Jamie Bamber is
DS Matt Devlin
Jamie Bamber admits he was shocked by some of the storylines in this series, but not necessarily the most apparent ones.
"Some of the cases are so out there; random events causing other eventualities. The initial intent of someone's actions can have far-reaching repercussions down the line which can end in the death of someone completely unconnected," explains Jamie.
"Law & Order: UK tells so many stories, each episode, every series there are so many characters and some of the stories we are exposed are very shocking to me for obvious reasons but recently I find the unfortunate ones more shocking.
"We think we're in control of our lives, making sound choices but on a daily basis we are involved, through no fault of our own, because we are living in a community. We've done horrible cases where people are truly evil and those are harrowing but I always think that wouldn’t happen to me because I'm not a sociopath I don't hang out with these people. Fortunately in my life I haven't encountered evil but what is scary is that random, apparently innocuous behaviour that nonetheless can inflict great harm.
"In series five there is someone so drunk he can't remember killing two people. Things like that I find genuinely appalling, when people aren't out and out evil but end up doing something horrendous. You wonder how that could happen to functioning human beings.
"Then there is the kid on the estate dealing drugs, in with the wrong crowd who ends up killing someone not remotely involved with their gangs. I find this the most shocking living so cheek-by-jowl in this big city and inevitably one man's actions can affect another."
Talking about his successful on-screen partnership with Bradley Walsh, Jamie says: "I'm thrilled viewers like our partnership. The chemistry comes from the fact that Brad and I really enjoy being together. There's a joy that comes from being in someone's company like that whilst working. We have got lot of interests in common, enjoy a lot of the same things in life and we like each other. Brad is hilarious. I've just enjoyed watching him, going see him in panto; his whole life experience is fascinating to me.
"I have also learnt tonnes from him. Because he has a comedy background he has an incredibly technical mind; he senses rhythms and speech patterns and is always talking about trigger words. He can sniff out why a scene is not lifting off the page, maybe because the information is coming across in the wrong part of speech. Brad directs and writes when he does panto. At times I tease him that he is verging on being anal, you can go too far but a slice of life can be a good thing in this business. And his comic timing is second to none."
Talking about the challenges of filming in the capital, Jamie says:" Certain episodes are easier to shoot because of location and other pose bigger challenges. For one episode we were filming on a condemned estate in Elephant and Castle. That was very eerie; the skeleton of people's very recent lives all around and still some families holding out there. It was hard because we were witnessing a failed urban community - one waiting to be knocked down, that is sad to see. We shoot in flats where they are still pictures on the walls. Why didn't it work? This is the kind of show Law & Order is; it asks the question 'what went wrong here?'
"Then the next week it's all mock Georgian mansions in Surrey footballer's wives territory. All varieties of people dealt with and we throw ourselves into the chaos of life."
And Jamie particularly relished working with the American director Marisol Adler, who has also worked on the US franchise.
"Marisol was so keen and positive and she had such great energy. It was so interesting to have her thoughts having worked on both shows. Because I have worked a lot in the States, I was used to working her way rather than the British way so it was good to have someone from same background. Things I thought we could be doing, she seamlessly fitted in.
"There are different styles of directing and in the US since film is used less and less they don't tend to cut between takes. The ethos being the crew do their work but once you start rolling it belongs to the director and actors. And Marisol liked to use more cameras when shooting. The creator of Law & Order, Dick Wolf famously said the camera is the third cop in the show, so fast moving camera work really adds to the feel. Series five is a lot pacier which feels natural for our half of the show."
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