BABYLON: AIRBRUSHING OVER FACT WITH FICTIONAL ...FILTH. (09.02.2014)
Faced with unprecedented levels of public disgust over Policing in the U.K, the British government looked at Danny Boy's Olympic sized fantasy and Channel Four's lies in Millionaire Boy Racers, and came to the conclusion, we'll have some of that guv.
And so another pile of media spin was spun, in the latest makeover, of reality that could only be tasteless.
There are no end of weak, money grabbing wannabe's like Doyle, who are willing to bend over for corporate interests.
The "artist" Mark Wallinger who made his name out of copying our campaign, is another who springs to mind.
However, it is going to be more than an uphill battle to portray the violent, self serving and institutionally corrupt, Metropolitan Police as "protecting" the...public.
Unsurprisingly the only people the show could not "consult" with, are the real people who are affected by corrupt, policing.
The mainstream media would never dream of putting the Metropolitan Police on trial, in a court, in the dock !!
secret police "procedure": fact not fiction.
"Brian Paddick, once at the heart of the Metropolitan police during some of the most contentious and high-profile operations of recent years, is now helping to steer a radical new TV treatment of the force, directed by the Oscar-winning Danny Boyle.
Paddick, now a peer, is a key adviser on Babylon, which goes out tonight on Channel 4. The drama, starring James Nesbitt, comes at a time of renewed scrutiny of London's police, following the conviction last week of the officer involved in the Plebgate scandal and continuing investigations into police relations with the tabloid press.
Boyle, the film and theatre director who masterminded the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, has chosen the Met as the subject for his first major venture in TV. Babylon aims to blur the boundaries both of TV comedy and the conventional cop dramas that dominate drama schedules.
Paddick, sent to the Lords last year after standing twice for election as London mayor for the Liberal Democrats, told the Observer: "When the programme was in its initial stages we had a sitdown and general chat about what life was like at the Met. Then the script was produced and I was able to go through it, say where things didn't ring true to me, the phraseology, certain scenarios developing which were not consistent with my experience of the police." On some occasions, he conceded, he had to accept that police procedures "don't fit with what is fiction".
Paddick's principal duty, said Babylon's producer Robert Jones, was to advise on how the most senior officers would behave, especially in the kinds of crisis he had dealt with. These include the 7/7 bombings and the shooting of an innocent man, Jean Charles de Menezes, in 2005. In one key scene, as a gun crisis develops, Nesbitt, who plays the chief constable, says, "I am not really here." Paddick, who was responsible for territorial policing in 32 London boroughs from 2005, had advised that operations are never led "by anyone above commander level".
Steps were taken to ensure the top officers were protected by being one step removed from the heat of the moment. They would not give the order for a "gold operation action", so the commissioner would not be forced to resign if things went wrong.
Paddick, who retired in 2007 after being sidelined following the Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry into the De Menezes killing, is donating his fee to police charities .
Although it is written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, the current heroes of character-driven comedy– with hits such as the Peep Show and Fresh Meat behind them – Babylon is not a satire and there are no detectives at the centre of the story. Audiences who expect a few laughs or the neat resolution of a crime will be surprised. "Sam and Jesse's take on the world's oldest police force, as it navigates the new world of social media and instant modern communication, was irresistible," said Boyle. "And all of it without a detective in sight."
Tonight's pilot show, starring American Brit Marling alongside Nesbitt, is to be followed by a series later in the year. Bain and Armstrong say it was clear from the start that the director did not want "jokes". The first plot revolves around a rapidly escalating gun crisis in the capital. "It quickly became apparent that it wasn't going to become a sitcom version of the police," said Armstrong. "It's more of a drama than a comedy drama, even. I think that it just emerged out of the subject areas that we are dealing with."
The writers carried out detailed research on police procedures and worked closely with Paddick, former Met deputy assistant commissioner, as they constructed an uncompromising plot. Although the subject matter is serious and Babylon is intended to be credible, Armstrong and Bain said they were not aiming to campaign on police behaviour.
"One thing we are trying to remember and reflect in our scripts is the sheer complexity of being in an organisation like the Met," said Bain. "Yes, there are lots of recently publicised problems and scandals but the police force is a publicly funded organisation which exists to protect public good. So you've got to look at the big picture."
Boyle, who worked on ITV's detective series Inspector Morse early in his career, was drawn back to TV by what he describes as the new "confidence and ambition of writers writing for the medium". The subject of the police force, he said, also provides a "wonderful way to look at the spread of humanity under phenomenal pressure in an essential public service".
"I did a lot of reading," said Armstrong. "I've read [former Met commissioner] Ian Blair's book, Policing Controversy, John Stevens's [Blair's predecessor], and people like Keith Hellawell, who was the drug tsar, and Brian Paddick's, so I read a lot of those kind of biographies, and journalism and so on. And also the blogs that have appeared – some in book form – so the gossipy stuff and the rather more political biographies. And then we met lots of people – serving and ex-cops – and talked about what it was really like."
Nesbitt, who plays Richard Miller, a progressive Northern Ireland-born head of the Met, said he felt there was a need for this drama: "It was timely, we felt we were part of something. It's billed as a comedy drama – there are funny aspects of the script – but I certainly wasn't looking for the comedy in it, quite the opposite. It felt very real, so in-the-moment, almost a documentary. I loved the notion of being in control but not being entirely sure what you are in control of."
Nesbitt lives in south London, close to the location of the final action-packed scenes of Babylon. "The reality of it made the job of commissioner even more frightening," he said. "Everyone out there – walking, in a car, in an office block – we were there to protect them. Also, having come from a country where the police were so present in my childhood, it was interesting to plot his back story, as to what the character might have come through with the RUC."
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