The third film in the Small Axe anthology, Red, White and Blue tells the true story of Leroy Logan, one of London’s most distinguished former Superintendents of the Metropolitan Police Force.

Red, White and Blue
John Boyega as Leroy Logan
Image Credit: BBC / McQueen Limited/Parisa Taghizadeh

Hollywood actor John Boyega takes on the inspirational story of Leroy Logan in the true retelling of his years as a young man right before and through his initial years on the force. A promising forensic scientist, as a young man, Leroy witnesses his father being assaulted by two policemen, an experience which affects him so much that he decides to become a police officer; an ambition borne from the hope of wanting to change racist attitudes from within. But first, Leroy has to face the consequences of his father’s disapproval, and then the blatant racism he finds in his new role as a despised yet exemplary Constable in the Metropolitan Police Force.

Co-writer of Red, White and Blue, Courttia Newland shares insight into the character: “We show Leroy’s struggle and what he had to do to come out of it. As a man, Leroy is so inspirational and positive. He reconnected with the community when he really could have gone crazy and internalised the racism. Instead, he became something exemplary to us as a community to this day.”

“The title of the series is Small Axe, but for me, it’s also about ‘small acts.’ These are small acts of resistance that are not common knowledge historically. Acts that changed the landscape of society as well.”

Four out of five of the BBC Small Axe anthology is based on real people whose actions have had a lasting impact on the Black British landscape. Newland explains, “Each one of the Small Axe stories, and the anthology as a whole, shows Black British resistance.” Newland continued. “It’s how we’ve struggled; it’s how we’ve fought and how we overcame. The title of the series is Small Axe, but for me, it’s also about ‘small acts.’ These are small acts of resistance that are not common knowledge historically. Acts that changed the landscape of society as well.”

Logan’s story couldn’t be more relevant in 2020. This film shows the actions of a man who went right into the belly of the beast to try and fix the system from the inside. “He worked with his community and became the iconic figure that he is today.”

Red, White and Blue
John Boyega as Leroy Logan
Image Credit: BBC / McQueen Limited/Will Robson-Scott

But in a familiar narrative, he paid the price for his heroism. He was overlooked repeatedly for promotions and suffered a great deal of racism within the force itself.

In 2001, the Queen awarded Logan an MBE for his contribution to policing. He left the Metropolitan Police Force in 2013 and maintains, till this day, that the force is institutionally racist. Now retired, Logan continues to work with youth in the community through his charity, Voyage Youth, and recently released his memoir.

The cast includes Steve Toussaint (Prince of Persia) who played Logan’s father with Antonia Thomas and newcomers Tyrone Huntley, Nathan Vidal and Jaden Oshenye.

Red, White and Blue was co-written by novelist and playwright, Courttia Newland and Steve McQueen.

Watch the trailer


Red, White and Blue comes to BBC One and iPlayer at 9pm on 29 Sunday November.

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