Black Earth Rising – BBC2

Black Earth Rising follows a legal investigator who takes on the prosecution of a militia leader involved in the genocide she was rescued from as a child

International war crimes are at the heart of a tense legal thriller

Turn off your phones, because this thought-provoking look at the ethics surrounding the prosecution of international war criminals will demand your full attention.

Following her BAFTA-winning turn in comedy Chewing Gum, Michaela Coel more than proves she also has dramatic chops as traumatised legal investigator Kate Ashby, who was brought to the UK after being saved from the Rwandan genocide as a child.

‘Kate is my hero,’ says Michaela of her role. ‘She has no memory of her life before moving to the West, so she has a naivety as well as determination and she is seeking resolution along with pursuing the truth.

‘But it’s hard because her mum is her rock and then they have this conflict,’ she explains.

International lawyer Eve Ashby (Harriet Walter) is Kate's adoptive mother in Black Earth Rising

International lawyer Eve Ashby (Harriet Walter) is Kate’s adoptive mother

But the lives of Kate, her boss Michael (John Goodman) and her adoptive mother, lawyer Eve (Harriet Walter), are changed forever when Eve is asked to prosecute an African militia leader for war crimes.

The stage is set for a taut thriller.

TV Times rating: ****