Helen Black

Studio Crook options Time writer’s book for series

Studio Crook has acquired the rights to the first book in the legal series “Damaged Goods” by Helen Black, co-writer of “Time”, to develop into a television series.

Black, who collaborated with Jimmy McGovern on the prison drama “Time” currently being broadcast on BBC1, and authored “Life and Death in the Warehouse” for BBC3, has created a six-book series centred around Lilly Valentine, a solicitor and single mother. Valentine is depicted as being willing to go to any lengths to support her clients, frequently to the detriment of her son and former husband.

“Lilly Valentine was the initial character I ever devised, and the readers adored her bravery and imperfections in equal measure,” stated Black. “She’s a working-class fighter, a solicitor who refuses to abandon her clients, and I cherish witnessing characters like Lilly on television; women who appear ordinary yet are extraordinary, bearing immense burdens yet remain the most humorous individuals you’ll encounter.”

This represents the third book option for Studio Crook as it ventures further into the scripted domain. The studio, established in 2021 and which secured investment from Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund earlier this year, has also recently optioned Simon James Green’s LGBTQ+ comic novel “Gay Club!”.

Matt Crook, the studio’s managing director, commented: “Lilly Valentine is a formidable character, and from the first page of ‘Damaged Goods’, we were determined to adapt her story for the screen. Collaborating with Helen Black to adapt her series is a joy; the story is engaging, moving, and widely relatable, embodying precisely the type of narrative we aim to share.”

The agreement was facilitated by Black’s representative, Frances Arnold of Rochelle Stevens & Co.