One of Britain’s preeminent comedy writers, Stephen Merchant rarely misses. The brain behind hit shows like Extras and The Office, Merchant has had a stellar career churning out some of the most well-thought-out and entertaining comedy films in recent times. An accomplished stand-up comedian, Merchant is your all round humor merchant.
In 2021, he teamed up with Elgin James to create The Outlaws, a heartwarming crime thriller comedy TV series that centers around seven strangers who come together from diverse backgrounds to complete their sentences of community service in Bristol. What should ordinarily be a straightforward 100+ hours operation of cleaning up a derelict building takes a different turn when they stumble upon a bag of money belonging to the kind of guys you don’t want to be messing with. This diverse mix of misfits and goofy characters forge an unlikely friendship and camaraderie that highlights the beauty of human connections. The series also manages to touch on serious themes such as race, class and policing all with a fair dose of good old British humour.
The Outlaws is directed by Stephen Merchant and John Butler. Luke Alkin, Kenton Allen, Matthew Justice, and Kate Daughton join Stephen Merchant as Executive Producers. As they say, a show is only as good as its cast, and we dare say casting director Amy Hubbard deserves her accolades for the chemistry between this cast. So, it’s worth taking a closer look at all the players in this crime thriller comedy.
Here’s the trailer for Season 2 of The Outlaws.
An aging, good-natured small-time crook whose life of crime has ruined his relationship with his daughter and grandchildren. After leaving prison, he is trying to make up for lost time with a family he has disappointed too many times. A classic conman and womanizer, Frank is never short of a lie and with him, you can tell he is never far away from getting himself in trouble.
an accomplished veteran, Christopher Walken has had an award-laden career in TV and film spanning over 6 decades. His most notable works include playing Max Shreck in Batman Returns and Johnny Smith in the 1983 science fiction The Dead Zone. His other movie credits include The Deer Hunter, Catch Me If You Can, Kangaroo Jack, Man on Fireand Around the Bend.
Rhianne Barreto as Rani Rekowski
Rhianne Barreto plays Rani Rakowski, a bright teenager who grew up under the watchful gaze of her overprotective parents. Her life seems to have been well planned out until everything comes crashing down after she is arrested for shoplifting. She loses her Oxford University scholarship and is sentenced to hours of community service. Here she finds herself interacting with the kind of people she’s only read about in books, she’s learning about the real world for the first time in her life.
Barreto appeared in the 2020 ITV drama series Honor, where she played the sister of real-life murder victim Banaz Mahmod. She has appeared in the movie Share and the miniseries Isolation Stories.
Stephen Merchant as Greg Dillard
An incompetent and eccentric lawyer coping with a messy divorce, Greg was sentenced to hours of community service after he was caught in a compromising position with a prostitute in a parking lot. As these bunch of unlikely allies navigates their various obstacles after community service, Greg will have to put his dodgy legal skills to use to stay afloat.
A recipient of three BAFTAs, four British Comedy Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Emmy, Merchant has worked as a comedian, writer, and director, as well as on stage, on television, and in Hollywood. He was co-director and co-writer of the TV comedy series The Officehe is also co-writer, co-producer, and co-director of The Outlaws.
Gamba Cole as Christian
A doorman at the Argo Nightclub whose real identity is Ben Eastfield, he takes up the Christian Taylor identity to do community service in a bid to extricate himself from the clutches of a gang leader whom he is indebted. Fiercely protective of his only sister Esme, he would go to any lengths to ensure her safety and keep her away from his underworld entanglements.
Gamba Cole has appeared in Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle. He was also in the Prime Video series Hanna and the 2020 horror thriller His House.
Darren Boyd as John Halloran
John’s life trajectory was never meant to take him anywhere near community service or crime scenes. A middle-class, white businessman who has played by the rules all his life, John was raised in a conservative Irish home with a father whose impeccable reputation made him impossible to please or impress. A right-wing vaunter with no regard for political correctness, his views, and background set up a combustible and interesting dynamic with the rest of the outlaws.
Darren Boyd won a BAFTA for his work as Tim Elliot on the British sitcom Spy. His other acting credits include Bridget Jones’s Baby, Holy Flying Circusand Four Lions.
Clare Perkins as Myrna Okeke
If John is the right-wing blowhard, then Myrna is a bona fide left-wing fanatic with over four decades of activism under her belt. An old-school activist, she wears her convictions like a badge of honor, and as you would expect, her presence in the team alongside John is a recipe for disaster. Despite her best efforts, she is haunted by a life-changing event in her past for which she must soon make peace.
Clare Perkins is popular for her role as Denise Boulter in the British soap opera Family Affairs. She also appeared in EastEnders, Normal: The Duesseldorf Ripperand Clapham Junction.
Gabby is an Instagram famous socialite who is having a tough time adjusting to a routine without her retinue of sycophants and cheerleaders. Beneath her poise, and polished exterior is a young woman with deep-seated issues ranging from substance addiction to anger management, her time with the outlaws turns out to be life-defining for her.
Eleanor Tomlinson played Princess Isabelle in Jack the Giant Slayer. Her other works include playing Hayley in Love Wedding Repeatand Jas in Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging.
Jessica Gunning as Diane Pemberley
Diane is the supervisor tasked with overseeing Bristol’s Community Payback program. A self-proclaimed retired baddie, Dianne takes her job a little too seriously for anyone’s comfort. Her over-bloated sense of importance and urge to exercise her authority makes her a few enemies along her path.
Jesscia Gunning played Ann Turnbull in the medical soap opera The Doctors and Orla in the BBC television series White Heat. Her other movie credits include Great Night Out, Fortitudeand troll song.
Other members of the cast include Claes Bang, Dolly Wells, Richard E. Grant, Ian McElhinney, Aiyana Goodfellow, Isla Gie, Charles Babalola, Sam Troughton, Nina Wadia, Marcus Fraser, Gyuri Sarossy, Grace Calder, James Nelson Joyce, Kojo Kamara, Tom Hanson, Guillermo Bedward, Rayna Campbell, Gerard Horanand Alexandria Riley