Feature: writer Stephen Butchard and lead Warren Brown discuss new BBC One series Good Cop

As soon as I read the script I knew I wanted to be part of this project. Good Cop is fantastically written and to be given the opportunity to play such a complex character is something every actor dreams of."Warren Brown
Date: 14.08.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.57
Category: BBC One; Drama
Warren Brown stars in the lead role of Stephen Butchard's Good Cop, a new four-part drama series made by BBC Drama Production North, starting on BBC One later this month.

Warren plays young Liverpool response cop PC John Paul Rocksavage (Sav). When he witnesses the brutal attack on his partner, the impact this has on him throws his whole life and career into turmoil. He starts to question everything he believes in and the difference between right and wrong. He finds himself increasingly desirous for revenge and a different kind of justice.

Warren Brown says: "As soon as I read the script I knew I wanted to be part of this project. Good Cop is fantastically written and to be given the opportunity to play such a complex character is something every actor dreams of."

Talking about taking on the role, Warren says: “It was certainly the biggest thing I’d done to date. It’s the hardest I’ve ever had to work, but I loved the challenge and thrived off it. I was pretty much in every single scene, so I was first in and last out! “

Writer Stephen Butchard, whose other BBC credits include Stolen, Five Daughters and House Of Saddam, says: “It was a demanding part from an acting point of view but also physically, mentally and emotionally because Warren is in almost every scene and so much depends upon him. He’s drawing upon all of his resources to play the part. It was really demanding and he came through, brilliantly.”

Warren is also known for playing DS Justin Ripley in BBC One’s Luther. Some of the drama’s crew members went on to work on Good Cop, including director Sam Miller, who directed the first two episodes.

Warren says: “I had the confidence and felt safe in the fact that I knew the director starting it off. Sam’s such a fantastic director and I wholeheartedly trusted him. Everyone in each department we were working with were great so that makes you feel a bit more secure.”

Talking about how he came to write Good Cop, Stephen goes onto say: “I started with the premise of thinking about a police show, and then I thought of a beat cop. Looking at the existing police shows, they seemed to be dominated by procedural or science elements, and I was interested in a more human aspect to policing, the very sharp end and the first man on the scene.

“From a dramatic element I wanted to go back to the simplest thing and that was the man, the human being in the uniform, knocking on the door and not knowing what was behind that door or what was coming.”

Stephen continues: “What also really appealed to me was that they are the first on the scene and they make the first early decisions. They bring in other people, and then that’s really it. They’re sent away then. I like that you know the fact he’s done his job and now he’s got to move onto the next crisis. I wanted it to be about the man as a whole, not just about the police man. I very much wanted to go home with him, and see what’s happening there and how private life impacts upon the life in the uniform and vice versa.”

About his character, Warren says: “Sav does his job to the best of his ability and he’s an honest man. He’s got great values and you also get to see his relationship with his dad (played by Michael Angelis) who he’s caring for. But there’s a circle of events that start and Sav gets drawn into a situation where he has to make a decision, and the decision he makes affects the rest of his life and how it’s going to play out.”

Stephen adds: “Sav panics. He just wants to walk away but then it becomes too late. It’s almost like casting a big rock in the pool then just letting the waves wash over him and seeing which way they throw him. But all the time keeping it truthful and realistic, and not reaching for melodrama that we can understand each step of the way of why things are happening, and why he makes those decisions.”

The cast also includes: Stephen Graham (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Occupation); Michael Angelis (Boys From The Blackstuff, Auf Wiedersehen Pet); Aisling Loftus (Page 8, Five Daughters); Mark Womack (Murphy’s Law, The Runaway); Kerrie Hayes (Room At The Top; Lilies); Christine Tremarco (Casualty); Stephen Walters (Age Of Heroes, Wire In The Blood).

Directed by Sam Miller (episodes 1 & 2) and Sue Tully (episodes 3 & 4), and produced by Rebecca Hodgson. The executive producer is Jessica Pope for BBC Drama Production.

Good Cop was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and has received additional investment from the BBC North Creative Kicker Fund.

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