Babylon

09/02/2014

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Review

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.

Summary

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.
Drama Comedy