Collateral: Carey Mulligan's star-studded crime thriller coming soon to BBC

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 09:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 09:21 am

Landing on BBC Two in the coming weeks, Collateral is a four-part crime drama with some serious Hollywood credentials.

Carey Mulligan heads the star-studded cast as a detective inspector, investigating murder and conspiracy in London.

Written by fellow Oscar nominee David Hare, who penned The Reader and The Hours, the thriller follows some seriously murky events surrounding a fatal shooting.

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John Simm, Billie Piper, Nicola Walker and I, Daniel Blake's Hayley Squires are also on board, in a winding narrative which looks to muster a fair dollop of mystery.

Expect strong tone and action

Not to be confused with the Michael Mann film of the same name, Collateral springs into action when a pizza delivery man is gunned down in South London.

To some, it seems like a random act of violence. But Mulligan's DI Kip Glaspie is unconvinced.

The victim's last customer (Piper) just happens to be the troubled ex-wife of a prominent politician (Simm).

The only witness to the crime gives a false name and address. Walker - so good again recently in Inside No 9 - plays a vicar who is somehow tied to the event.

Collateral's director worked on Jessica Jones and The Defenders (Photo: Netflix)

Meanwhile, Squires' pizza delivery manager and some of her employees appear to be under the surveillance of shady figures.

The fact that Collateral's story takes place over four consecutive days implies a serious sense of momentum.

The fact that it is directed by SJ Clarkson, who helmed the first two episodes of Jessica Jones and cut her dramatic chops on Life On Mars, suggests we can expect strong tone and action.

No Marge Gunderson

This a rare role away from the big screen for Mulligan (though fans may remember her early turn in Doctor Who).

But the movie star, who has appeared in the likes of Drive, The Great Gatsby and last year's lauded Mudbound, found herself drawn back to British TV by the atypical nature of her heroine.

Carey Mulligan in Drive (Photo: Icon Film)

Mulligan has revealed that Glaspie doesn't cry once during the course of Collateral (joking that this is a rarity for her as an actress).

The cop protagonist is also heavily pregnant throughout the plot. Though anyone expecting Marge Gunderson style jokes about morning sickness may be disappointed.

According to the creators, this was simply because Mulligan herself was expecting when she was offered the role.

The next Line of Duty?

Though on a surface level this may seem like another police procedural, there are suggestions Collateral will delve much deeper.

It may subvert our expectations. "You think she's a council estate mouthpiece, but she’s embroiled in some pretty serious stuff", says Squires of her character.

Line of Duty is another BBC crime drama that goes deeper than just the investigation (Photo: BBC))

As its name implies, Hare's drama also aims to deal with the "spiraling repercussions" of the crime itself, with Line of Duty style probing into contemporary issues such as immigration, and the role of traditional institutions in our society.

Collateral seeks to ask "crucial questions about the state of modern Britain". That it also comes complete with a heavyweight cast, writer and director should inspire confidence it can do just that.

Collateral starts on BBC Two in February. Netflix is acting as co-producer, and will release globally outside the UK.