There's danger for DI Neil Manson and policing partner DC Grace Dasari in The Bill on August 20, as they continue to investigate psychiatrist Julia Bickham, who may be the target of a killer. Actress Amita Dhiri (Grace) tells us more about the story... This two-part story has brought Neil face-to-face with the frosty psychiatrist, Julia, whom he worked with on an ill-fated case back in 2007, hasn't it? "Yes, Grace is definitely intrigued by the whole history between Neil and Julia. The psychiatrist clearly still blames Neil for the wrongful shooting of her paranoid schizophrenic patient, Michael Simms during the 2007 case. Neil completely blamed himself for that tragedy. It nearly cost him his career. So, naturally, Grace is concerned about how seeing her again is affecting him." The detectives are convinced that someone has a serious vendetta against the psychiatrist. What can you tell us about their new prime suspect, Stephen Fairfax? "Let's just say, Stephen is definitely a man on the edge. He takes Julia to an abandoned warehouse and holds her hostage at gunpoint. Grace is completely horrified when Neil refuses to wait for back-up and charges off to confront Stephen alone. He’s determined that history won’t repeat itself and no one dies. But after working together for a while now, these two coppers definitely care about each other, so Grace has this genuine fear that Neil might not walk out of that warehouse alive." What do you think of the new look for The Bill? "London is such an interesting city, and we're now getting to use it as a background a lot more, which I think is very exciting. The series is keeping its real British identity, we're not trying to make another version of The Wire. We've been filming in some great locations, with lots of city skylines. Everywhere you go, it seems you can look back and see the famous The Gherkin building!"
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.