Police Interceptors has proven itself as a popular series for Five; so popular that prodco Raw Cut Television introduced Police Interceptors: Special Edition to air directly following the main show over on sister station Fiver. With the second go at the Special Edition debuting on Five, realscreen discussed Raw Cut’s approach to the cop show, and the trials of putting a civilian in the shoes of the police, with co-founder Steve Warr.
In each episode of the three seasons of Police Interceptors, the Essex-based high-speed police interception unit chases down the criminals that are the hardest to catch in Britain. They do so using a mixture of new and souped-up kit with highly trained police behind the wheel. However, in Raw Cut Television’s spin-off series Police Interceptors: Special Edition they throw in another element; a not-so-trained individual who asks a lot of questions then gets to try it herself.
UK sports presenter Natalie Pinkham hosts the series, which originated as a companion to the original on sister station Fiver, and is now moving to Five. In this series Pinkham talks to the police behind the interception unit about the technology they use catching hard to find criminals and asks the questions the audience who watched the original series would like answered. Then, she gets to experience a taste of what they do day to day.
‘She’s pretty much an all-action presenter anyway and we’ve used those skills so that she can experience some of the frontline policing,’ says Raw Cut’s Warr. ‘So we’ve put her in some of the most difficult situations that we can dream up.’
Pinkham has been chased by the dog unit, thrown from a fast moving boat, pulled up into a helicopter and batted to the ground by trained officers (while wearing protective clothing, of course). But she has to be adequately trained herself in order to do these things. ‘We did about five segments with the marine unit and before they’d let the presenter or any of the crew on board the boat, they had to do a two-day intensive training course, which is the same as what any of the police officers have to do just to be allowed on the boat,’ explains Warr. They started in the classroom, then the pool, and by day two they had moved up to getting thrown off the back of a boat in England’s North Sea in the middle of winter. ‘It’s designed to weed out those that don’t like water very much.’
The series took four months to shoot while editing simultaneously to meet a tight turnaround so that the series could follow, and keep the same time slot as, the main series. ‘Both shows actually allow the police [in order] to be a bit more real, not as stage-managed as other shows,’ says Warr. ‘If they screw up it does make it to the screen to show that everybody can make mistakes; not everybody is Robocop.’
Police Interceptors: Special Edition starts March 27 on Five and will be selling into other territories at MIPTV.