New BBC police drama Blue Lights, set in the Police Service of Northern Ireland in Belfast, is an important reminder of the city's past, its co-creator has said.


The series, which follows a group of rookie officers played by Siân Brooke, Katherine Devlin and Nathan Braniff, depicts the intense pressure on those working in the service, as well as the politics of policing in the area and the dangers the officers face.

The series arrives on BBC One following the real-life attempted murder of DCI John Caldwell, an off-duty police officer who suffered life-changing injuries after being shot at a sports complex in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Speaking at a recent Q&A for Blue Lights attended by and other press, one of the show's creators Adam Patterson paid tribute to Caldwell, saying: "I'll obviously point out that very, very recently, just a couple of weeks ago, DCI John Caldwell was shot while off duty in front of his son.

"And I think I speak for everyone who I know in the world and say it really felt like a horrible flashback from a time that we all thought we'd left behind. But a reminder as to why the show is so important."

Patterson continued: "We can't just ignore the fact that there is still a lingering threat for these people that literally lay themselves on the line to uphold our civic duty. That's amazing, and we just love the police for that. Of course, they’re a flawed machine; like many machines, they have their issues."

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But the series's co-creator said it's "amazing" that there's people who will put themselves in harm's way for others. "I think a society can only survive through people that do that and that's amazing to me."

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He added: "It's a difficult thing to talk about. It's very easy when you think of Northern Ireland to think of good and bad.

"It's a satisfying way to think of it for many people, because it means that they don't have to think of themselves that way. But the reality is, there's a bit of good and bad in all of us, and the way we write characters that hopefully will make you uncomfortable, because you'll be forced to recognise a bit of yourself in all of them."

According to Patterson, the objective when writing But Lights was to challenge people's mindsets of the world around them.

"I think if you think about the world like that, then you can actually move forward as a society. But if you lock yourself away and put yourself in a binary mindset then you can't. So our objective always in writing is to push past that and make people challenge themselves."

The drama has been co-created by Patterson and Declan Lawn, and also stars the likes of John Lynch, Martin McCann, Valene Kane, Jonathan Harden and Richard Dormer.

Blue Lights will air from Monday 27th March 2023 at 9pm on BBC One. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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