Wednesday 29 August 2012, 15:02
Good Cop, in short, is a police show that I wanted to try and make that little bit different - a police show in which I wanted to concentrate on the individual, the man, rather than the rules.
Recently police dramas, both home-grown and imported, have been mostly dominated by forensics and procedure - with the help of science, analysis, questions and answers we have watched our police teams solve puzzles - and very entertaining it is too!
But with aspirations to put something fresh and hopefully new up on our TV screen John Paul Rocksavage became a beat cop.
Trailer: 'What are you Rocksavage? A witness? A weakness? A suspect?'
Sav is a copper at the sharp end.
He knocks on a door and has no concrete idea of what lies behind it.
Events unfold in the moment and Sav has to react and find the correct response to anything and everything before he and his colleagues are called to the next crisis, the next 999.
Everything is in the moment, everything is loaded with the emotions and dangers of the moment - it's the very stuff of drama (theoretically).
But for me this was only half the story.
Yes, he's a policeman and yes, we go to work with him but the drama had to be about what is happening in his life as a whole - the drama had to be about how his work life could impact upon his private life.
Sav's mindset was also important. He HAD to be a good man, he IS a good man, a Good Cop.
Doing the right thing is important for a reason and that reason is the people he loves or has loved.
He would never want to let them down - they are to be protected.
Waitress Amy is intimidated by Noel Finch
Although I wanted to keep the drama character-driven I couldn't ignore that the bulk of the characters were policemen and women so I made sure I went to the police themselves, a pure source for research.
At the beginning of each police shift there is an all-inclusive meeting where ongoing jobs and relevant topics and events that might affect the shift are discussed - this is called a parade.
I sat in on a few non-sensitive shift parades and briefings and sat across the table from several constables, sergeants, inspectors, one chief inspector and one assistant chief constable - all of them good cops.
Meeting them, talking to them, seeing them as people, hearing about the work they do and how they feel about it was both vital and inspirational.
Sitting in on the parades made me realise that although certain tasks were laid out these people really didn't know what the day would have in store for them - literally anything could happen and they would deal with it, willingly.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT!!
In episode one, we meet John Paul Rocksavage on the day of his very own perfect storm.
A day that begins on the beach with him meeting his ex-girlfriend Cassie - and ends, shall we say, in tragic circumstances... but the storm hasn't finished with him yet, not by a long way.
The main series story arc is dictated by the repercussions of the tragedy and how events conspire against Sav to change the whole of his life.
Sav spends the rest of the series trying to press the reset button - all he wants is for things to return to normal... but of course that's impossible.
The challenge through the series was to make events as hair-raising and dramatic as possible but ALWAYS to maintain the plausibility and truthfulness of the characters.
Stephen Butchard is the writer of Good Cop.
UPDATE: Episode four of Good Cop will be on BBC One on Saturday, 13 October at 10.30pm. In light of news events, BBC One had postponed the final episode originally due to transmit at 9pm on Thursday, 20 September.
Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.
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Friday 24 August 2012, 12:00
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