Blue Lights: Everything you need to know about the BBC’s new police drama set in Northern Ireland

Virgin Radio

27 Mar 2023, 10:43

Siân Brooke, Katherine Devlin and Nathan Braniff in Blue Lights (BBC)

Credit: BBC

Looking for a new fix after Line of Duty? The BBC are back in Belfast for a new police drama centred around Northern Ireland’s police force. 

The six-part series, created by local writers Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, will look into the lives of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, otherwise known as the PSNI. 

With Blue Lights hitting the small screen soon, here is everything you need to know about the crime drama. 

What is Blue Lights about?

Blue Lights follows three rookie police officers as they experience all that life in the force brings during their first three months on probation. 

Among those three include 40-year-old mum Grace Ellis, who gives up her steady job as a social worker to start a new life in the PSNI. Her colleague, Annie Conlon, struggles with the idea of leaving everything behind for her new career, while Tommy Foster is fighting to prove himself while out on the frontline. 

Not only do the officers have to battle against everyday pressures, but the NI police force also have to deal with the ongoing political and historical tensions still felt within the borders between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.  

The BBC synopsis adds: “The pressure is immense, but if they succumb to it, they won’t survive. Often the rookie officers don’t know the extent of the peril they are in, or who they can trust. What’s it like to have to hide your job from neighbours, friends and even family? How do you distinguish between who needs your help and who wants you dead simply because of the uniform you wear?”

Who stars in Blue Lights?

Sherlock star Siân Brooke stars as Grace, who is trying to straddle the line between police work and helping those most vulnerable in the community. 

Speaking to ahead of the release, Sian revealed why she couldn’t say no to this series. 

She explained: “It's really brilliantly crafted, even when it was on the page. I always think, to me, the script is the Bible, and that’s my go-to. You're a bit like a detective, and you go through the script, and you pick out little nuggets, and you put it all together. 

“It wasn't just the character that I wanted to play, it was all of the characters, I just think it's so beautifully painted. There's so many different colours and nuances in there. Adam and Declan, they grew up there, they’ve worked there, they know the bones of that place. Therefore, you can get all the textures. That was why I was drawn to it.”

Fellow rookies Annie and Tommy are played by newcomers Katherine Devlin and Nathan Braniff, while Grace’s new police partner Martin McCann is played by Stevie Neil. 

Game of Thrones actor Richard Dormer plays veteran officer Gerry Cliff, who takes Tommy out to show him the ropes. Actress and comedian Andi Osho stars alongside Richard as Sandra Cliff, Gerry’s wife and fellow police officer. 

Richard had plenty of fun out on the roads with Nathan, and explained to how those car chase scenes are really filmed. 

He shared: “They're called pod cars. So there's a guy who is like a stunt driver on the roof. He's driving alone, we're in the cockpit. We're just pretending, but we were going fast. I think these guys are amazing drivers. They're the best drivers. I think that was the best, fun thing to do in the show. It's just speeding, chasing people.”

Is there a trailer for Blue Lights?

There is! Check it out below: 

When does Blue Lights start?

Blue Lights begins tonight (Monday 27th March) at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer. It will air every Monday for six weeks, but the entire box set will be available to watch on iPlayer straight away.