Viewpoint: Zoe makes a call to DC Martin Young
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Viewpoint is airing every night this week on ITV (Monday, April 26 – Friday, April 30) at 9pm. The drama stars Noel Clarke, Alexandra Roach and Catherine Tyldesley. The cast, writer Ed Whitmore and director Ashley Way spoke to Express.co.uk and other press about filming Viewpoint and touched on its authenticity.
How realistic is Viewpoint?
Viewpoint on ITV follows the case of police officer DC Martin Young (played by Noel Clarke), who sets up an observation post in the Manceschster home of a single mother, Zoe Sterling (Alexandra Roach).
Zoe’s living room windows grant police a direct view into the missing primary school teacher, Gemma Hillman (Amy Wren).
Gemma’s boyfriend Greg Sullivan (Fehinti Balogun), who lives in the property is the main suspect in the case and Young has his eye on him.
The series is set and filmed in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Zoe’s flat is situated in set in fictional Westbury Square in Manchester and the majority of the filming took place in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
Some viewers have been branded the series ‘unrealistic but the show’s storyline and setting are all too real.
For example, one viewer tweeted: “Already I’m wondering why I always get sucked into these ITV dramas when they turn out unrealistic and far fetched. #Viewpoint.”
A second fan said: “Don’t think I am going to get sucked into this ITV drama #Viewpoint. Because I have a feeling it going to turn out to be unrealistic and far fetched. #Viewpoint”
A third viewer added: “Oh dear me, no. A surveillance officer wouldn’t behave like this. Getting jolly cosy with the flat owner? Giving up. #ViewPoint.”
The series comes from Fleabag and Emmy award-winning director Harry Bradbeer, whose neighbour had an encounter with a police surveillance officer.
Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press, Viewpoint writer Ed Whitmore said: “The idea came from director Harry Bradbeer who is our executive producer and he had known somebody who has been approached by the police to use their flat for surveillance purposes to watch people who were suspected of drug dealing in Islington I believe.
“He just thought it was an inherently interesting relationship.
“You’ve got somebody who is at work but is in a domestic residence with a stranger so you’ve got this immediately interesting context, a sort of juxtaposition of the personal and the professional.
“You can tell a crime story through that lens and you can have two planes of action. You have the place you are being observed from and then you have the suspect’s location you are watching.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press, actor Noel Clarke discussed what it was like to use real surveillance equipment.
He joked: “It was a real kit but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t see through the damn monocular. I think we were in the last week of shooting and one moment I was like ‘yay’.
“And everyone’s like what’s wrong and I was like, ‘I can finally see through this thing’. We were like, literally in the last week of shooting, I could not figure out how to see through the damn thing. I don’t know why.
“But I had to pretend I could so hopefully it looked like I could.”
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Writer Ed Whitmore added: “He continued: “One of the first things we discovered was surveillance units are quite independent and they are employed by other entities, usually, CID who want to watch person X and they say to the surveillance unit ‘Go and watch them and tell us everything they do, where they go and who they see’ but the surveillance unit themselves won’t necessarily know a huge amount why they are watching person X or the bigger context of the case and straight away we thought that was really interesting.
“So you’ve got these people who don’t really look like cops, don’t really dress like cops, live in a sort of a bat cave and who are, to an extent, tools themselves, just like how their camera is a tool for them.
“A surveillance unit is a tool in the hands of the CID but of course they are not just tools, they form their own opinions and that tension is something we immediately latched on to.”
Speaking about setting and filming the drama in Manchester, Director Ashley Way said: “What was really key and central was that we created this sense of community.
“There are many different characters of certain social backgrounds in this story so what was important was that we found a street and a location that could tell all of those stories in the one place.
“We have this ornate Georgian Street where some of the houses are single dwellings, some are split into flats and so you have that idea that gave us a really wonderful, creative, storytelling ability then to differentiate and to really show who all our characters were with the way we dressed the sets and so on.
“It was a challenge but really really interesting.”
Viewpoint airs every night this week on ITV at 9pm
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