Blue Lights episode 2: Viewers praise ‘fantastic’ and ‘gripping’ police drama

Virgin Radio

4 Apr 2023, 07:55

Annie (Katherine Devlin) and Jen (Hannah McClean) in Blue Lights.

Credit: BBC

If you’re missing the likes of Happy Valley and Line of Duty, then a new show has recently landed on the BBC, and it might just be up your street.

The six-episode series follows new recruits Grace (Sian Brooke), Annie (Katherine Devlin), and Tommy (Nathan Braniff), who are assigned to the fictional Blackthorn Station in Belfast as part of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). 

They are well-and-truly thrown in at the deep end, dealing with high-pressure situations regarding divided communities and criminal gangs.

There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen episode two, which aired last night (3rd April).

In the latest instalment, Gerry (Richard Dormer) helps poor Tommy to learn to shoot straight, while Annie learns that someone has threatened her life, but doesn’t know who. Meanwhile, a bunch of accidental overdoses, including one fatality, happen across the city, and it turns out that the criminal McIntyre gang, led by James McIntyre (John Lynch), received a bad batch of drugs.

Former social worker Grace speaks to two of the people who overdosed, brilliantly tying a very sure-of-himself lawyer in knots and explaining that the case is being referred to child protection services. She recommends random drug testing and treatment, which is agreed to.

Constable Jen (Hannah McClean) - the fast tracked daughter of a senior officer - remains as reluctant as ever to actually do any police work, and when she has to search the car of Mo McIntyre (Michael Shea) she makes a proper mess of it. Failing to activate her bodycam, she doesn’t carry out the search (which would have revealed a big old bag of drugs), and then threatens to give Annie negative feedback on her probationary assessment if she tells anyone. 

The McIntyre gang hatch a plan to recall the dodgy drugs and dish out a new batch. McIntyre family boss James stages a shooting at the house of his estranged wife Tina (Abigail McGibbon) to distract the police while his goons deliver the new drugs.

Fans have taken to Twitter to enthuse about the show. One wrote: “Another cracking episode of  #BlueLights 👏👏”

Another added: “Just catching up with #BlueLights on @BBCOne. It's not long since Happy Valley (& I still miss The Bill) but this is a great police drama. Fresh, gritty & gripping. Grand work @DecLawn, Adam Patterson & all others including the fabulous cast.”

Someone else wrote: “Must say #BlueLights is the best thing on TV for a long time! Fantastic acting and storyline! Brilliant!!! More please!”

One Twitter user wrote: “#BlueLights what a show. Not a single weak link in the cast. Fantastic tension; humour, emotion. A proper triumph.”

Episode two followed on from the gripping first instalment which saw a very tense scene in a cul-de-sac, with a number of locals closing in on police the area. Speaking to about shooting the scene, Sian Brooke said: “The way they wanted to capture it was very much like…it wasn’t clean. They let it be organic and let it happen like guerrilla filming. I love that because then you get to go and play, without any interruptions. 

“I think something like that, as it is so heightened, if you rehearse it too many times, or break it down, it loses a quality that’s really unachievable again.”

Blue Lights airs Mondays at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer. The entire box set is available to watch on iPlayer straight away.