12/02/2014 16:45 | By Lorna Cooper, editor, MSN TV

Suspects: Damien Molony in cop drama with a difference

Channel 5's eagerly awaited new crime drama Suspects stars Fay Ripley, Damien Molony and Clare-Hope Ashitey.

Damien Molony in Suspects (© Damien Molony in Suspects. Image. Channel 5)

Ready for another crime drama? If so, tune into Channel 5 from Wednesday 12 February for Suspects, a new procedural starring Fay Ripley (Cold Feet), Damien Molony (Being Human) and Clare-Hope Ashitey (Top Boy).

Set in London, Suspects focuses on a team of three detectives and their distinctive approaches to the job of policing. Each of the 10 episodes tells a self-contained crime story – starting with a news report. We then follow the team of detectives as they investigate the circumstances of the crime until they finally identify and charge the perpetrator.

Damien Molony, lately seen in BBC1’s Ripper Street, opened up about his role, giving more of an insight into the show.

Who do you play in Suspects?

I play Detective Sergeant Jack Weston. He comes from a long line of police officers in Ireland, and has moved to London to join the police. He has very strong opinions about what’s right and wrong, and he’s very willing to cross certain boundaries, bend certain rules, if he believes that the end justifies the means.

Can you describe how the show is set up?

There is a very structured storyline - this is where the scene starts, this is where the scene ends, the scene must contain this information - but then, what happens when we’re filming the scene is really up to the actors, the director and the cameraman as the scene is being filmed in the moment. That’s what will make it very exciting to watch, I think. It makes it very real.

What is that process like for the actors?

It’s exhilarating. It’s a very, very exciting way to work as an actor because you read the story, you read the story again, you read the story a third time, and then it’s like: ‘OK, let’s start shooting and we’ll see what happens’.

That was daunting, maybe a little scary at the start. I remember the day we started shooting, there was just a sense of kind of nervous excitement from everyone. But two days in, two scenes in and then suddenly it’s like: ‘Give me the storyline – let’s go, let’s go!’ It was a huge rush of adrenaline. We were all absolutely shattered when we finished shooting!

What sort of research did you do and what did you take from it?

We did a few weeks of intense workshops with a retired Detective Chief Inspector. A lot of interview technique, learning police terminology and general day-to-day lingo because to make it look and sound real, you want to be very, very specific.

We then spent several nights with working detectives in boroughs across London, which was really exciting, because you see them work, but we also got to see them in a slightly more relaxed environment. What does a DS do when he thinks he’s on his own?

Has Suspects changed how you think about the police and policing?

Oh, massively. I did have a big respect for the police anyway, but watching them work and getting to understand the type of day that they have, only increases that respect. A bad day at work for me, I’ll come home, I’ve messed up: shock-horror, I mispronounced one word in the scene today, and that’s hell on earth for me.

Whereas a bad day for a DS often involves horrific things, rescuing women from a cellar, telling a family their son’s been killed, awful stuff. They have a very difficult job, no doubt about it.

Suspects airs on Wednesday 12 February at 10pm on Channel 5


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