The Interceptor

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The Interceptor
Series title over a street scene
Genre Drama
Created by Tony Saint
Written by Tony Saint
Starring O. T. Fagbenle
Ewan Stewart
Lorraine Ashbourne
Jo Joyner
Robert Lonsdale
Anna Skellern
Jeany Spark
Trevor Eve
Gary Beadle
Composer(s) Paul Thomson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 8
Production
Executive producer(s) Sarah Brown
Tony Saint
Producer(s) Patrick Schweitzer
Cinematography Sam McCurdy
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) BBC Drama Productions
Release
Original network
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 10 June (2015-06-10) – 29 July 2015 (2015-07-29)
External links
BBC website www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05z0vlp

The Interceptor is a British drama television serial that was first broadcast on BBC One from 10 June until 29 July 2015. The eight-part series was written by Tony Saint and made by BBC Drama Productions.[1][2] The series was cancelled by the BBC after one series following negative reception from critics.[3]

The series is about a new law enforcement team tasked with hunting down some of Britain's most wanted criminals.[4] The series is inspired by the book of the same name which details the career of former customs agent Cameron Addicott, co-written by Kris Hollington.[5][6][7]

Synopsis[edit]

Special Agent Marcus "Ash" Ashton (Fagbenle), a HM Revenue and Customs agent and his partner Tommy (Lonsdale) capture a drugs shipper in an operation at London Waterloo station. Whilst his boss is happy with a conviction of 3 kg of cocaine, Ash wants a larger criminal. During the subsequent operation, Tommy is severely injured in a resultant car accident, and Ash is then suspended. Subsequently approached in a pub by Cartwright (Stewart), the head of top-secret UNIT (Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team), on first entering UNIT's HQ he meets a familiar face, his Customs training officer Valerie (Ashbourne).[8]

Cast[edit]

  • O. T. Fagbenle as Special Agent Marcus "Ash" Ashton, a UK Customs agent
  • Jo Joyner as Lorna Ashton, Ash's wife
  • Robert Lonsdale as Tommy, Ash's UK Customs partner and friend
  • Ewan Stewart as Jack Cartwright, Head of the UNIT team
  • Lorraine Ashbourne as Valerie, ex-UK Customs, a member of the UNIT team
  • Anna Skellern as Kim, ex-Met Police Flying Squad, a member of the UNIT team
  • Charlie De Melo as Martin, ex-MI6, a member of the UNIT team
  • Valeria Vereau as Sonia the Spanish Interpreter
  • Jeany Spark as Detective Inspector Gemmill of the Metropolitan Police, Ash's friend
  • Trevor Eve as Roach, owner of a legitimate scaffolding business and a noted pillar of society. Head of a criminal organisation that distributes and sells drugs
  • Gary Beadle as Docker, apparent owner of an electrical contracting business, and a criminal. Roach's right-hand man
  • Lee Boardman as Michael "Xavier" Duffy, the apparent owner of a dry cleaning shop, and a criminal. Manages the street-based drugs distribution chain
  • Neal Barry as "Smoke", a criminal and an informant source for Ash
  • Paul Kaye as James Gordon "Jago" Dalkin, a criminal and enforcer
  • Michael Lindall as Wark, a criminal
  • Simon Armstrong as Chief Inspector Stannard. Gemmill's boss, and Cartwright's former colleague/now foe
  • Dexter Fletcher as "Scooter", a pill producer and dealer
  • Ralph Ineson as "Yorkie", a Leeds born and bred former criminal, having retired from armed robbery
  • Ralf Little as Alex, Ash's former school boy best friend, now a minor career criminal
  • Jack Roth as Casby, a criminal turned violent enforcer
  • Dean Roberts as Ash's dad

Production[edit]

The Interceptor was commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Danny Cohen.[9]The executive producer is Sarah Brown and the producer is Patrick Schweitzer.[10] Filming began in London in March 2014,[11][10] with David Gyasi cast in the lead role, but he left the production after injuring his leg.[12][13] With OT Fagbenie recast in the lead role, filming re-commenced in April 2014.[12] Part of the filming took place in Gravesend, at Nell's Cafe, which doubled for a cafe called 'Planet Thanet'.[14] [15] with the UNIT base scenes filmed on location in Keybridge House, a decommissioned British Telecom building in Vauxhall. The Interceptor was the first BBC production which purposefully used only electric powered cars behind the camera, using a fleet of five leased Vauxhall Ampera's.[16]

Background[edit]

Cameron Addicott is a retired former UK customs officer/SOCA agent. Addicott had joined the Alpha Projects Unit, a group of dedicated undercover Customs officers who hunted the UK’s most dangerous criminals. Using telephone and electronically tapped data feeds, the Alpha team would then use the resulting intelligence to prevent serious criminals from committing crime, including prevention of murders, stopping large shipments of drugs and other organised crime. After retiring in 2008, Addicott began writing his memoirs, with the first part co-written by Kris Hollington and published by Penguin Books in 2010, titled The Interceptor.[5]

Reception[edit]

The series received a universally negative response from critics. It was given 1/5 stars from Michael Hogan writing in The Telegraph he said "Fagbenle tried his best to inject some life into the limp script – huffing, puffing, pouting and glowering – but he’s too good for this hokum",[17] Adam Postans writing for the Daily Mirror who wrote "This attempt at a gritty crime drama... is a cliched mess with appalling dialogue," [18] and Christopher Stevens for the Daily Mail who wrote that "The show so bad it makes the rest of the Beeb look good".[19] Sally Newell writing for The Independent wrote that the "watchable but predictable prime-time cop drama" and felt it was like "EastEnders on an adrenalin rush, but this contrived cop show lacks heart."[20]

Broadcast[edit]

The series premiered in Australia on 12 August 2015 on BBC First.[21]

Episodes[edit]

Total
no.
Series
no.
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Episode 1" Farren Blackburn Tony Saint 10 June 2015 (2015-06-10) 4.75m
A botched operation leads Customs Officer 'Ash' to join a new undercover law enforcement team, that uses high-tech methods to catch high-level criminals. His knowledge of the street soon proves vital in tackling a major drug gang.
2 2 "Episode 2" Farren Blackburn Tony Saint 17 June 2015 (2015-06-17) 3.67m
Tommy is finding the transition to his job with the Unit a difficult one. The team follows every move made by drug dealer Xavier, hoping he will lead them to someone bigger. But when he meets with a rival dealer things go very wrong.
3 3 "Episode 3" Cilla Ware Simon Allen 24 June 2015 (2015-06-24) N/A
The Unit use phone taps to help track a large sum of money in the hope that it will lead them to the 'Mr Big' - but they also lead the team to a family that Ash is determined to protect - despite their illegal activities.
4 4 "Episode 4" Cilla Ware Tony Saint 1 July 2015 (2015-07-01) 3.19m
Roach is feeling the pressure and so turns to a new supplier known as The Viking. However, the Unit are already monitoring the terrifying and ruthless Viking. An old friend of Ash puts her life in danger trying to assist him.
5 5 "Episode 5" Julian Holmes Tony Saint 8 July 2015 (2015-07-08) N/A
The unit discovers a link between the gang they have under surveillance and a batch of toxic pills. Phone taps lead Tommy to Paulo, a pizza delivery man being used to courier the dodgy pills for dealer, Scooter.
6 6 "Episode 6" Julian Holmes Mark Catley 15 July 2015 (2015-07-15) N/A
Roach turns to Yorkie, a violent armed robber, to try and solve his cash flow problems. The Unit are disturbed by the info they have on Yorkie but realise that he could prove useful in penetrating the gang and keeping the police off their backs.
7 7 "Episode 7" Richard Senior Tony Saint 22 July 2015 (2015-07-22) N/A
Problems at home and at work are taking their toll on Ash, but he is convinced that 'Mr Big' is up to something. A new player on the scene could lead to a breakthrough while Kim realizes her ex-boyfriend has betrayed her.
8 8 "Episode 8" Richard Senior Tony Saint 29 July 2015 (2015-07-29) N/A
With Roach feeling the pressure from inside and outside of his organization, he becomes convinced that there is a traitor at work. As he attempts to find them, he unleashes an unpleasant surprise for the Unit - leading to a showdown.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Considine, Pippa (13 February 2013). "The BBC announces a raft of Great British dramas". Televisual. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Daniels, Colin (11 February 2013). "BBC announces new series 'Atlantis' to replace 'Merlin'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Interceptor Series 2 is — cancelled Release Date - PremiereDate.TV". PremiereDate.TV. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "BBC One announces new drama commissions". The Knowledge Online. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Munn, Patrick (24 January 2013). "‘Strike Back’ Showrunner Tony Saint Exits, Developing "High Octane" Police Drama Series For BBC". TV Wise. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Munn, Patrick (11 February 2013). "It’s Official: BBC One Orders 8 Part Drama Series 'The Interceptor' From 'Strike Back' Showrunner Tony Saint". TV Wise. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Andrew Lownie Literary Agency :: Authors :: Kris Hollington". 
  8. ^ "Meet The Interceptor, OT Fagbenle". 
  9. ^ "BBC Controller of Drama, Ben Stephenson, sets out his vision for drama on the BBC and announces new commissions". BBC. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Cast announced for Tony Saint’s new eight-part drama series, The Interceptor". BBC. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (28 February 2014). "David Gyasi, EastEnders star Jo Joyner for BBC One's The Interceptor". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Eames, Tom (31 March 2014). "David Gyasi exits BBC One's The Interceptor due to injury". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Lambert, Doug (31 March 2014). "David Gyasi quits The Interceptor". ATV Today. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office The Interceptor Article". 
  15. ^ MacFarlan, Tim (11 March 2014). "Crime drama featuring Eastenders star pitches up at Gravesend café". News Shopper. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Why BBC One drama The Interceptor is electrifying". 
  17. ^ "The Interceptor, BBC One, review: 'limp'". 
  18. ^ Postans, Adam (27 June 2015). "BBC crime drama The Interceptor is a laughable missfire, says @couchpotatoAdam". 
  19. ^ "The show so bad it makes the rest of the Beeb look good". 
  20. ^ "The Interceptor, TV review: It's EastEnders on an adrenalin rush but". 11 June 2015. 
  21. ^ Purcell, Charles (6 August 2015). "New This Week (Aug 10): True Detective finale, The Interceptor, GOT S1-5, Graceland and live sport". The Green Room. Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 

External links[edit]