BOASTING OUTRAGEOUS CHARACTERS AND AUTHENTIC PROCEDURAL DETAILS, PAUL ABBOTT’S NO OFFENCE WAS HAILED AS A UNIQUE NEW HYBRID OF BLACK COMEDY AND COP DRAMA. AS IT RETURNS FOR A SECOND SERIES, CRIMESCENE VISITS THE SET OF THE SHOW THAT BUSTED THE TV GENRE RU
Discussing the Channel 4 comedy-crime drama that breaks all the TV rules.
The precinct thrums with a purposeful energy. Officers are hunched over computer screens, perusing impenetrable lists of data; in a corner, a small knot of detectives speak in hushed tones, chewing over important clues. A uniformed copper strides out of the inspector’s office carrying important-looking files under his arm.
Then the familiarity of this tableau is instantly shattered as, in a corner office with windows, in full view of everyone, a glamorous, middle-aged woman in heels takes off her red dress to reveal a slinky black slip underneath. Stranger still, while disrobing the woman continues the meeting that she was having with a male colleague, as if she hadn’t just stripped down to her smalls, in full view of him and 20 colleagues…
Crime Scene hasn’t yet mentioned the cameras, studio lights and crew also present in this vast room, nor the familiar faces of actors Elaine Cassidy, Joanna Scanlan and Alexandra Roach. We’re in Manchester on the set of No Offence, the brilliant Channel 4 cop drama created by Paul Abbott ( State Of Play, Shameless) which broke all the rules when it premiered last year.
Focusing on the work of Manchester’s cops as they police the city’s mean streets, No Offence’s black humour arrived with a bang – literally – when the series’ opening few minutes invited viewers to laugh as a police officer (Cassidy) chased a suspect until he collided with a bus. The first series also featured such envelopepushing plots as prostitutes with Down’s Syndrome and nurses taking cocaine.