Scott & Bailey
|Scott & Bailey|
|Created by||Sally Wainwright
Suranne Jones (idea)
Sally Lindsay (idea)
|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, based on an original idea by Jones and Sally Lindsay, revolves around the personal and professional lives of DC Bailey and DC Scott. Scott & Bailey was commissioned after the concept was introduced to executive producer Nicola Shindler, who brought it to writer Sally Wainwright. The series 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. She has a sexual relationship with her work colleague, Andy (Nicholas Gleaves) in Series 1 and 2. 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 Series 1, 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 shown in the United States on various public television stations.
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".
Scott & Bailey is produced by Manchester-based Red Production Company, which itself is majority owned by StudioCanal following an acquisition estimated at £30 million in December 2013. Nicola Schindler, who founded the company in 1998, is the programme's executive producer alongside writer Sally Wainwright. When speaking of Schindler, Wainwright said: "Nicola is just a genius. She makes you raise your game. So if you're good, she'll make you better". The role of producer was undertaken by Yvonne Fracas for Series 1, and from Series 2 onward, Tom Sherry. Sherry, who has worked for Red Productions for over 15 years, described his job as "the opportunity to meddle in all departments – it's about being able to have a passable stab at everyone's job and to be able to empathise with what they're trying to achieve".
The involvement of Diane Taylor as a consultant producer has been credited with maintaining Scott & Bailey's "rigorous authenticity". According to Jessamy Calkin of The Telegraph, "the attention to detail is more extreme on this series, say many of the crew, than others they have worked on". During the filming of Unforgiven in 2008 (written by Wainwright and also starring Suranne Jones), Wainwright was told to meet Taylor by Grant Montgomery, the show's designer. After meeting, the production was given the green light by ITV and the script was largely re-written, with Wainwright commenting: "I wasn't writing a single line of dialogue that Diane hadn't influenced". Wainwright is responsible for writing the majority of episodes. Amelia Bullmore, who plays Gill Murray, has written three episodes; Wainwright had wanted to get other writers involved in the process. For her first episode as writer, "Bullmore was given a brief – that everything must be from Scott and Bailey's point of view – and she was given a murder".
The directing of Scott & Bailey is undertaken in a method whereby "each director directs a 'block' of two or three episodes, dictated by the schedule – when each episode has finished shooting, the director goes into the edit and a new director takes over for the next block", according to Calkin. The most prolific director of Scott & Bailey is Morag Fullerton, who has directed seven episodes.
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. The local mortuary has also been used for filming scenes. The programme was also granted permission to film in HM Prison Risley in Cheshire, where locations manager James Muirhead and a crew of 35 filmed for a day.
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
Throughout Scott & Bailey, the central characters are all members of Syndicate 9, the Major Incident Team of the Manchester Metropolitan Police. 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. 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 Series 3 she marries PC Sean McCartney (Sean Maguire) but soon realises it was a mistake and breaks up with him.
Bailey's working partner and friend DC Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) is a kind-hearted, intelligent and a long-standing member of the team. Around 15 years older than Rachel, Janet appears wiser, and finds satisfaction from her job as Detective Constable. Described by Sharp as "a woman who is at the top of her game in a job but who has deliberately chosen to stay in what appears to be one of the lower ranks" instead of progressing to a more senior position. Her marriage to Adrian "Ade" Scott (Tony Pitts) disintegrates as the series progresses. She was inspired to join the police after the unsolved murder of her childhood friend Veronica Hastings.
Detective Chief Inspector Gill Murray (Amelia Bullmore) is head of the Major Incident Team and also a single mother. Nicknamed "Godzilla" by Rachel, Murray is demanding and sometimes blunt, though has a lighter side. She has been close friends with Janet for over 19 years. However, with Rachel their relationship is largely work-based and is at times strained. Bullmore noted the idiosyncrasies of Diane Taylor, on whom the character is based, to develop Gill. The involvement of Murray as such an important character led to Horatia Harrod of The Telegraph to note that the show should be called "Scott & Bailey & Murray" if the title were to accurately reflect her importance as a character.
Various supporting and recurring characters exist throughout the show, whether they are work colleagues, family members of main characters, or those involved in the investigations of the MIT. DS Rob Waddington (Danny Miller) a young fast-track Sergeant who was hired after Janet insisted she didn't want a promotion. Miller joined the cast in Series 3. Ian "Mitch" Mitchell (David Prosho), Pete Readyough (Tony Mooney) and Lee Broadhurst (Delroy Brown) are all Detective Constables working in the MIT department.
DC Kevin Lumb (Ben Batt), was the joker of the team, and at times shown to be incompetent. Rachel commences an adulterous affair with Kevin during Series 3 whilst married to Sean McCartney (Maguire). Kevin was best man at the wedding of Rachel and Sean. When Sean discovers the affair, he punches Kevin in the face in the department office, thus exposing the relationship to all their working colleagues. Kevin is dismissed from his job by Gill after she becomes aware that he has been leaking information to the press surrounding a murder case.
DCI Julie Dodson (Pippa Haywood) is the head of Syndicate 3 and is close friends with Gill. Kevin used to be in Dodson's syndicate until he was moved under the leadership of Gill. Haywood joined the cast in the second series. Noting the character's close relationship with Gill, she stated, "I like the double act between Julie and Gill Murray. When they are at work they have this reputation that they are fearsome; a force to be reckoned with, but there's also a lot of humour between them". Mary Jackson, or "Scary Mary" as she is nicknamed by the department, (played by Julia Deakin in Series 2 and Judy Holt in Series 3), is one of the pathologists who carries out post-mortem examinations in the mortuary for the department.
Detective Sergeant Andy Roper (Nicholas Gleaves) was a past member of the team from Series 1 to 2. He was desperately in love with Janet; he has a one night stand with her, and tried to convince her to leave her family to be with him. Their relationship sours when Janet tells him she will not leave her family and after a series of incidents, Gill informs the pair that the can no longer remain on the team together; Roper leaves and is later replaced by Waddington (Miller).
Gill's ex-husband, DCS Dave Murray (Vincent Regan), has had several affairs without her knowing. He is father of her son, Sammy (Jake Roach) but left Gill when he got a 23-year old uniform officer pregnant. In the first series Dave is acting Head of the Review Team while the head is away on maternity leave, causing abrasions between him and Gill.
Rachel's family members appear throughout the series during various times. Alison Bailey (Sally Lindsay) is Rachel's older sister and is married with children. Lindsay, who alongside Suranne Jones created the original idea for Scott & Bailey has appeared during all three series as Alison. Rachel's younger brother Dominic Bailey (Liam Boyle) is introduced in Series 2. He had previously served a prison sentence for armed robbery. He at one point lives with Rachel, who encourages him to look for work. Rachel's mother Sharon (Tracie Bennett) appears in the third series after being mentioned previously throughout the show. She is an alcoholic who abandoned her children and is loathed by Alison, though Rachel tries to forgive her. She engages in sex in a car park with DC Pete Readyough (Mooney) after Rachel and Sean's wedding, but they are caught by Gill. His professional reputation is tarnished and his marriage collapses due to the incident.
Janet's family relationships alter throughout the series. Her husband Ade (Pitts), a geography teacher, separates with Janet in the second series. The pair have two teenage daughters; Taise (Harriet Waters) and Elise (played by Sharon Flynn in Series 1 and Olivia Rose Smith from Series 2 onward). Ade walks out of his marital home to live with his elderly father following various arguments with Janet's mother Dorothy Parsons (Judith Barker), who moves in with the family for three months while recuperating after a big operation. Following the couple's decision to divorce, Dorothy buys out Ade's share of the house and permanently moves in. The introduction of more family members in Series 2 such as Rachel's brother, Dominic and Janet's mother Dorothy was due to Sally Wainwright's aim to achieve "that nice balance of the private lives, as well as dealing with the demanding jobs they've got".
Nicholas "Nick" Savage (Rupert Graves), was a wealthy barrister and Rachel's ex-lover. Unbeknownst to her until after they break up, he was in fact married with two sons living in Wilmslow. He had an apartment in the city centre, which Rachel blackmailed him into letting her move into, stating that she would inform his wife Caroline (Louise Delamere) of their affair. Rachel finds out she is pregnant with Nick's baby and though she plans to have an abortion, she decides against it. However, she later miscarries. In the Series 1 finale he is charged with the attempted murder of a police officer (Rachel), in an attempt to silence her after she discovers he had an affair with a juror whilst defending a client at court, a story with the potential to destroy his career. Graves does not appear as Savage in Series 2, but is mentioned in Episode 3, when Gill discovers that the attempted murder charge has been dropped and informs Rachel. He is later released without charge. In the finale of Series 2 Savage is attacked and brutally beaten, later dying in hospital. Dominic, Rachel's brother, was responsible for the attack, after hearing his sister's anguish at Savage's actions; he is imprisoned.
Geoff Hastings (Kevin Doyle), is the brother of Janet's murdered childhood friend Veronica. He persuades Janet to review the cold case. However, Janet discovers that he is in fact responsible for the murder of Veronica and, over the years, he has killed fifteen women. When uncovered as a serial killer, he stabs Janet in an attempt escape. He pleads guilty to the murders and is sentenced to prison. However, he reappears in the fifth episode of Series 2, after requesting to give information to Janet over other murders he claims to have committed.
Helen Bartlett (Nicola Walker) appears in the third series as the 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. Walker's portrayal of Bartlett was noted for transforming the character "scene by scene dissolved into a dishevelled wreck"; in her first appearance, in episode one of the third series she looked "immaculate" working on a make-up counter in a department store, however, the veneer fades as her childhood trauma becomes apparent.
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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