Blue Lights boss hopes drama makes ‘viewers uncomfortable’

Blue Lights: PC Grace Ellis drops Angela home

Blue Lights explores the challenges of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and how three rookie police officers, including Grace Ellis (played by Sian Brooke), fear for their lives while working on the front line. However, speaking exclusively to and other press about the BBC series, show boss Adam Patterson admitted he hopes viewers “feel uncomfortable” while watching it.

He began: “I mean, firstly, I’ll point out that very recently, just a couple of weeks ago DCI John Caldwell was shot while off duty in front of his son.

“I think I’ll speak for everyone who I know in the world and say it really felt like a horrible flashback from a time that we all thought we’d left behind.

“But [also] a reminder as to why the show was so important.

“You know, you can’t just ignore the fact that there is still a lingering threat for these people that literally lay themselves in the line to uphold our civic duty.”

“And that’s amazing,” he continued as he paid a tribute to the police. “And we just loved the police for that.

“It’s a difficult thing to talk about, and it’s very easy when you think of Northern Ireland to think of good and bad.

“It’s just a satisfying way to think of it for many people because it means that they don’t have to think of themselves that way.

“But the reality is, there’s a bit of good and bad in all of us and the way we write characters…hopefully it’ll make you uncomfortable because you’ll be forced to recognise a bit of yourself within all of them.

“And I think if you think about the world like that, then you can actually move forward as a society.

“But if you lock yourself away and put yourself in the binary mindset, you can’t.

“So our objective always in writing is to push past that and make people challenge themselves.”

When discussing how he wanted the drama to feel authentic for those living in Belfast, the writer said: “If people back home felt that it didn’t feel real, boy we’d never hear the end of it.

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“So the biggest achievement obviously, is that people and the police watch it, and just think, ‘that is our lexicon, that’s the way we speak, our humour is like that and that is how we survived and still survive as a nation’.

“Literally our go-to in the darkest moments, you have to find resilience and resilience in Northern Ireland comes through humour because we’re a bit too awkward and a bit c**p at telling people how we really feel.

“So to make a joke that brings people out of the darkness still works today.”

In the fourth episode, which airs tonight, Blackthorn Street station is under an enquiry after a wild night shift racks up complaints, and Helen is forced to face the Police Ombudsman.

Meanwhile, Grace doubts her career choice after her son is arrested for resisting a racially discriminatory Police stop and search.

Helen (Joanne Crawford) also overhears a scandal involving her boss,that puts her and Jonty (Jonathan Harden) in a very precarious position.

While Annie (Katherine Devlin) and Jen (Hannah McClean) are caught up in a violent bar brawl without back up.

Blue Lights is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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