Babylon S1 Press Pack

Channel 4 NW Cast pic

The Press Pack for Series 1 can be found on the Channel 4 website. There are a number of interviews with cast members, including this interview with Nicola.

Who do you play, and what are they like?
I play Assistant Commissioner Sharon Franklin. She and the other Assistant Commissioner in the story, Charles Inglis [played by Paterson Joseph], have quite a complicated relationship. There’s always that thing that they’d both want the big job, if it ever came up. So that’s quite difficult – that’s always there. Paterson and I used to talk, off script, about whether or not they’d known each other in their training, and we decided that they definitely had – there’s a lot of history there between the two, so that was quite fun. She comes more into her own in the second half of the series. She’s quite low key at first, until she catches Liz Garvey’s [Brit Marling] eye, and everything starts to change.

What do you think are the chief strengths of Sam and Jesse’s writing?
I’m a fan. I came to the audition as a fan on so many levels. For me, it’s that they dance a very delicate and beautifully constructed line between comedy and drama. And they ask a lot of their actors. It’s all in the script, though. If you just do what you’re told and say the words that they’ve written, you will be going the right way. That’s what draws me to their stuff.

Whenever you switch on the TV, there’s a police drama on. But this is very different from all the others, isn’t it? Was that part of the attraction for you?
Yeah. I think that’s the attraction for everyone involved, both behind and in front of the camera. We’re all televisually very savvy these days, whether you work in TV or not. We’re all used to seeing a lot of cop shows, some of them brilliant, some of them very generic. But it seemed to all of us that no-one had actually done this before, where they were approaching this world as it’s slowly being born into this new era of transparency. Of needing PR. The old days, where the police had special relationships and offered little backhanders to certain members of the press, have been blown out of the water by the internet and new media. This huge beast of an establishment has to open its doors up, and that’s what this drama is all about.

Has your opinion of the job that the police do changed as a result of working on the show?
I completely respect the job our police do. I knew nothing about this level of it before. I had a very funny incident happen to me after the pilot episode went out. Standing getting some money out of a cash machine, I felt someone behind me, and I turned, suspiciously, like many Londoners do, and it was an armed police officer in full gear. And I went “Oh, I don’t have to worry about you being there.” And they pulled up in their van and said they’d watched Babylon and really enjoyed it. And I said “I’m sorry, I don’t have anything to do with the boots on the ground, I’m one of the top brass.” And he said “Yeah, you’re one of the top brass, you don’t know what’s going on.” We spoke to some people who are or were really high-ranking in the force, and the respect I have for what they do is enormous. The amount of pressure they are under. One man, who’s retired now, said the things he misses are the chronically stressful situations, which ordinary people would run away from. That’s when he would step forward. It’s just a completely different mind-set.

Order from Amazon UK

Order the show’s DVD box sets (Regions 2 and 4 compatible) from Amazon UK. Your purchase using this link will benefit Nicola’s nominated charity.


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