Bloodlands star Charlene McKenna says crime thriller should have viewers “screaming at the TV”

The new thriller gets underway on BBC One this weekend.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 16/02/2021 - Programme Name: Bloodlands - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Izzy Brannick (LOLA PETTICREW), Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) - (C) HTM Television  - Photographer: Steffan Hill

New crime drama Bloodlands gets underway this weekend and, with some top names attached both in front of and behind the camera, it looks set to be a must-watch piece of television.


According to Charlene McKenna, one of the show’s stars, the series might also provoke some strong responses from its audience.

“I hope they’re screaming at the TV,” she said during a Q&A with the BFI. “I want them to be shouting at the TV, I want them to argue with each other.

“And I’m just so excited for Northern Ireland to be seen this way. I’m just so excited to have that fabulous Irish noir…I want them to want to go on holidays there.”

She continued, “And there’s the legacy of the troubles, but it’s not about them per se. It brings up that fabulous moral dilemma and gets people really analysing both sides of what would you do, and what do you think? And it brings a good up to 2021 dialogue about that subject.”

McKenna stars alongside James Nesbitt in the drama, which was written by first-time writer Chris Brandon and boasts Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio as an executive producer.

It centres around Tom Brannick, a Northern Irish police detective who discovers a possible suicide note in a car and soon realises it could be linked to an earlier case to which he himself is connected.

And Mercurio says he hopes the series will give people a different perspective on the Troubles and its aftermath.


“I hope that it will help people to have empathy with the Troubles and the aftermath of the Troubles and what people in Northern Ireland have been through,” he said. “And the real courage of the community which has now created this peace and prosperity which has allowed people like me to swan in over there and make cop shows!”

Bloodlands begins Sunday, 21st February at 9pm on BBC One. In the meantime, check out our TV Guide for something to watch tonight.