Coppers. The Sweeney. Plods. The Old Bill. London’s police force – the oldest in the world – is in need of a public image revamp, and Chief Constable Richard Miller (Jimmy Nesbitt) has found just the woman to do it.
Introducing Liz Garvey (Brit Marling) – an American visionary from the world of new media, parachuted in to revolutionise a PR department struggling to keep up in an age of rolling news, smart phones and a news-breaking, information-hungry public.
Also running operations at police HQ are Commissioner Miller’s right-hand man Deputy Commissioner Charles Inglis (Paterson Joseph), loyal Staff Officer Tom Oliver (Jonny Sweet) and Liz’s second-in command, Finn (Bertie Carvel). Out on the streets Territorial Support Group (TSG) officers Davina (Jill Halfpenny) and Robbie (Adam Deacon) are tasked with upholding the peace – though Robbie would much rather be playing with the big boys of Specialist Firearms Command (SCO19), joining the likes Officer Neil (Andrew Brooke). Meanwhile they’re trailed by fly-on-the-wall TV cameraman Matt Coward (Daniel Kaluuya), desperate to capture some juicy footage at the heart of the action.
Razor-sharp and visually audacious, Babylon takes a wry look at the people and politics in the command rooms and on the frontlines of a modern police force, as it attempts to uphold the peace under constant scrutiny in one of the world’s busiest capital cities.
Brit Marling (Another Earth, Sound of my voice) is set to star in Babylon, Channel 4’s original new comedy-drama which shows a slice-of-life in London’s renowned police force. Marling leads a raft of British talent including Jimmy Nesbitt (The Hobbit, Murphy’s Law), Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, Law and Order UK), Jill Halfpenny (EastEnders, Waterloo Road), Adam Deacon (Kidulthood, Dead Set), Daniel Kaluuya (The Fades, Psychoville), Jonny Sweet (Chickens), Andrew Brooke (Phone Shop) and Bertie Carvel (Matilda, Hidden). Babylon is written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong and directed by Danny Boyle.
Co-creators and writers Jesse Armstrong & Sam Bain (Peep Show, Fresh Meat, Four Lions), say: “We’re excited to be writing about the action-packed yet fiercely political world of modern policing. Crime solving receives a lot of attention on TV, what excited us as we all developed the show with Danny and Robert was looking above and below that level – the comedy and drama of on the street police-public interactions, and life in the upper reaches of the police.”
The pilot episode of Babylon will shoot in autumn this year for transmission in early 2014 with a 6-part series ordered for production next year.