The breadth of talent involved in Channel 4’s new comedy-drama Babylon is such that you might think it couldn’t possibly live up to expectations. But this Sunday’s first episode certainly does, and then some. Here’s our guide to the top-of-their-game contributors to Britain’s most exciting new show.
The Meat Peeps
Responsible for Fresh Meat and Peep Show, Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (below) are the UK’s finest TV writers, and Babylon only strengthens their reputation. “We wanted to cover everything except the detective element, which we felt had been done so often and so well,” says Bain. “It’s a cop show with no crime-solving. It’s about the people above and below that.” Babylon largely focuses on what Armstrong describes as “the variety of ways the police are represented now. When anything happens, there are 20 cameraphones out. That’s interesting.”
Brit & British
The wow factor in the cast comes in the guise of Brit Marling who plays, in her words, “this American PR technology guru. She’s made a name for herself with a TED talk. Her agenda is about transparency, and how the future of public relations needs to be transparent.” Marling aside, there are brilliant performances from an ensemble of British acting talent. Look out for a hilarious Adam Deacon as a rambunctious young officer who fancies himself as a docu-TV star.
Babylon’s direction comes from Danny Boyle, with whom Bain and Armstrong began talks in 2009. Now, he’s a national treasure: thus his return to TV is a huge deal. In a nod to that thing he did in summer 2012, the pulsating theme music is by Rick Smith of Underworld.
Babylon starts on 9 February, 9pm, Channel 4