Stephen Tompkinson: ‘DCI Banks is flying without a safety net this series!’ (VIDEO)

(Image credit: DES WILLIE)

DCI Banks star Stephen Tompkinson has been talking about the pressures facing the cast and crew and why returning to the role of troubled Alan Banks is like ‘meeting an old friend’.

Stephen explained that fans of the crime series will get a more detailed glimpse into the personal lives of DCI Alan Banks, DS Annie Cabbot and DI Helen Morton, saying: “We’re going to peel off a few more layers… and explain what makes the characters tick.”

He added that although the cases are dark, he has a laugh behind the scenes with both the crew and his co-stars Andrea Lowe and Caroline Catz: “Murder is never a jovial subject. We always go to dark places with Banks – it’s called the Serious Crime Division for a reason!

“Gallows humour does present itself a lot. Most of the cast and crew have been working together for almost five years, so we socialise together and try to make things are pleasant as we can.”

Stephen also revealed there’s an added pressure on the new series for the team. Not only are they eager to show the audience more of the characters’ home lives, this is the first year the stories are not directly based on Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks novels.

Although Peter is a still a background presence, Stephen confessed: “This is the first year we’ve gone away form Peter’s original novels… we’re flying without his safety net!”

For more, watch Stephen’s full interview, above.

Patrick McLennan

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.