James Nesbitt is to star in Channel 4’s new cop show Babylon, it has been revealed.
The comedy drama – scripted by Peep Show writers Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong and directed by Danny Boyle – was announced in August, and Sam and Jesse have now revealed more about the series at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the Radio Times revealed.
The show is set in London and will give an inside view of the police force with documentary style elements.
James, star of The Hobbit and Cold Feet, will play Chief Constable Richard Miller, with Hollywood actress Brit Marling as Liz Garvey, a US cop drafted in to ‘shake up the PR department’.
Sam revealed: “We’ve been writing it for a few years since we had the first meeting [with Danny Boyle]. Mainly because of availability. Danny, last year, was doing something in the Olympic Park… he was quite busy…
“It’s kind of a cross-section of the police,” he went on. “We look at different levels of the police from guys on the street to the top brass. It’s a comedy-drama, it’s got jokes – and people involved in dangerous situations, which is a new one for us. And it’s directed by Danny, who’s directed quite a lot of stuff before – he’s quite experienced at it…”
Jesse added: “[Producer] Robert Jones and Danny had wanted to do something about the police, especially about all the Police Camera Action kind of cops, real-life filming of police shows and the way they look on TV, so we have a documentary crew within our show.
“As soon as there’s any incident now there’s 20 camera phones out, and the cops are filming the public back, so it’s quite a screen-and-filming-rich environment out on the streets and I think that interests [Boyle] to try and convey. It’s a good area for drama too. “
Filming has already begun on the Danny Boyle-directed feature-length pilot episode, with a six-part series due to shoot next year.
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