'Blackout'

formerly known as 'The Fuse'
2 Jul 2012
TV series (3 parts)
Dir. Tom Green

Wr. Bill Gallagher
Role: Daniel Demoys (politician).


TX:
Episode 1: Jul 2 - listing and synopsis (spoilers) - page
Episode 2: Jul 9 - listing and synopsis - page
Episode 3: Jul 16 - listing and synopsis - page 
  
 
DVD: Aug 13
BBC Shop - amazon.co.uk - play.com - hmv.com



Sites at BBC (clips, galleries, character profiles) --- Red Production Company --- IMDb
  


Trailer:



Reviews:
EP. 3
• Jul 16 David Lewis - CultBox - 'Blackout': episode 3 review
• Caroline Westbrook - Metro - Blackout came to a predictably downbeat conclusion
• Caroline Frost - Huffington Post - Blackout finale showcases Christopher Eccleston, a lesson in stillness
EP. 2
• Jul 10 Caroline Frost - Huffington Post - Blackout - It's all about the women
• Jul 9 David Lewis - CultBox - 'Blackout': episode 2 review
EP. 1
• Jul 8 Nigel Farndale - The Telegraph - Eccleston is the prince of darkness
• Hugh Montgomery - The Independent - Blackout, BBC1, Monday [...]
• Jul 7 Anne-Marie Allan - ForgeToday - Blackout
• Emmet Purcell - Joe - Blackout proves a bleak watch [...]
• Jul 6 VIDEO Andrew Collins - The Guardian - The Week In TV
• Jul 3 Tom Lubek - The Yorker - Blackout - another dark drama for BBC One
• Ben Lawrence - The Telegraph - Blackout, BBC One, review
• Caroline Frost - Huffington Post - Blackout: Christopher Eccleston acted so hard, he blacked out...
• Keith Watson - Metro - Blackout was a moody, menacing drama of rare intensity
• Arifa Akbar - The Independent - Blackout, BBC1 [...] 
• Jasper Rees - The Arts Desk - Blackout, BBC One 
• Pat Stacey - The Herald - Still in the dark about Blackout
• Jul 2 Stuart Jeffries - The Guardian - Blackout [...]
• Ross Jones-Morris - On The Box - Blackout episode one review
AUDIO Mark Lawson and Chris Mullin - Front Row, BBC Radio 4 - info and iPlayer
• Jun 26 David Lewis - CultBox - 'Blackout': episode 1 review

Articles:
• Jun 30 TV & Satellite Week - Dark and dangerous [scans on Side Effects, Tumblr - one, two]
• Jun 27 Vicky Frost - The Guardian - Christopher Eccleston: from superheroes to Sophocles

News:
• Oct 23 Nominated in the RTS North West Awards: Best Production, Best Single Drama or Drama Series, Best Performance in a Single Drama or Drama Series (CE); didn't win.

Consolidated ratings: ep. 1 - 5.25m; ep. 2 & 3 not in top 30.

• Jul 17 Ratings for episode 3, Broadcast:
Blackout (BBC1) 9pm-10pm
3m (13%)
The Christopher Eccleston drama won the 9pm slot after recovering from last week's series low of 2.93m (12.72%). It was still way under BBC1's slot average of 4.97m (20.05%).
• Jul 10 Ratings for episode 2, Broadcast:
Blackout (BBC1) 9pm-10pm
2.93m (12.72%)
It was a dark evening for BBC1's Christopher Eccleston drama after losing 1.5m on last week's debut performance of 4.47m (19.62%).
Monday's instalment started with more than a 3m viewers but this waned to 2.91m over the period it was on air.

Production stills by Vishal Sharma (or as gallery).

• Jul 3 Ratings for episode 1, Broadcast:
BBC1's new Christopher Eccleston drama Blackout debuted with nearly 4.5m viewers - more than twice the audience of any other terrestrial channel at 9pm.
Blackout (BBC1) 9pm-10pm
4.47m (19.62%)
The contemporary tale of redemption, which also features Dervla Kirwan, easily won its slot despite underperforming for BBC1.
The drama launched with 4.93m (21.5%) in its first 15-minutes, but this fell by nearly 800k to 4.15m (18.3%) in its final quarter of an hour.
It meant Blackout was more than half a million viewers short of BBC1's slot average of 5.16m (20.78%) for the past 12 months, according to overnight Barb figures supplied by Attentional.
• Jun 21 Images at RadioTimes.

• Jun 15 BBC Media Pack. CE interview (spoilers):
Can you tell us about Daniel Demoys and his role in Blackout?
Daniel Demoys is an interesting figure in that he was once a very idealistic young man who got drawn into local politics and slowly allowed himself to become cynical and disillusioned, and he lost his ideals. He has an addictive personality and started to indulge himself personally, being addicted to alcohol and drugs.

At the beginning of episode one he meets a man (Henry Pulis played by David Hayman) who holds a mirror up to him, and he sees his reflection of who he really is and tries to destroy it. The drama then becomes a why-dunnit rather than a whodunit.

Daniel's a contradictory character because he has a deep love for his wife and for his children, but he has pure hatred for himself. So consequently he ends up treating his family disrespectfully because he has no self-respect in the way he indulges himself. He's probably got more in common with Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment, or Macbeth, in terms of what he's done and his battle with his conscious and imagination, which is used stylistically by flashbacks in the film itself.

What is Daniel's home life and relationship with his wife (played by Dervla Kirwan) and children like?
Daniel and his wife, before the children came along, were probably a very successful, hedonistic couple of the Nineties. There was a great deal of hedonism and they were very much part of that, while being bright, shining political lights. The kids have come along and he's carried on. There's an element of mid-life crisis with Daniel, as well as everything else. He's carried on that hedonistic path but it has stopped being enjoyable. It's probably fair to say that his wife has been in denial about his addictions. It's the only way she can deal with it, particularly while attempting to raise children.

What we've got within the film and with the three characters (Daniel's two sons and a daughter), you see the differing impact on children if a parent is an addict, and it manifests itself in different ways in the children. The impact of the addict on the family is a very major strand in the drama which sits alongside the thriller element. It is very much a thriller, and not just about the politics. The politics are the politics of a graphic novel, quite simplistic. If you examine what Daniel is expounding it's probably communism but what's foregrounded is the thriller element and the family element. Those are the two things that are primarily the motors of the three episodes.

Daniel finds himself opening up to a nurse, Donna (played by Branka Katic). Would you say she acts as his subconscious?
She definitely serves as a conscience figure. You can say that she's possibly taking him through the 12 steps, if you analyse it, looking at responsibility and humility. Donna allows him to confess to everything that he's done. She is his friend more than anything. She gives him tough love and it's an interesting relationship. She's brilliantly played by Branka because it's very easy to make a character like that purely a mouthpiece. Branka has humanised and grounded Donna, and given her humour, delicacy and subtlety.

Can you tell us about Daniel's relationship with Sylvie (played by MyAnna Buring)?
MyAnna's character and Daniel are both playing roles when they meet. It's role play. He's in an altered state because of the alcohol and drugs, and she, like him, is an addict and is addicted to danger and sexual danger. It's very clear. You see her as a mum and then you see her in a noir-ish wig, and then there is her husband (played by Andrew Scott) who is also an addict and an obsessive. This theme of addiction is shot throughout all of the characters. What is interesting about Sylvie is that Daniel instinctively, in his alcoholic state, understands what she needs to fulfil her fantasies. So psychologically they're wired up for each other in a very dangerous way. Two addicts together, bringing hell down on themselves.

You have worked with Andrew Scott before (Lennon Naked, BBC Four). What was it like working with him again?
It was great working with Andrew, he played McCartney when I played John Lennon and I think he's an excellent actor. I was really pleased when I heard he was going to join us on Blackout. He's an actor I really love working with and admire. It's a fantastic performance and his character (Detective Bevan) is similarly an addict. There's a kind of brilliance to that character's detection of what is going on and a brilliance to his doggedness. Bevan's after the truth like a holy grail and he's very decent in that way, but his obsession with his wife is the flip side of it. It's the shadow side of him and his doggedness with finding who she is or isn't sleeping with is very damaging to her and her children. So he, like Daniel, has a shadow side.

What made you want to be involved with this drama?
It's always very interesting to be asked to play a character who on paper is unsympathetic. Characters who do the kind of things that Daniel does don't scare the audience. Audiences are very bright, and those of us who make great television continually underestimate the audience. They're always ahead of us and they're always willing to take difficult characters into their hearts because they know how difficult their own lives are. For example, Raskolnikov fascinates people because he does something that we all have nightmares and fears about doing. Macbeth does the same and that's why go and watch those people and why we follow those characters, and Daniel does a similar thing. There's a fascination in watching somebody trying to wriggle out of what they have done and that's what we do with Daniel.

Can you relate to Daniel?
It's that Dennis Potter quote that I've used before and I love. When he writes his characters he used to write them as half ape and as half angel, which is probably what you could say about human beings generally. So I can tell you that I've never been an addict and I've never murdered anybody but I can still relate to Daniel Demoys.
• Jun  14 The series to start in the beginning of July.


• May 29 The series is re-titled 'Blackout' and three episodes long (BBC Media Centre). According to Andrew Scott, due to be aired approximately in July.

• Jan 29 Principal photography has finished. See Notes at the bottom of the post for details.

• 2012 Jan 1 The Guardian - 'Screen picks for 2012: Tom Green [...]' ('The Fuse': five-part [?], due to air in May).

• Nov 10 Press release from BBC:

Dervla Kirwan (Injustice, The Silence) and Ewen Bremner (Page Eight, Perfect Sense) join Christopher Eccleston in this original four-part drama for BBC One, written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise To Candleford, The Prisoner) and produced by Red Production Company (Exile, Single Father).

Also confirmed are Andrew Scott (The Hour, Sherlock), Lyndsey Marshal (Garrow's Law, Being Human), Rebecca Callard (32 Brinkburn Street, Robin Hood), MyAnna Buring (The Twilight Saga, Any Human Heart) and Branka Katic (The Jury II, Big Love).

The Fuse follows Daniel Demoys (Eccleston), a stranger in his own life. Over the years he has gone from being an idealistic young man with a burning desire to make the world a better place, to a disillusioned and corrupt council official. His alcoholism has driven a wedge between him and wife, Alex (Kirwan), and their three children. The fallout from his alcohol-fuelled actions prove agonising for all around him.

When Daniel wakes up after another drunken night, he realises that he might be responsible for a murder. A dramatic act of redemption buys him public adoration, so much so that he has become a candidate in the race for Mayor, persuaded by council official Jerry Durrans (Bremner), and lawyer sister Lucy (Marshal).

The public's opinion of Daniel as a straight-talking everyday hero couldn't be higher. They are enthralled by his no nonsense determination not to treat the electorate like fools and by his openness about his personal problems and struggle with addiction.

As his public star rises ever higher and he tries to repair the damage done to his private life, he is painfully aware that it could all come crashing down at any moment. With Detective Dalien Bevan (Scott) hot on his trail and determined to gain respect in the force, he could be just the person to do this.

Daniel's deepening relationships with Bevan's ex-wife Sylvie (Buring), hospital nurse Donna (Katic), and the murdered man's daughter Ruth (Callard), means he finds himself in even more of a tangled web than he could ever have imagined.

Christopher Eccleston says: "Bill Gallagher has written a fantastic four episode drama about obsession, addiction and redemption. I’m very excited about the role of Daniel Demoys and to be working with Red Production Company and BBC One".

Bill Gallagher, Writer and Executive Producer, says: "I liked the idea of starting a story with a man who finds himself in a self-induced hell, and following him as he tries to make amends for the harm he has done. He happens to be a politician, so he has a chance to pay for his sins in his community".

"I am extremely excited to be working on another Bill Gallagher script," says Nicola Shindler, Executive Producer, Red Production Company. "He has written an incredibly compelling, morally complex thriller with a very recognisable family at its core. We are going to make an accessible, very honest and stylish drama for BBC One".

Filming has started and will take place on location in Liverpool and Manchester, for a Spring 2012 transmission.

The Fuse was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, Drama Commissioning, and Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One. The producer is Matthew Bird (Death In Paradise, The Street) and director is Tom Green (Misfits, Kid). Executive Producers are Christopher Aird for BBC, Nicola Shindler for Red Production Company, and Bill Gallagher.
• Other articles: Digital Spy, Radio Times, Liverpool Echo.
Article with the first image.

• Nov 7 Filming started.

 


• May 6 2011 BBC Press Office:
Christopher Eccleston plays politician Daniel Demoys in Bill Gallagher's original new five-part drama The Fuse on BBC One.

Daniel wakes up after an alcohol fuelled night and realises that he might be responsible for a murder. A dramatic act of redemption buys him public adoration, but how long can he hide from the truth?

Filmed and set in Manchester, the drama follows Daniel Demoys, a stranger in his own life. Over the years he has gone from being an idealistic young man with a burning desire to make the world a better place, to a disillusioned and corrupt council official. His alcoholism has driven a wedge between him and his wife, Alex, and their three children.

After saving a young man from being shot, public opinion of him as a straight-talking everyday hero couldn't be higher. So much so that the council official has become a candidate in the race to become Manchester's mayor. The public are enthralled by his no nonsense determination not to treat the electorate like fools and by his openness about his personal problems and struggle with addiction.

But Daniel Demoys has killed a man and as his public star rises ever higher and he tries to repair the damage done to his private life, Daniel is painfully aware that it could all come crashing down at any moment.

Christopher Eccleston says: "Bill Gallagher has written a fantastic five episode drama about obsession, addiction and redemption. I'm very excited about the role of Daniel Demoys and to be working with Red Production Company and BBC One. I can't wait."

Bill Gallagher, writer and executive producer, says: "I liked the idea of starting a story with a man who finds himself in a self-induced hell, and following him as he tries to make amends for the harm he has done. He happens to be a politician, so he has a chance to pay for his sins in his community."

Nicola Shindler, executive producer, Red Production Company, says: "I am extremely excited to be working on another Bill Gallagher script. He has written an incredibly compelling, morally complex thriller with a very recognisable family at its core. We are going to make an accessible, very honest and stylish drama for BBC One."

The Fuse follows Daniel's quest for redemption and poses the question of what it means to be a decent person.

This is the latest commission from Red Production Company (Exile, Single Father), for winter 2012 on BBC One. Written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise To Candleford, The Prisoner). The BBC executive producer is Piers Wenger.

The Fuse was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, Drama Commissioning, and Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One.

Notes:
• Style: According to Red Production Company the distinctive look of the series was influenced partly by Wong Kar-wai movies ('Chungking Express') (tweet).

• Filming locations:
Manchester Jan 28 set pics - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Jan 26 Olivia Cooke and CE image; Jan 17 - Bowden; 2012 Jan 9 - CE pic; set pic; 2011 Dec 13-16 Dale St (studio; public's set pic; general image); Dec 11 Spinningfields; set pic; Nov 30 The Imperial War Museum; Nov 24 roof of the Arndale centre (pic); Nov 23 'Razor 34' (green room?; general images); Nov 21 'Boutique Club' (site); Nov 18 - set pic; Nov 17 - set pic; Nov 14 'Mr. Thomas's Chop House' (site, set pics: exterior, interior). Also 'Manchester Photographic' (green room; image on the right; post); various in China Town & Northern Quarter; 
Southport Dec 5 Ainsdale Beach (set pic);
Liverpool 2012 Jan 18 - set pics, incl. CE and spoilers; 2011 Nov 9 - square by St. George's Hall - public's tweet w/ set photo and spoilers.

• Cast: Dervla Kirwan played CE character's wife in 'With or Without You', Andrew Scott was Paul McCartney in 'Lennon Naked', Rebecca Callard played Arrietty in the first BBC adaptation of 'The Borrowers'.

• Oct 17 Makeup artist Davy Jones, long time collaborator with Chris Eccleston, tweeted that he would start working on the 7th of November, it would be 10 weeks and that it was a six part drama. Before, there had been early information indicating start of filming in the beginning of November and 11 week shoot, as well as the episode count going down to four. The series had gone into active pre-production stage in the end of September.

• The series has been announced on the 31st of March by BBC (5th April by Red Production Company). Christopher Eccleston's casting was first made public on the 4th of May by RPC (@RedProductionCo: "Christopher Eccleston confirmed to star in THE FUSE - new Red drama, written by Bill Gallagher for BBC1." - tweet removed) and Adrian Lobb.


4 comments:

  1. Are there any extras/easter eggs on the dvd? From what I can remember, this was supposed to be a six-hour series, then it was trimmed to four and then finally, three. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nope. There are no extras beyond the hoh subtitles on the dvd, despite all the rejected material that must be abundant.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why not?! *shakesfist at TPTB*

    Btw, thanks for this awesome site up and running. This is *the* best Eccleston site there is!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's their usual MO. With a dash of sweeping under the carpet.

    Thank you very much - and thanks for visiting.

    ReplyDelete

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