Back at the BBC, An­thony Horowitz has com­bined con­spir­acy and cor­rup­tion with the bro­mance of a buddy movie for New Blood. Crime Scene vis­its the set to meet the writer and young stars of an ex­plo­sive se­ries.


Has An­thony Horowitz come up with an­other hit? We go on set...

IT'S a day in the a bone-chill­ing Crime Jan­uary, and mid­dle of d to sum­mone been Scene has may be Lon­don. Jets patch of East at City a des­o­late of the ma­rina the other side of reach in tak­ing off feels just out civil­i­sa­tion Even in the Air­port, but ground. sprawl of waste like the sort this scruffy sun, it looks of a win­ter a body. golden haze stum­ble across you might of place where nowhere,” of to the mid­dle Eve “Welcome se­ries pro­ducer s New Blood for a BBC an­nounce go, it’s per­fect As lo­ca­tions Gu­tier­rez. rary Lon­don: con­tempo set in sugar crime drama – Tate & Lyle’s in­dus­trial and but also it’s ur­ban nearby – belch­ing smoke re­fin­ery is cap­i­tal’s view of the im­pres­sive un­der af­fords an and tow­ers with cranes sky­line forested of space for also plenty on. There’s con­structi se­quences . ac­tion Rail­way, ex­plo­sive Dock­lands the Light the the Hav­ing taken trek across trip and a a minibus ex­pe­di­tion fol­lowed by s been a mi­nor ground, it’ se­ries near cold, hard the seven-part film­ing on the show ’s to wit­ness For day shoot. its epic 92- New Blood the end of Horowitz, writer An­thony big-name jour­ney. even big­ger life in the my has been an years of the last 15 21st “Hav­ing spent ar­rived in the War, I’ve fi­nally Horowitz, Sec­ond World Air­port,” says here at City 1940s drama cen­tury out long-run­ning known for pro­ducer, who’s best ex­ec­u­tive also Horowitz, his se­ries Foyle’s War. of in the shoot­ing up with is heav­ily in­volved team­ing po­lice de­tec­tive Of­fice (SFO). about a ju­nior Fraud r in the Se­ri­ous tea in the in­ves­ti­gato an with hot warms up young As Crime Scene his is joined by Horowitz Wit­ness) ca­ter­ing area, Silent No Of­fence, Tavas­soli ( he holds stars – Ben Mill) – while Strepan ( The and Mark lat­est TV con­cept. forth on his

“This show came about af­ter I de­cided that I’d writ­ten too much of Foyle’s War – it had been go­ing on for three times as long as the war it­self – and I was very keen to do a mod­ern show that was look­ing at Lon­don now,” he ex­plains. “White-col­lar crime, big cor­po­rate crime, all the sort of things that are mak­ing the news: the bankers, the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, prop­erty de­vel­op­ment, a char­ity that gets it­self into se­ri­ous trou­ble, big con­spir­acy stuff.”

For his re­turn to the BBC af­ter 13 years (an­thol­ogy drama Mur­der In Mind ran for three se­ries), the sea­soned screen­writer has made a bold move. Just as Tom Hid­dle­ston ( The Night Man­ager) and Tom Hardy ( Peaky Blinders) are bring­ing star power to the small screen, Horowitz has cre­ated a show with largely un­known leads.

“I think this is the first time the BBC has given a prime­time show to two rel­a­tively un­known ac­tors in their twen­ties,” says Horowitz. “They both play young char­ac­ters at the be­gin­ning of their ca­reers, and I love the idea of the pow­er­less against the pow­er­ful. This is the only crime show where the char­ac­ters de­mand a raise be­cause they can’t pay off their tu­ition fees.”


New Blood will cer­tainly res­onate with twen­tysome­thing view­ers as they watch th­ese youth­ful in­ves­ti­ga­tors struggling to find an af­ford­able flat to rent. So is New Blood aimed at a younger au­di­ence? “I re­ally hope the Foyle’s War au­di­ence will come with us,” Horowitz tells Crime Scene. “At the same time, I very much hope also that this will cap­ture the Alex Rider au­di­ence, who are now in their twen­ties and even in their thir­ties.”

It turns out both ac­tors were fans of Horowitz’s books about the teenage spy when they were grow­ing up. “Ob­vi­ously, even with­out hav­ing to read the script, your ex­pec­ta­tions go through the roof, it was ex­cit­ing,” says Ben Tavas­soli, who plays trainee de­tec­tive Rash. But he ad­mits to be­ing “ner­vous” about the re­spon­si­bil­ity of co-star­ring in New Blood.

Their youth­ful ea­ger­ness meant the leads were fair game when it came to the de­mand­ing ac­tion se­quences. “Jump­ing off build­ings into swim­ming pools, that’s been fun,” says Mark Strepan, who plays SFO in­ves­ti­ga­tor Ste­fan. “We’ve done a lot of sprint­ing through Lon­don, a lot of sweat­ing. We’re about to go up­side down in a car…”

“Which is about to blow up as well,” adds a glee­ful Horowitz. He’s also writ­ten them a naked fight scene in a Turk­ish bath, which seems to be mak­ing the pair slightly anx­ious.

Then there’s the weather to con­tend with on this sub-zero win­ter shoot. They were film­ing on the cold­est night of the year, when drink­ing wa­ter would turn to ice in the bot­tle. So it helps that the two ac­tors have formed a close friend­ship.

“When you’re freez­ing, you’re in it to­gether,” says Ben. “When you do all that phys­i­cal stuff to­gether you can’t help but be bonded.”

De­spite the long days in gru­elling con­di­tions, it al­most sounds like fun – es­pe­cially when New Blood re­sem­bles an episode of Top Gear. “I watched the most amaz­ing stunts on the tar­mac over there,

We’ve done a lot of sprint­ing, and a lot of sweat­ing

cars do­ing wheel­ies,” says Horowitz. As much as he en­joys a ca­reer cre­at­ing thrilling scenes at his desk, switch­ing be­tween screen­plays and books fea­tur­ing Alex Rider, Sher­lock Holmes ( The House Of Silk) and James Bond ( Trig­ger Mor­tis), he’s ob­vi­ously at home on a high-oc­tane TV shoot. “You get a real buzz,” he ad­mits.

Crime Scene gets to see a stun­ning car crash and ex­plo­sion that in­volves a Range Rover rolling over at speed by the wa­ter­front. Ad­mit­tedly, we were tucked up in bed when it was filmed around 3am, but the pro­ducer shares a sneak pre­view of the overnight footage on her iphone. “The stunt se­quences for a purely Bri­tish-funded pro­duc­tion are very am­bi­tious,” says Gu­tier­rez.

The af­ter­noon’s shoot­ing in­volves a typ­i­cal Lon­don lo­ca­tion as we get back in the minibus for a scene at Royal Al­bert DLR sta­tion. Al­though Horowitz has pre­vi­ously com­plained about the costs of shoot­ing in the cap­i­tal, they have clearly gone the ex­tra mile for New Blood.

“I think Lon­don is a big char­ac­ter in this film,” he says. “The pro­duc­tion values are fan­tas­tic. We shot at the Olympic park, where our two he­roes meet for the first time in a duathlon. Lon­don is so full of en­ergy; I think we’ve cap­tured a lot of it.”


There’s also an international el­e­ment to New Blood with film­ing in Mumbai for early episodes about a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal scan­dal. Rash and Ste­fan have been writ­ten to re­flect the cap­i­tal’s cul­tural di­ver­sity – and the ac­tors share their char­ac­ters’ re­spec­tive Ira­nian and Pol­ish her­itage.

New Blood boasts a sup­port­ing cast in­clud­ing Anna Chan­cel­lor (as di­rec­tor of the SFO), while Mark Addy ( Game Of Thrones, Red Rid­ing) plays Rash’s boss DS Derek Sands. “He’s a ca­reer po­lice­men who’s got as far as he’s go­ing to go,” says Addy of his cur­mud­geonly cop. “To his cha­grin, he gets lum­bered with this new guy.”

Addy’s an in-de­mand TV ac­tor with decades of ex­pe­ri­ence, so what’s his take on this new se­ries? “It’s cold and peo­ple are tired but they’re a ter­rific bunch, and it’s been great to be in­volved in it,” he tells Crime Scene. “An­thony’s a great sto­ry­teller and the top­ics that he’s cho­sen are rel­e­vant right now. He’s got his fin­ger on the pulse.”

New Blood also shines a light on the work of the SFO, who were con­sulted dur­ing the mak­ing of the se­ries. “This is the first show that has done a se­ri­ous job of de­pict­ing the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice on TV,” says Horowitz. “It is an amaz­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, they are tak­ing on the big­gest crim­i­nals in the world re­ally.”

The twist is that Ste­fan’s un­der­cover SFO in­ves­ti­ga­tor forms an un­of­fi­cial part­ner­ship with Rash in the po­lice, which brings both crime-fight­ing agen­cies to­gether. “We get off on the wrong foot,” says Ben. “But over the course of the se­ries, what ends up be­ing a bro­mance builds from there.”

Horowitz rel­ished hav­ing a three-part open­ing (“longer than a fea­ture film”) as an ori­gins story. Just don’t ex­pect an­other gritty Bri­tish crime se­ries. “This is more a fan­tas­ti­cal show, more ad­ven­tur­ous – but nonethe­less it’s very grounded in fact,” he ex­plains. “There is a real dan­ger of death here, there is real pain and real crime. The only hu­mour is in the warmth of the re­la­tion­ship, that they make mis­takes and get into scrapes, it makes you smile.”

As the crew get ready for an­other chilly night shoot, it’s time for Crime Scene to go and warm up – but not un­til Horowitz shares his thoughts on a sec­ond se­ries.

“I live in hope,” he tells Crime Scene. “It’s been re­ally fan­tas­tic fun and ex­cit­ing work­ing with such new tal­ent, new blood in ev­ery sense of the word, in a show that is full of ad­ven­ture, ex­plo­sions, chases and ma­chine gun-wield­ing as­sas­sins on the streets of Lon­don. Ob­vi­ously, it comes down to what au­di­ences make of it, but I’m al­ready thinking about the next sea­son.”

New Blood is on iplayer now and fol­lows on BBC One in June.

Di­rec­tor An­thony Philip­son con­ducts casts and crew.

Leads Ben Tavas­soli (left) and­mark Strepan work up a sweat. Line Of Duty star Aiysha Hart plays Leila. Mark Addy grum­bles as cyn­i­cal DS Derek Sands.

Writer An­thony Horowitz poses.

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