Exec Produced by David Morrissey for his own production company (who also stars as Vince), this new drama by Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, Accused, Exile) promises something bold and v different for UK drama.
The Driver is part thriller, part family drama. There are no black and whites. Everyone’s morality is complex.
“I have always created lead characters that walk the fine line between good and bad. They are interesting to me. I like difficult characters who tell lies, keep secrets and have flaws. Vince in The Driver is most definitely NOT a hero and most definitely NOT your standard lead character.” explains writer Danny Brocklehurst
The themes remain universal. People trying to escape the boredom of day to day life. People with difficulties within their families. This is a drama that quite rightly, Danny is most proud of:
“The fact that we have come out with a show that can both break your heart with emotion, then have a kick-ass car chase…” he added.
“I think it’s about a man who is struggling emotionally inside his family, because his son is missing, and we don’t know where he is. His wife doesn’t want to talk about it and Vince needs to talk about it. When we first meet Vince, he’s not only in a financially troubling place – he’s in an emotionally troubling place” offers David Morrissey.
“He’s been given this opportunity which he knows is the wrong side of the law. His motivation is to do with the rush that he gets in this world that he doesn’t get anywhere else.”
Claudie Blakeley (Pride and Prejudice, Lark Rise to Candleford) explains what drew her to the project:
“Obviously it’s a very tense, edgy, action-packed drama – but at its heart there is a very true, very normal, very real family, who are very loving and very close. That did attract me because within all the chaos, this craziness, there’s this stable, domestic, functional, real life going on. It’s a great juxtaposition and I think that’s why it has such a strong impact.” said Claudie.
Sacha Parkinson (The Mill, Mad Fat Diary) expands further on the project and what it meant to her:
“For me personally, what I love about it is that it’s very true to home in a sense. It’s set in Manchester and some elements of the drama are a mirror image of some families I know – my family included – working class family, people being quite content in their marriage, things going at a steady pace and people just wanting a bit of excitement in their lives.” said Sacha
The drama also brings together long-term friends Ian Hart and David Morrissey. They’ve known each other since they were children.
“We were best friends since we were about 14 but I’d known him slightly before that at junior school. We worked together once when we we’re about 17 on a TV show called One Summer, and we have never worked together since!” said Ian.
“The great thing about it was I’ve been trying to work with Ian for ages, but he’s always been busy in America doing great TV and films over there. Then this came up, and because it was about two guys from years ago, I was able to say to him ‘look this is so us’ and he loved it.” said David.
“Usually you sit down with the actor and talk about your lives together and draw up a story of what happened between these two men from when they were kids – with Ian I didn’t have to do that because it’s all already there. There’s a great shorthand between us. It was a delight really I have to say.”
Ian’s roles in the drama are a unique challenge, because he has to play Colin and Colin’s twin brother Vince. He speaks of how he approached that:
“It’s just tiny little differences and it’s basically about mindset. Craig is the other version of Colin, and it’s what external signifiers you put on that – a different bit of body language because we express non-verbally a lot of what we are trying to project of ourselves. When a scally walks, he walks a different way to how a business man walks. They are both capable of moving in the same way, but they don’t. Colin and Craig both came from the same background, same parents, same environment but they chose to do different things with it”.
The Driver promises to be an exciting and deeply emotional thriller.
“It has all of the elements of action films, all of the stuff that gets your heart pumping, your adrenaline going with excitement, but then it’s also with the added element of the family lifestyle that people can relate to. So it’s got so many positives, it’s a great mix.” Said Sacha.
David Morrissey agrees:
“It’s an exciting thriller, that’s the bottom line. It’s a thriller about what’s going to happen to this man and his family. The exciting ride about everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but one that is totally relatable. I think it’s about the moral choices people make in their lives today.” He said.
The Driver comes to BBC One on Tuesday 23rd September at 9.00pm on BBC One.