Scott & Bailey
|Scott & Bailey|
|Created by||Sally Wainwright
(based on an original idea by Suranne Jones and Sally Lindsay)
|Written by||Sally Wainwright|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||22 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Nicola Shindler
|Location(s)||Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom|
|Running time||45 minutes (approximately)|
|Production company(s)||Red Production Company|
|Original channel||ITV, STV, UTV|
|Original run||29 May 2011– present|
Scott & Bailey is a British detective drama series that debuted on ITV on 29 May 2011. The programme's main characters are Detective Constable Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) and DC Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp), both of whom are members of the Major Incident Team (MIT) of the fictional Manchester Metropolitan Police, headed by Detective Chief Inspector Gill Murray (Amelia Bullmore). The show revolves around the personal and professional lives of DC Bailey and DC Scott. It is based on an original idea by Jones and Sally Lindsay, who took the concept to executive producer Nicola Shindler. She brought in writer Sally Wainwright and Scott & Bailey was commissioned. It is produced by Manchester-based Red Production Company and is largely filmed in the Greater Manchester area.
Rachel and Janet are close friends with different personalities: Rachel is impulsive and free-thinking, whereas Janet is subtle and wise. Janet, who is older than Rachel, is married and has two daughters, though her marriage is somewhat stale and she is having a sexual relationship with her work colleague, Andy (Nicholas Gleaves). Eventually Janet and her husband separate, and her mother moves in to help raise the children with Janet getting home late most nights. Later on, in series 3, Janet learns that her still-husband is in another relationship. Rachel is not married and doesn't have any children, but is close to her sister. In the past, Rachel was involved in a tempestuous and unstable relationship with a barrister, Nick (Rupert Graves), who she discovers is already married with children and is a serial womanizer. In series 3 Rachel does marry but not for the right reasons, and later starts having an affair with her colleague, Kevin.
Debuting to strong viewing figures and with a fairly positive critical reception, Scott & Bailey ran from 29 May 2011 until 3 July over the course of six episodes. The second series premiered on 12 March 2012 and consisted of eight episodes. A third series was announced on 28 May 2012 and filming began in November 2012; the third series premiered on 3 April 2013. In August, it was announced that a fourth series had been commissioned, with production set to begin into Spring 2014.
Scott & Bailey is based on an original idea by Suranne Jones and Sally Lindsay, with Jones commenting that there needed to be more roles for women "that wasn't wife-of, sidekick-to, mother-of, mistress-to". Jones remarked, "We were just chatting away over a bottle of wine in a pub" when the idea came to fruition. Lindsay, a fan of television programmes such as Cagney & Lacey, was interested in the concept of a programme detailing the lives of two professional women. Jones later spoke of the programme, saying it is "the Cagney & Lacey of Manchester", though she acknowledged that Scott & Bailey as a drama was more "gritty" and "real".
Upon taking the idea to Nicola Shindler of Red Productions, Shindler contacted Sally Wainwright, who wrote a script for an episode and, according to Jones, they "loved it". Despite the positive reaction, the project "kind of got a bit lost" until ITV discovered it and requested that Wainwright rewrite the script.
Subsequently, Wainwright paired up with Diane Taylor, a former Detective Inspector from Greater Manchester Police, to create the programme, and the production expanded from Jones and Lindsay's original concept. From Taylor's perspective, police procedurals were often filled with not only technical inaccuracies, but what she felt were inaccuracies of how officers behaved, saying: "that's what really irritates me in other dramas – detectives crying over dead bodies and getting drunk senseless. You'd last about two weeks". She said, of her time as a police officer in comparison to portrayals on television, that "reality is much more interesting. I could pull a thousand cases out of my head people would say would never happen. People need drama because they would not believe the reality".
Jones, who had always envisaged herself playing Rachel Bailey when the idea of the project came in to mind, was given the role, though at the programme's pre-production stages the character had a different first name, Cathy. It was originally intended that Lindsay would star with Jones in Scott & Bailey, but she became pregnant with twins, so the role of Janet was given to Lesley Sharp instead; Lindsay received the smaller role of Rachel's sister, Alison. Lindsay approved of Sharp playing the role; Jones also felt pleased at the prospect of working with Sharp, saying "I was really excited on the day of the read-through". Sharp's husband Nicholas Gleaves was awarded the role of Scott's lover, DS Andy Roper. Despite the actors' relationship, Sharp stated that it was not a contributing factor in his casting, stating: "Nick's an actor and I'm an actress — we don't have the same agent. There's a script with a role in it that was right for him and it so happened that there was a role that was right for me and we both got cast, but it wasn't a conversation that we had that it would be a good idea if we did a television series together because that's not the way life works".
Both Rachel and Janet are Detective Constables in the Major Incident Team of the fictional Manchester Metropolitan Police force, with the team headed by DCI Gill Murray (Amelia Bullmore), who is loosely based on Diane Taylor. Producers were undecided on what age DCI Murray would be, but had originally pictured an actress older than Bullmore. After auditioning, Bullmore returned a month later, intent on playing Murray "tough", however, when meeting casting director Beverley Keogh in the toilets beforehand, Bullmore recounted that Keogh said to her: "That's not what we've got you back for. We were interested in seeing a warmer side".
Actor Danny Miller joined the cast as series regular Rob Waddington in series 3, whilst Tracie Bennett also appeared in the programme's third series as DC Bailey's estranged mother, Sharon. In a continuing story arc for the third series, Nicola Walker was cast in the role of Helen Bartlett, a character driven to emotional instability by past events unearthed by the Manchester Metropolitan Police. In preparation for the role Walker visited a psychologist in order to build upon her characterisation.
Principal photography for the series took place in a twelve-week window from November 2010 onwards, it was reported by Female First. The series was filmed on location in and around Greater Manchester. Jones mentioned that "On the first day of filming [she and Sharp] were stuck in a car on the moors". Oldham was another location chosen for filming, with local press reporting that Beal Lane in Shaw was used for filming. The Oldham Evening Chronicle supplied specially mocked-up newspapers to be used as props in filming. Other locations such as Manchester Crown Court have been used for filming. The Major Incident Team's headquarters are filmed in an old Barclays branch on Silver Street, Bury.
Sharp, when describing filming with her husband, Gleaves, who plays her on-screen lover, said, "there aren't too many people who can go to work and have an affair with their husband". When discussing the filming of Scott & Bailey, Jones said "I can't pretend it wasn't a tough shoot, both emotionally and physically, because it was", before adding that on the last day of filming she had to shoot a gruelling scene involving her chasing a suspect from a crime scene, whilst Sharp and Bullmore "were having massages and facials ready for the wrap party".
When Scott & Bailey was recommissioned for a second series it was announced that production on the series would commence at the end of October 2011, to be aired in 2012. In November it was reported that whilst filming on Hamilton Road, Whitefield—the set of DC Scott's home—that an emergency call was made after a member of the television crew, a lighting technician, became stranded atop a "cherry-picker style platform" 12 metres (39 ft) above the ground. Fearing the mechanism could fail and cause the crew member to fall to the ground, they sought assistance from firefighters, who safely brought the technician to the ground. In February 2012, The Sun reported that series 2 was still being filmed, with Jones pictured on location in Manchester with a prosthetic wound on her forehead.
Cast and characters
- DC Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones), a newer member of the Major Incident Team and an up-and-coming professional. Bailey is a career woman in her 30s, who early in the series was involved in a fiery relationship with barrister Nick Savage. She becomes pregnant with his child, but miscarries. Her sometimes brash behavior lands her in trouble, though often she is helped by best friend Janet. She's a very talented detective and is referred to as "Sherlock". In season 3 she marries Sean but soon realizes it was a mistake and breaks up with him. (Series 1 — present)
- DC/DS Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp), a kind-hearted, intelligent, long-standing member of the team and best friends with Rachel. Aged 46, married and with two teenage daughters, Tasie and Elise, she has an affair with colleague DS Andy Roper and contemplates leaving her husband Adrian. She was inspired to join the police after the unsolved murder of her childhood friend Veronica. (Series 1 — present)
- DCI Gill Murray (Amelia Bullmore), head of the Major Incident Team and single mother to a teenage son, Sammy. Nicknamed "Godzilla" by Rachel, Murray is demanding and sometimes blunt, though has a lighter side. She has been friends with Janet for 19 years. Bullmore noted the idiosyncrasies of Diane Taylor, on whom the character is based, to develop Gill. (Series 1 - present)
- DS Rob Waddington (Danny Miller) a young fast-track Sergeant who was hired after Janet insisted she didn't want a promotion. He is the son of DCI Frankie Waddington (Series 3 - present)
- DC Ian "Mitch" Mitchell (David Prosho), "opens doors with his head". A detective constable who works alongside Janet, Rachel, Gill etc. in the MIT department of the Manchester Metropolitan Police. (Series 1 — present)
- Alison Bailey (Sally Lindsay), Rachel and Dominic's sister who is married with children. Remains in contact with Rachel regarding Dominic's welfare. (Series 1 - present)
- Dorothy Parsons (Judith Barker), is Janet's mother who currently lives with her while recuperating after a big operation. Has a series of arguments with Adrian, who then walks out on his family. (Series 2 - present)
- Det. Supt. Julie Dodson (Pippa Haywood),a sarcastic detective who acts similar to Gill. She used to work with Kevin, nearly getting him chucked out of MIT. She is best friends with Gill and is referred to as "Slap". (Series 2 - present)
- Scary Mary Jackson (Julia Deakin / Judy Holt), a middle-aged, frightening pathologist, nicknamed Scary Mary by the team. Played by Julia Deakin in Series 2, and Judy Holt in Series 3. (Series 2 - present)
- Nick Savage (Rupert Graves), a wealthy barrister and Rachel's ex-lover. Unbeknownst to her until after they break up, he is in fact married with two sons living in Wilmslow. He has an apartment in the city centre, which Rachel practically blackmails him into letting her move into. In the season 1 finale he is charged with the attempted murder of a police officer (Rachel) after she discovers he had an affair with a juror whilst defending a client at court. He is absent for most of series 2, but is mentioned in episode 3 when Gill discovers the attempted murder charge is dropped and tells Rachel. He is later released without charge. In the finale of season 2 he is attacked and brutally beaten, later dying in A&E (Accident and Emergency). In Series 3, we find out that Nick was killed by Rachel's brother Dominic, who goes to prison. (Series 1)
- Geoff Hastings (Kevin Doyle), is the serial killer brother of Janet's childhood friend Veronica. He killed 6 women and also stabs Janet in Series 1. He is later put under psychiatric watch. He returns in episode 2.5. (Series 1 - 2)
- DCS Dave Murray (Vincent Regan), Gill's ex, who had several affairs without her knowing. He is father of her child, and left Gill when he got a 23-year old uniform officer pregnant. He and his present girlfriend persuade Gill's son to live with them instead of Gill. Murray is acting Head of the Review Team while the head is away on maternity leave. (Series 1 - 2)
- Dominic Bailey (Liam Boyle), Rachel and Alison's brother who was in prison for armed robbery. He used to live with Rachel and was looking for a cooking occupation. He goes to prison again for murdering Rachel's ex, Nick. (Series 2)
- DS Andy Roper (Nicholas Gleaves), who is desperately in love with Janet; he has a one night stand with her, and tries to convince her to leave her family to be with him. (Series 1 - 2)
- Adrian "Ade" Scott (Tony Pitts), Janet's geography teacher husband, father to Taisie and Elise, who leave and move to his dad's after a series of arguments with Janet's mother Dorothy. (Series 1 - 3)
- PC Sean McCartney (Sean Maguire), an old school friend of Rachel's who was transferred to the "Met" but later returned to Manchester. In season 3 he and Rachel get married but split up in episode 5. (Series 2 - 3)
- DC Kevin Lumb (Ben Batt), is a detective constable who works alongside Janet, Rachel, Gill etc. in the MIT department of the Manchester Metropolitan Police. He is the joker of the team and is often not taken seriously because of it. (Series 1 - 3)
- Helen Bartlett (Nicola Walker), daughter of Joe and Eunice Bevan, who both molested and murdered young boys before burying the bodies in the cellar. Helen is a suspect when Eunice is also murdered before Joe is revealed to be the killer. Helen later confesses Joe also killed her brother and she had to bury the body, but this only results in Helen's arrest. Furious, Helen takes Gill hostage and attempts to kill her but ends up slitting her own wrists. (Series 3)
Scott & Bailey has received generally good reviews thus far. Tom Sutcliffe of The Independent remarked that although it was a "less-than-courageous decision" for ITV to commission a detective drama for Sunday nights, Scott & Bailey had "genuine signs of life in the thing". Sam Wollaston of The Guardian, however, questioned the plausibility that the character of Rachel would not realise her partner of two years was already married, considering she was a detective, and progressed to describe the series as "Lewis with skirts on". However, Grace Dent, also of The Guardian, described it as "of great televisual comfort". Alexandra Heminsley, another writer for The Guardian, described it as "a genuinely gripping crime series" and added: "what about a second series?" Euan Ferguson of The Observer stated that it was "actually rather gripping". Horatia Harrod, reviewing the third series for The Daily Telegraph, praised the programme's script and its likeness to reality in portraying the professional conduct of modern policing, stating: "this is a beautifully engineered programme: it's both pleasingly sudsy and deliciously grisly, but manages to transcend both the soap and detective genres [...] Somehow Sally Wainwright, the show's creator and writer, has made the traditionally dull quality of professional competence seem positively thrilling".
John Preston of The Daily Telegraph gave a mixed review, though commending the acting of Sharp and Jones, he stated that "it badly needs some shape and tension". The Metro took a decidedly critical stance, with its reviews getting progressively worse as the series progressed; firstly describing it as "comforting but could have been so much better", then later quipping that "Scott & Bailey will never be compelling TV", and that the programme is "a mediocre crime drama amidst a saturated market of mediocre crime dramas". Tim Oglethorpe, reviewing the first series in the Daily Mail, wrote that "the men often appear to be feckless, devious or dangerous" and stated that DS Andy Roper (Gleaves) was "the only man to emerge with any credit". Dianne Butler, who reviewed the programme upon its airing in Australia, made a similar point, questioning the relevance of the show's male characters, saying that "there are some men in this but they're fairly incidental". The Guardian's John Crace expressed his belief that most of the programme's male characters are deficient in some way, writing: "surely it must be possible to make a show with women lead characters without having to make every male a complete dork? From Janet's useless husband and Rachel's idiot brother who can't boil an egg without burning down the kitchen".
The individual acting performances of Amelia Bullmore and Nicola Walker were highly praised in the series 3 finale, with Julia Raeside of The Guardian commenting that both "give an incredible acting masterclass that will take your breath away. Truly gripping and the jewel in ITV's increasingly impressive drama crown. Splendid stuff." The series was nominated for the BAFTA TV award for Best Drama Series in both 2012 and 2013.
Since Scott & Bailey's debut it has fared well in the ratings. Days after its premiere, The Sun reported that overnight figures suggested 8.2 million watched the episode, which was, according to the newspaper, the most successful drama launch of 2011 so far. It reported that the show had secured a 33% audience share in its timeslot. The programme's closest rival was a broadcast of the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which received 20.9% of the audience share. Scott and Bailey aired as the follow-on programme from Britain's Got Talent, which had received 9.86 million viewers and a 40.4% audience share in its timeslot.
The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) later released consolidated information stating that the first episode had received 8.31 million viewers on ITV, with a further 801,000 tuning in on ITV HD, and 310,000 on ITV1+1, totalling the viewing figures to 9.42 for the first episode. The episode was 2011's fourth highest-rating drama broadcast, as well as the highest-rating broadcast for a new drama. By episode two it was reported that Scott & Bailey has dropped nearly 1.8 million viewers from episode one, with overnight figures suggesting 6.14 million (23.6%) tuned in, though it was still the number one rated programme in its timeslot. The programme continued to outperform its competitors in its timeslot until its end, beating competition including BBC One dramas Case Histories and Stolen.
Home video releases
|Region 2 release date||Discs|
|1||UK: 4 July 2011||2|
|2||UK: 4 June 2012|
|3||UK: 1 July 2013|
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