Landing on our screens tomorrow evening, The Red King is Alibi's latest police drama that's set to leave many viewers - and our protagonist Grace - with their fair share of questions.


Leading the cast of the new series is Anjli Mohindra, who is known for her roles in The Lazarus Project and Vigil, as police sergeant Grace.

Described as "smart, capable and by the book", Grace is sent to the Welsh island of St Jory as a 'punishment posting', but soon uncovers the unsolved case of missing teen Cai.

She's met with small-town mentalities, a fair share of hostility and some long-held secrets that the St Jory inhabitants don't seem all too keen to share.

So, it's safe to say that Grace has to hold her own, but Mohindra admits she took inspiration from some other well-known TV detectives.

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Chatting to about her inspiration for the new series, she revealed: "There’s an amazing Scandinavian drama, The Killing, with a policewoman who I think is so compelling to watch. Obviously, Sarah Lancashire’s Happy Valley policewoman."

Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley, wearing police uniform and looking into the distance
Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley. Credit: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire

Mohindra continued: "For me, with The Killing, it was about seeing a woman who’s not trying to be liked by anybody. With Happy Valley, it was about seeing someone who will not give up - even if it costs them so much, they just will not give up.

"Those were the two that I always had in the back of my mind."

Of course, many crime drama fans will be all too familiar with 2007 Danish drama The Killing (also known as Forbrydelsen), which was remade as an American series in 2011 starring Mireille Enos.

The original series, set in Copenhagen, saw Detective Inspector Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) face a variety of dark crimes in each season, with each episode covering 24 hours of the investigation and Lund being known for her no-nonsense approach to crime-solving, as well as plenty of series twists and cliffhangers.

Happy Valley's Catherine Cawood is another example of an indomitable female lead in a police drama, having gripped viewers for three seasons - and, more recently, having taken home plenty of awards and nominations for Lancashire's performance.

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out sat crying looking into camera
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out. Blumhouse Productions

But Mohindra admits that the inspiration for The Red King didn't stop at the TV, and was also surprisingly left thinking of Jordan Peele's directorial debut.

She said: "Then, kind of a bit differently, but the film Get Out, I thought about that a lot. It’s rare to see a British piece of television or film even really get to the nitty gritty of that thing of being othered by people.

"That sort of thing that Gruffudd's character says about Brown women – awful but so good to see represented, because they exist and it’s about time that people took a look at themselves."

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While we won't reveal any of the nitty gritty that Grace has to face from the St Jory community, she's certainly treated as an outsider that many people don't seem to want to get to know.

So, when Grace goes digging round in an old case, the island's pagan god and the True Way cult, she's met with even more hostility.

Speaking more about the elements of her character that she really likes, Mohindra said: "To meet a character who is so devoted to policing and so devoted to the system is really rare. Grace will not break any rules. I like that subversion of the expectation of your sort of maverick cop."

The Red King premieres on Wednesday 24th April at 9pm on Alibi, with all episodes available to stream on Sky, Virgin and NOW.


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