Babylon

Babylon
Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

Shambles, swearing and spin: if you’ve missed The Thick of It, you’re in luck. Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong have applied the high-farce formula to the Metropolitan Police for this scabrous comedy drama directed by Danny Boyle.

Their Met, led by James Nesbitt as Commissioner, is obsessed with public image: top brass fret so much about media coverage that any actual policing comes a distant second. This gets ugly (and funny) in tonight’s pilot, when a series of shootings breaks out across London on the day a new American PR chief (Brit Marling) arrives in the job. The script is sharp and cruel, though occasionally the delivery feels a little too delivered: throwaway realism is what’s needed here. Roll on a full series.

About this programme

Police comedy drama, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, Fresh Meat). The Met is in need of a public image revamp, so chief constable Richard Miller has hired American visionary Liz Garvey to revolutionise the force's PR department. In an age of rolling news, smartphones and an information-hungry population, Liz preaches transparency and honesty. But as an outbreak of violence erupts across London and internal backbiting begins, her mission faces its greatest test. Starring James Nesbitt, Brit Marling, Jill Halfpenny, Paterson Joseph, Bertie Carvel and Adam Deacon.

Cast and crew

Cast

Richard Miller
James Nesbitt
Liz Garvey
Brit Marling
Finn
Bertie Carvel
Robbie
Adam Deacon
Davina Lewis
Jill Halfpenny
Charles Inglis
Paterson Joseph
Matt Coward
Daniel Kaluuya
Officer Warwick
Nick Blood
Officer Neil (Banjo)
Andrew Brooke
Damien Clarke (Clarkey)
Cavan Clerkin
Officer Tony
Stuart Martin
Gerry
Jim Howick
Mia
Ella Smith
Tom Oliver
Jonny Sweet
Miles
Martin Trenaman
Sharon Franklin
Nicola Walker

Crew

Director
Danny Boyle
Producer
Robert Jones
Producer
Derrin Schlesinger
Writer
Sam Bain
Writer
Jesse Armstrong
Categories
Comedy
Drama

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