Madeleine Mantock reveals why Scarlett acts wildly out of character when law and order breaks down in Casualty this Saturday…

There are some terrifying riots in this week’s Casualty; what causes them?
“With the death of young father Wesley in custody last week, the big question in the community is whether this was the police’s fault. This week there’s a vigil for Wesley, and the crowd witness the police being heavy-handed from the get-go…”

How does mild-mannered ED nurse Scarlett get involved?
“Scarlett’s boyfriend Lloyd has always had quite strong political views, and has been encouraging her to take more interest in what’s going on in the community. Scarlett goes along with him to the peaceful vigil to show her respects and also to spend some time with Lloyd’s family. The last time she met with them it went badly and they didn’t like her, so she sees this as an opportunity to put things right!”

But it all goes horribly wrong?
“Yes! The vigil on the Somerdale Estate turns nasty and, in the confusion, Scarlett becomes separated from Lloyd. She ends up tagging along with an interesting and charismatic character called Clint, who is into people’s rights. At this point they are protesting. But when the protesting turns into looting she ends up getting swept along…”

What does she do?
“She goes rioting and looting! At this time I really don’t think she realises what she’s doing. She gets caught up in the adrenaline rush and goes along with things. It’s completely out of character.”

How do you think the audience will react to this darker side of her?
“I think people will be really surprised by her crazy behaviour. If you were to consider the character in light of the rest of the series you could easily wonder if she was taking drugs!”

At what point does she realise what she’s doing?
“There are moments when she is running away from the police, when she is quite scared and she doesn’t know what she’s doing. It’s nightmarish – like a dream where you’re running away. When the situation becomes extreme, Scarlett does something really stupid that has a devastating impact on someone else’s life – and massive consequences…”

Was it fun filming the riot scenes?
“It was really fun to film – there was a lot of shouting and running around. We had a real trained police dog chasing us. Unfortunately, animals don’t realise when we’re pretending. The dog caught up with one of the supporting artists and bit him on the bum!”