Renshaw, played by Game Of Thrones star Dean-Charles Chapman.
As the story unfolds Matthew hopes Robbie can help finally get inside National Action, but he’s also worried about reprisal attacks on his partner Alison (Leanne Best) and their children from the right-wing thugs he used to call friends back in the 1990s.
Episode 2: Monday October 10, 9pm
Burning with anger at being arrested for online child sexual offences, far-right National Action member Jack Renshaw (Dean-Charles Chapman) decides to go out in a blaze of glory rather than face prison. Influenced by the horrific murder of MP Jo Cox, he reveals to his fellow extremists that he’s plotting to kill his local MP, Rosie Cooper. But not everyone is behind Renshaw’s plans. Despite the dangers of turning informant, new National Action recruit Robbie Mullen (Andrew Ellis) bravely reveals Renshaw’s sick plan to anti-Fascist journalist Matthew Collins (Stephen Graham). But can Collins stop the plot, while also keeping Robbie safe from the far-right fanatics he’s turned against?
Episode 3: Monday October 17
The danger builds for right-wing National Action member-turned-whistleblower Robbie Mullen. When Hope Not Hate journalist Matthew Collins tells the police about Robbie’s murder plot tip-off, things spiral out of control for the informer as detectives demand Robbie provides a detailed statement in return for immunity from prosecution. But with extremist Jack Renshaw on the run from the cops and still determined to carry out the murder, Robbie must continue to spy on his old pals from National Action and dig for information on Renshaw’s whereabouts. However, when Renshaw is finally arrested by armed police, it doesn’t take long before National Action work out they have a rat in their ranks. So can Matthew save his mole from deadly reprisals?
Episode 4: Monday October 24
The family of reformed racist Matthew Collins are under threat this week, as the powerful true story reaches its penultimate episode which features a cameo from Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll as Matthew’s Uncle Ronnie. With Matthew
away in Dublin trying to keep far right National Action member-turned-informer Robbie Mullen (Andrew Ellis) safe, it’s up to his wife Alison (Leanne Best) to hold the fort at home. But all hell breaks loose when the police burst in with news that there has been a credible threat against her three young sons, linked to National Action. Not only do the right wing terrorists know all three boys’ names, but they also know the primary school they attend, leaving Alison no choice but to whisk them away to her mum’s for safety. Was Robbie the person who tipped off his old mates in National Action of their whereabouts?
Episode 5 Monday October 31
The trial of the three neo-Nazi activists charged with plotting to murder of MP Rosie Cooper gets underway. Knowing brave whistleblower Robbie Mullen’s performance in court will prove key in any successful guilty conviction of his former National Action friends, Hope Not Hate journalist Matthew Collins does everything to prepare him for what lies ahead. But as soon as the court case begins there’s a dramatic twist when lead perpetrator Jack Renshaw suddenly decides to plead guilty to his involvement in the murder plot. Yet that doesn’t let Robbie off the hook, and he soon faces an intense grilling under oath as he’s called to give evidence against National Action’s extremist leader Chris Lythgoe and his right-hand man Matt Hankinson.
Meanwhile, with his father continuing to recover from a stroke, Matthew lays some demons to rest in an emotional heart-to-heart with Leona, the woman who broke up his parents’ marriage, and finally comes to terms with his past. But there’s soon more at stake for Matthew when the pressure of court gets too much for Robbie and he does a runner back to his home town of Widnes. Desperate for Robbie to return and face the music, Matthew manages to track him down to his sister’s house. But as the court case resumes, will Robbie find the courage to come back and finish what he started?
Jeff Pope on creating the Walk-In
The Walk-In writer and producer Jeff Pope told us: "The big headline of the show is the far right plot to murder an MP, but at the centre of it are these intriguing characters. Matthew’s relationship with Robbie is really interesting and when he decides to leave National Action, Matthew takes him into his house for a time. There’s a fascinating passage of this story where a normal family suddenly has this big racist cuckoo living with them. How do you handle that? Matthew always described it as pulling someone back from the brink!"
Jeff goes on to describe how crucial Matthew’s involvement to the drama was and remains in awe of his courageous decision to campaign against the far right, after spending more than a decade in the BNP during the 1980s and 1990s.
"Matthew and Robbie were both involved in the project throughout," he says. "They’re both incredibly brave men, but I especially enjoyed working with Matthew. He’s had so many setbacks and struggles, but always kept his sense of humour. I'd liken him to a smoker who becomes a non-smoker, because they're always the most passionate anti-smokers aren't they? I think what he did when he was younger still hurts him and he probably won’t feel he's ever done enough to atone for his past. That’s just the kind of man he is."
Locations and more about The Walk-In
Filming for The Walk-In has taken place in London and surrounding areas. The Walk-In is executive produced by Tom Dunbar (A Confession, Isolation Stories), alongside screen writer Jeff Pope (Cilla, Appropriate Adult, Four Lives, A Confession, Stan & Ollie, Little Boy Blue) and produced by Jo Johnson (Unsaid Stories, Ackley Bridge). The drama is directed by BAFTA award winning Director Paul Andrew Williams (A Confession, Murdered for Being Different, Broadchurch). It was commissioned by Polly Hill at ITV.
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I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.