For my money, 2003’s State Of Play was one of the best home-grown dramas of the Noughties. John Simm, David Morrissey, Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald, James McAvoy revelled in a noirish story of political corruption, journalism and mystery. It launched the career of Paul Abbott – who then went onto create Shameless – and now the celebrated writer is back, with a new Channel 4 drama, No Offence.
The news is that the series has started filming in Manchester, with a likely transmission date of early 2015. The series is slated to have seven episodes.
This is what the official blurb says:
Joanna Scanlan, Alexandra Roach and Elaine Cassidy are announced to star as the unorthodox crack team of cops at the heart of Paul Abbott’s No Offence – an outrageous new police procedural series from the writer of Shameless and State of Play.
Colin Salmon, Will Mellor and Paul Ritter join them in the mix of tough but big-hearted bobbies who go above and beyond to bring down the criminal rabble in a crumbling cop-shop.
Keeping these streets clean is a Herculean task, enough to demoralize even the keenest rookie – but there’s a reason why this hotchpotch of committed cops are on this force, on this side of town. Drug labs, arsonists, neo-Nazis and notorious murderers are all in a day’s work for this close-knit team, led by the dizzyingly capable but unquestionably unhinged DI Vivienne Deering (Scanlan). But when a particularly twisted serial killer emerges it leaves even the most hardened of these seasoned coppers reeling.
Flanked by her right-hand women – the compassionate but impulsive DC Dinah Kowalska (Cassidy) and the recently (surprisingly) promoted DS Joy Freers (Roach) – Deering and her team must crack this case by whatever unconventional means possible. Because amidst all the assorted low life; the pimps, the petty thieves, and downright nasty bastards they’ve dealt with, this will be their most disturbing case yet, one that will touch their lives in ways they could never expect.
It certainly sounds interesting and you just know that the writing will be sparkling from Abbott, with dollops of black humour swirled in among the dark drama like raspberry ripple ice cream.
Here’s the man himself, adding his tuppence worth:
No Offence is a precinct cop drama. It’s also one of the funniest things I’ve ever been allowed to put together. It doesn’t look like anything else. No Offence’s cake mix is as bipolar as they get – it lurches from jet black laugh-out-loud, into fragile material on the turn of a sixpence. Writing three strong female leads is one thing. Writing women that men would choose as leaders has been particularly satisfying.