Babylon (TV series)

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Babylon
Babylon series.png
Genre Drama
Created by
Written by
  • Sam Bain
  • Jesse Armstrong
  • Jon Brown
Directed by
Starring
Composer(s) Rick Smith
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 7 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Robert Jones
  • Jesse Armstrong
  • Sam Bain
  • Danny Boyle
Editor(s)
Running time 90 minutes (pilot)
60 minutes (series)
Production company(s) Nightjack Ltd.
Release
Original network Channel 4
Channel 4 HD
Picture format 16:9
First shown in 9 February 2014 (2014-02-09) (pilot)
Original release 13 November (2014-11-13) – 18 December 2014 (2014-12-18) (series 1)
External links
Website

Babylon is a British drama television series co-created by Danny Boyle, Robert Jones, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain for Channel 4, and produced by Nightjack Ltd.[1]

The series is set in London, and follows various characters working for the Metropolitan Police Service, police officers on the streets, who are responding to incidents, as well as the top management and PR department at New Scotland Yard, who tries to counter any backlash from such incidents.

Plot[edit]

The series follows the new Director of Communications, the American Liz Garvey (Brit Marling), who has been headhunted by the Police Commissioner Richard Miller (James Nesbitt) to drag the force into the new media age, and her conflicts with her own department and legal bureaucracy. This is intercut with the happenings within a team in the Territorial Support Group and a team of authorised firearms officers in the Specialist Firearms Command.

Main cast[edit]

Scotland Yard[edit]

Territorial Support Group (TSG) and Specialist Firearms Command (SCO19)[edit]

Others[edit]


Production[edit]

Channel 4 originally announced that Babylon had been commissioned for Autumn 2014 on 23 December 2013. They further announced the six-part series had begun filming, in and around London on 17 April 2014.

Danny Boyle directed the pilot episode, whilst Jon S. Baird directed the first three episodes of Series 1 with Sally El Hosaini directing the last three. Jon Brown joined the writing group (from the pilot episode) alongside Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong. The programme was created by Boyle, Robert Jones, Armstrong and Bain who were also Executive Producers. The Producers were Jones and Derrin Schlesinger.

Episode two was partly filmed at the Metropolitan Police Training Ground in Gravesend, Kent and features in the scenes where Robbie (Adam Deacon) trains at the firing range. [2] Episode six, the series finale, recreated the London Riots of 2011.

In a 2015 interview with Radio Times magazine, Sam Bain stated that it was unlikely Babylon would return for a further series, with Jesse Armstrong explaining that "getting everyone back together seemed like it would be extraordinarily complicated, so we haven't pursued it".[3]

Episodes[edit]

Pilot (2014)[edit]

Total
no.
Series
no.
Title Directed by Written by Original airdate UK viewers
(in millions)[4]
1 - "Pilot" Danny Boyle Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong 9 February 2014 (2014-02-09) 1.99
A sniper is on the prowl, assassinating random people in London, including a Police Community Support Officer. It's a hectic first day for new Director of Communications, Liz Garvey.

Series 1 (2014)[edit]

Total
no.
Series
no.
Title Directed by Written by UK Original
air date
UK viewers
(millions)[4]
US Original
air date
US viewers
(millions)
2 1 "Episode One[5]" Jon S. Baird Jesse Armstrong 13 November 2014 (2014-11-13) 1.05 8 January 2015 (2015-01-08) 0.091[6]
The Territorial Support Group (TSG) is dispatched to a riot held by the Youth Offenders Institution. Robbie hopes for a last quiet day in the field before firearms training. Police documentary director Matt may have noticed dangerous communications within the police ranks. The police release footage of AFO Warwick's shooting, involving an unarmed suspect, leaving Warwick with anxiety. Due to the footage, Warwick's AFO colleagues Tony and Banjo think of a plan to relieve his anxiety of the situation. Meanwhile a PR plan direct from Scotland Yard hits turmoil, tensions arise between Police Commissioner Miller and Deputy Mayor Grant Delgado.
3 2 "Episode Two" Jon S. Baird Jon Brown 20 November 2014 (2014-11-20) Under 1.06 15 January 2015 (2015-01-15) 0.063[7]
Director of Communications Liz Garvey introduces her creation of 'Metwork', a brand new news channel for the use of the force and Liz's PR/Communication department. Liz continues to receive backlash from her deputy, Finn, who is determined to stop the 'Metwork' from going ahead. AFO Warwick's mental state is desperately deteriorating whilst on duty, and AFO trainee Robbie plans to improve his attitude towards the job in hand.
4 3 "Episode Three" Jon S. Baird Sam Bain 27 November 2014 (2014-11-27) Under 0.92 22 January 2015 (2015-01-22) 0.061[8]
Richard is asked to oversee an operation into a possible bomb threat on a Money expo at the Thameside centre, but continuing problems in his personal life begin to cloud his judgement. A robot is sent in to inspect a suspicious package that has been left in a coffee bar, and when the package is found to be harmless, the operation is scaled down. However, minutes after leaving the scene, a bomb explodes resulting in a small number of casualties. With a high-flying journalist breathing down Richard's neck over his extra-marital affairs, the situation soon becomes too much to bear, and whilst dealing with the ensuing fall-out from the explosion, Liz ignores a call from Richard.
5 4 "Episode Four" Sally El Hosaini Sam Bain 4 December 2014 (2014-12-04) Under 0.93 29 January 2015 (2015-01-29) 0.017[9]
The search for the Thameside bomber gets underway, while the fall-out from Richard's death is felt throughout the department. Finn seizes his chance to try and extradite Liz, while Inglis shines in a moment of glory having been made acting commissioner. Clarkey and Davina's personal life gets in the way during the search for the bomber and they fail to search the house where the bomber is living. Luckily, Sharon is able to defuse the situation, which gives Liz an idea. Meanwhile, whilst continuing to cover up Warwick's absence, Robbie gets a little too gung-ho with an old friend from school, but when the unit are called to a possible firearms incident outside a nightclub, Warwick hesitates.
6 5 "Episode Five" Sally El Hosaini Jon Brown 11 December 2014 (2014-12-11) Under 0.86 5 February 2015 (2015-02-05) 0.073[9]
The fall-out from the teen shooting sees Banjo, Tony, Warwick and Robbie being interviewed by an inquest panel over their involvement, and it's not long before Banjo is forced to dish the dirt on Warwick's recent troubles. A troubled Robbie admits to Matt that he faked the crime scene by placing the gun in the boy's hand, unaware that Matt has recorded him on video. Meanwhile, Finn continues to make things difficult for Liz, but when a search for a missing boy gets underway, Liz uses the opportunity to highlight Sharon's adept qualities at making commissioner, fully aware that Sharon being appointed commissioner would get Finn off her back, and eliminate Inglis at the same time.
7 6 "Episode Six" Sally El Hosaini Jesse Armstrong 18 December 2014 (2014-12-18) Under 0.92 12 February 2015 (2015-02-12) 0.055[10]
Footage of Banjo trashing a wheelie bin goes viral. Sharon's proposals of turning PCSO's into actual police officers results in unauthorised strike action across the two police units. Robbie, Tony and Banjo perform an off-the-record raid on Matt's flat to retrieve the evidence of Robbie's confession, but Tony has a crisis of conscience and offers the footage up to Liz. Word spreads of the TSG and ARV's unsanctioned strike action, resulting in widespread rioting and looting across London. Banjo fails to keep his cool and attacks Clarkey. Meanwhile, when word spreads of Sharon's policy for 'cops to arrest cops' leaks out, Liz decides it's time to back a new horse and pulls out all of the strings for Inglis' bid to become commissioner.

Reception[edit]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the show a 75% "fresh" rating with an average rating of 7.2/10 based on 16 reviews. The critical consensus states: "Babylon successfully combines two genres into one show, adding great actors and timely subject matter to stealthy wit and hard-hitting drama."[11] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 67 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[12]

Broadcast[edit]

Babylon premiered on SundanceTV in the United States on 8 January 2015.[13] An episode aired on 29 January 2015 registered only 17,000 viewers.[14] In Australia, the series premièred on 28th September 2015 on BBC First.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Babylon - Introduction". Channel 4. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Babylon Article". 
  3. ^ "Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong on comedy endings - and why it's time to say goodbye to Peep Show". Radio Times. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Barb.co.uk. Retrieved 19 June 2014.  (No permanent link available. Search for relevant dates.)
  5. ^ "Babylon Episode Synopses". Channel 4. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (9 January 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Thursday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 1.8.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (16 January 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Thursday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 1.15.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (23 January 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Thursday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 1.22.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (6 February 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Thursday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 2.5.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (13 February 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Thursday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 2.12.2015". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Babylon: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Babylon - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Bibel, Sara (24 November 2014). "Six-Part Scripted Series 'Babylon' to Premiere Thursday, January 8 on SundanceTV". Zap2it. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Thursday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 1.29.2015". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  15. ^ Knox, David (2 September 2015). "Airdate: Babylon". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 

External links[edit]