By Any Means: Blurring the lines of the law

Tuesday 8 October 2013, 11:42

Shelley Conn Shelley Conn Actress

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By Any Means is an action crime drama which focuses on the dealings of an underground justice department operating covertly within London.

The exact identity of the team is deliberately unknown, it's anonymity is a privilege which allows the team to function so freely.

They are called into action and briefed by Helen Barlow (played by Gina McKee) who is connected with the police but they come into their own when police powers have somehow failed.

It's never specified who employs them or how they get paid and even though it often blurs the lines of the law this clandestine outfit definitely holds true morality at its heart.

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Jessica (Shelley Conn) has no qualms about how the team deals with crooks

This monochromatic approach to right and wrong is something that really appealed to me about the character I play, Jessica Jones.

She never questions the need to lock these criminals away and can be pretty ruthless, often joking about a nastier punishment for the team's subjects. In fact I sometimes think she's not joking.

It’s interesting to play someone with unwavering determination, but for me the really interesting thing is to discover the character's secrets, why she relishes the demise of the criminals.

Role-playing is Jessica’s particular skill, she adopts different characters with ease and enjoys the process.

She's the only female within the team so there are certain tasks only she can undertake and this is fine by Jessica.

She can keep up with the boys' banter but also feels secure enough with them to be vulnerable. My personal experience of working with the other actors wasn't too dissimilar.

We were like siblings and found a shared humour and love of music that created a pretty unique bond. Get Lucky by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell will always remind me of summer on the By Any Means set in 2013.

This camaraderie is something I think the writers warmed to and began to weave more banter through the script as the series progressed.

The unique dynamic of the team is where much of the programme's originality lies and I'm sure the creators will continue to develop this. I'd also hope the show would see more action sequences.

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The gang's daring plan receives a brutal setback

The physical aspect of the team's story grows as the series develops and it's something we all enjoy and feel pretty capable of making work.

There was a scene in episode five where Jessica is attacked by the criminal the team is pursuing. She holds her own, fights back and regains control.

This physical capability adds another layer to Jessica's character. It empowers her and as an actress this is a great discovery and fun to play.

I felt very honoured to be asked to be part of this production, it's been a while since I'd done a series for British television and it's a comfortable, familiar place to be.

It's always fun to go wherever your work takes you, but it's lovely to be home!

Shelley Conn plays Jessica Jones in By Any Means.

By Any Means continues on Sunday, 13 October at 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC. 

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Just reading the later Tom Clancy novels and it seems like a copy of "The Campus" though their cover story was as stock traders giving them an income to do the undercover work needed. Enjoying the series so far even though it is a bit far fetched...

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Hey, I have a lot of respect for the BBC but this series is awful. Is it designed to make me to think or send me sleep? Is it a farce?
    Have you watched 'whitechapel'? Itv leaves you standing

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    By any means is an easy watching Sunday evening programme. We have found it to be very enjoyable and really hope more series are planned. The cast are brilliant.. It's nice to watch a totally inoffensive series!

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Quite possibly the worst tv drama I have ever seen. Poor scripts, shockingly bad acting, cringeworthy dialogue ....... Need I say more? Brown's acting is embarrassing. It is so bad I find myself watching it because I just can't believe it! If this gets a second series I am asking for a refund on my license.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Oh come on Jefferson, Whitechapel is so contrived it's totally unbelievable. This is a good series and must have been fun for the actors to make. It's a good tonic when there are so many people today, feeling financially and emotionally vulnerable. Just to feel, for an hour, that you could be part of a team that can do anything in the name of justice, somehow makes you feel empowered.


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