The Office's Stephen Merchant in first-look at new BBC crime series

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Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

The Office star Stephen Merchant features alongside Poldark's Eleanor Tomlinson and Christopher Walken in the first-look at his new BBC comedy-drama The Outlaws.

Previously titled The Offenders, the Bristol-based show – which is described as "part crime thriller, part character study" – follows Frank (Walken), Gabby (Tomlinson), Greg (Merchant) and the rest of a ragtag group of strangers, who are forced to set aside their differences and work together to complete their respective community service sentences.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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"At first, they seem like archetypes we can easily pigeonhole, but gradually we see behind their façades, understand their hidden depths, and what made them the people they are today," its official synopsis adds.

"We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad. Everyone has a story."

As unlikely friendships form, and details about each of their complicated private lives are revealed, the crew must unite to protect one of their own from the city's most dangerous gang.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Hanna actors Rhianne Barreto (as Rhani) and Gamba Cole (Christian), Killing Eve's Darren Boyd (John), EastEnders' Clare Perkins (Myrna), Back's Jessica Gunning (Diane) and Bancroft's Charles Babalola (Malaki) round out the cast.

The series marks Academy Award-winning actor Walken's first lead role on British television.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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Merchant, who wrote and directed the six-part outing, has previously appeared in titles such as The Invention of Lying, Life's Too Short and Extras, with frequent collaborator Ricky Gervais, as well as Hello Ladies, Logan, Hot Fuzz, Jojo Rabbit, Good Boys and Fighting with My Family.

The Outlaws is set to air this autumn on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, and then later on Amazon Prime Video in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Nordic countries.

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