19/02/2014 17:00 | By MSN TV

The Smoke: Jamie Bamber shines in Sky1 firefighter drama

Jamie Bamber, lately seen in Battlestar Galactica and Law & Order: UK, heads the cast of Sky1 drama The Smoke.

Jamie Bamber in The Smoke (© Jamie Bamber in The Smoke. Image. Sky)

Year ago, we had ITV's London's Burning with ex-Grange Hill star John Alford. Now, from the makers of Broadchurch and kicking off on Thursday 20 February, we finally have another British series focused on firefighters: Sky1's The Smoke. It's been a long time coming.

The thing about dramas focused around fires (unlike, say, crime, medical or legal), is that they don't come cheap. Week after week of special effects in which things have to burn will soon eat into your budget. Luckily, no expense has been spared to create some pretty scary fires for the London-based gang to fight: not only does it look impressive, it takes your breath away.

Benefiting from a taut script, The Smoke is an adrenaline-fuelled hour charting the lives of a group of firefighters. At the heart of the series is Kev (Law & Order UK's Jamie Bamber), a seasoned firefighter and leader of the White Watch crew. The Smoke opens on a traumatic call-out that has a devastating effect on him mentally, physically and emotionally.

The cast of Sky1's The Smoke (© The cast of Sky1's The Smoke. Image. Sky1)

The audience gets an introduction to The rest of the team who also have their fair share of troubles, from Kev’s best mate and ladies’ man Mal (Rhashan Stone from Strike Back) to hapless young dad Little Al (played by Shameless' Gerard Kearns).

As the only female, it's not hard to spot Ziggy (Southcliffe's Pippa Bennett-Warner) or wonder just what is the deal with the mysterious new boy Dennis, aka Asbo (Lewis' Taron Egerton)?

As the most recent firefighting dramas have been US imports (Denis Leary's excellent Rescue Me and Sky Living's Chicago Fire instantly spring to mind), it feels good to have one of our own again. Thanks to an awesome performance from Jamie Bamber, The Smoke will effortlessly suck you into this dangerous world of everyday heroes. Or perhaps that should be, everyday damaged heroes.

The Smoke airs on Sky1 every Thursday from 20 February

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