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Marriage star Sean Bean is "so bored" of detective dramas

The actor discussed how new drama Marriage breaks traditional formulas.

Sean Bean and Nicola Walker in Marriage.
BBC / The Forge / Rory Mulvey
Published: Wednesday, 17th August 2022 at 4:19 pm
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Understated BBC drama Marriage gives viewers a glimpse into Ian (Sean Bean) and Emma's (Nicola Walker) life over the course of four episodes. The couple have been married for 30 years, and when we first meet them they are returning to the UK from a trip to Spain to celebrate their anniversary.

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Despite bickering about chips and discussing dodgy tummies, the show soon delves into much murkier emotional territory, underpinned by Bean and Walker's performances. The fact it doesn't follow a traditional structure is precisely what Bean considers its strength.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press during a Q&A, the Game of Thrones actor praised writer/director Stefan Golaszewski for being "brave", before explaining why he's "bored" of detective dramas.

"He [Stefan Golaszewski] broke the formula [with Marriage]," Bean explained. "And this pedestrianised way of looking at drama – there’s going to be a beginning, a middle and an end, there’s going to be some stakes, a bit of action, there's going to be this and that – is so boring.

"I’m so bored of watching a lot of programmes these days, especially about detectives. I don’t like people who have always stuck with that, watching stories about police detectives, because all the characters end up repeating themselves, and telling the next guy what just happened. And I hate reading detective novels as well."

Sean Bean and Nicola Walker in Marriage.
Sean Bean and Nicola Walker in Marriage. BBC / The Forge / Rory Mulvey

Walker, who played DCI Cassie Stuart in Unforgotten for four seasons, was also at the Q&A, and laughed alongside Bean, who added: "It’s the same old kind of structure. And when I watched this [Marriage] I was quite shocked, that pattern. I thought, ‘Yeah, that’s right, it doesn’t necessarily follow on in life. You might be alright one day and you might be a right miserable t**t the next if you don't know what's happened in those 24 hours in between.

"This drama just dips in at a moment in time, in two or three weeks in these people's lives. You could drop in another time, in another three years, or another 14 years, and you'd probably have a totally different story...I just hope people don't get comfortable watching [Marriage]."

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Additional reporting by Abby Robinson.

Marriage continues airing on BBC One on Sunday 21st August at 9pm. All four episodes are available on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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