Cops and robbers drama Suspects turned out to be a breath of fresh air when it debuted in January.
The cast, which included Fay Ripley, Clare-Hope Ashitey and Damien Molony, created their own dialogue based on a detailed plot description.
Now it’s back, and for newcomers, DI Martha Bellamy (Ripley) maintains an overview, but also conducts the questioning of suspects; DS Jack Weston (Molony) is a charming man of action, while DC Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Steele (Ashitey) is passionate yet level-headed with a keen eye for detail.
In part one of this week’s series two opener, Martha’s neighbour, barrister Jonathan Moxton, is discovered at home with serious head injuries, his wrists bound and knickers stuffed in his mouth.
Jack suspects he was involved in a sex game gone wrong, but was Saul Hammond (Dominic Power) to blame, or does Moxton’s wife Tanya (Charlie Brooks) know more than she’s letting on?
That remains to be seen, but we can tell you this episode features another convincing turn from the talented Ms Ripley.
“Really I am playing myself doing this job to a certain degree, or a version of myself, doing this job and that’s what appeals and then by definition it’s got to be believable,” explains Fay.
Some actors might have been under pressure from the improv style of Suspects, but Clare-Hope Ashitey took it all in her stride.
After all she’d honed her craft with Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron’s on his critically acclaimed drama Children of Men.
“It was only the second film I’d ever done,” she explains. “To be honest a lot of it was a blur, such a huge learning curve. I’d never worked on a big film.”
Her stress levels were understandable; she landed the COM job one day and was on set the next.
“I learned a huge amount. It was terrifying,” she explains. “I felt like I was swept along on this tide that would go in regardless of anything, but it was really good fun.”
Back to Suspects, and Damien Moloney admits he jumped at the chance to play Jack Weston when the chance arose.
“One of the reasons I took the job was because it was unlike anything I’d ever done before,” he explains. .