Teleprompt: Castle

US detective drama Castle premieres on Channel 5 this week – but what’s it all about?

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Looking forward to Castle on Friday. Primetime telly’s been crying out for a decent show about chess.

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That joke’s a bit stale, mate. You know full well Castle’s not about chess.

OK, OK. So it’s a US crime drama. What else is new?

Well, for a start, it’s not just any US crime drama. Castle’s been a big hit in the States. We’ll have to wait and see if it impresses audiences over here on Channel 5. Digital channel Alibi have already run the first two seasons and are currently showing the third. ABC have renewed the series for a fourth run in the States.

So, if we missed the series on digital – what can we expect from Castle on Channel 5?

It’s about novelist Rick Castle, who helps detective Kate Beckett solve a series of murders similar to crimes committed in one of his bestselling books. While working with her, he comes up with an idea for a new series of potboilers featuring sassy female cop Nikki Heat. This gives him an excuse to shadow sassy female cop Beckett. Which gives creator Andrew W Marlowe an excuse to write a hit comedy drama about the unlikely crime-fighting partnership between a writer and a detective. And it’s all so much more knowing than Murder, She Wrote.

Tell me more about this guy Castle.

He’s a handsome, rich, charismatic, flippant know-all. He has two stunning ex-wives and many, many beautiful ex-girlfriends. And his flirting and innuendoes drive Beckett crazy.

He sounds like a complete asshole.

Funnily enough, Marlowe’s admitted the name “Rick Castle” was intended to sound like “rich asshole” for an American audience. But don’t worry about it too much. After all, Castle’s played by actor Nathan Fillion.

The guy from Firefly?

Yep, Captain Tightpants himself. Which may go some way towards explaining the show’s popularity with women. Fillion has so much natural charm and twinkle you’ll forgive his character anything. Plus Castle’s got a soft side, which you see when he’s hanging out with his precocious teenage daughter, Alexis (Molly C Quinn), and highly strung actress mother, Martha (Susan Sullivan). And he becomes a trusted friend to Beckett. He’s a good guy really.

So Beckett likes this bloke, then?

That’s the big question: will they or won’t they? Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) is a tough-talking, no-nonsense New York City detective. To start with, she sees Castle as just a pain in the…neck. But Kate also has a razor-sharp sense of humour and she won’t run from a challenge. As the series develops, you might just see that tough outer shell start to crack…

The driven female cop fancying the irritating smart alec? Do they really expect us to believe that?

Every smart woman has her Castle – the magnetic bad boy she knows she shouldn’t fall for, but can’t help herself.

Really? Who’s yours? I bet it’s that guy in accounts. Ooh, or what’s-his-name from marketing…

Let’s not go there. Suffice to say, their banter is one of the best things about the show. That, and beautiful, mischievous medical examiner Lanie (Tamala Jones). And the bromance between sidekicks Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Dever). And the kooky crime scenes. And – ah, just watch it already!

OK, I will. But I still think we need a primetime chess show…

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Series one of Castle starts this Friday at 9pm on Channel 5