Laura Fraser on what's at the bottom of The Loch: ‘It's dark and creepy, but has tongue-in-cheek moments'

We ventured onto the Scottish set of new ITV drama The Loch and heard why the thriller is light relief for Laura Fraser after The Missing

Many might remember Laura Fraser as a pregnant military policeman in the second series of The Missing on BBC1 last year. Now, in ITV’s serial killer thriller The Loch (premieres Sunday, June 11, ITV) she’s playing another sleuth, detective Annie Redford.

Here, she reveals much more about her character and what to expect from the drama….

So how would you describe The Loch? “It’s all very dark and creepy, but also has moments that are quite tongue-in-cheek. It reminds me a wee bit of the classic movie An American Werewolf In London. It has that that vibe and there’s a lot of animal symbolism – wolves, crows, mutilated sheep and, of course, plenty of mentions of the Loch Ness monster.”

What’s Annie like? “She’s a wife and a mother and a cop in a town near Loch Ness. She has lived and worked there her whole life. It’s her community and she feels very protective of it, but at the same time she has got all this potential that she’s never used. She has never furthered her career and so she has stayed a detective constable. This is her first murder case and so she is thrilled to meet Siobhan Finneran’s character as she would like to emulate her.”

What is Annie’s relationship with Siobhan’s character, DCI Lauren Quigley? “Quigley thinks Annie is bit of a numpty. Quigley thinks she is in a backwater and just wants to get in, solve the case and get the hell out, whereas Annie is desperately trying to prove herself to her. Annie has had no experience of a murder case so she really is being led. At the same time Quigley is tapping her for local information and, although Annie makes mistakes, she turns out to have quite good instincts.”

Detective duo... Redford and Quigley

Detective duo... Redford and Quigley

What was it like working with Siobhan? “I often get intimidated by people I admire, but I relaxed with her straight away because she is so gorgeously down to earth and so funny. In fact, she made me laugh so much I was amazed when I watched the first episode that you couldn’t see us laughing. There was a lot of giggling – very unprofessional!"

How does Annie feel about Don Gilet’s character, forensic psychologist Blake Albrington? “She is thrilled to meet him because she’s read the book he’s written about his life as a forensic psychologist. It’s her equivalent of meeting Al Pacino. Blake is flashy and she thinks that’s a wee bit silly because I think she is a bit conservative and old-fashioned. Blake and Quigley coming to Annie’s town is like a dream come true and she can’t quite cope with it. She is trying to remain professional and calm, but she is a bit at sea so she is trying to prove herself.”

What was it like working with former EastEnders star Don Gilet? “He is such a lovely guy and so good. He’s hilarious. He is like a stand-up comedian.”

How does Annie handle her own daughter’s involvement in the case? “Annie is furious with her. There are all these ruptures within Annie’s family. Her daughter is planning to go Australia and there is a lot of repressed resentment in Annie towards her husband, Alan (Coronation Street’s Gray O’Brien), because she never took the career path she wanted and she blames him for not supporting her. Meanwhile, a serial killer is causing major ruptures in the community. There’s this paper-thin veneer of civilisation that’s ripped apart by this serial killer.”

This is quite a dark crime drama and you did The Missing before this. Can you switch off when you get home after filming? “I can’t. I would love to be able to. It wasn’t so bad on this, but it was really bad on The Missing. I felt I was in quite a dark place and depressed. I think a lot of the cast and crew were affected because it was such a horrible subject matter, so when I went to do this, it honestly felt like light relief. ‘Oh, it’s just a serial killer on the loose, nobody is being imprisoned for years and nobody is being sexually abused.’"

When your friends ask you who the killer is do you tell them? “Oh, I tell my family. My mum asked me who had done it The Missing and I told her, then she pretended to my dad that she had guessed!”

Finally, do you believe in Nessie? “It’s not like the tooth fairy or Santa where you believe in it until you are about seven and then you don’t believe any more. Nobody believes in the Loch Ness monster, a hundred years ago maybe, but not today.”

The Loch begins on ITV on Sunday, June 11 at 9pm

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.