“Blue Lights” is a BBC TV series that was released on March 27, 2023. It follows the lives of three rookie police officers during their probationary period and focuses on the challenges they face as they learn the ropes and try to prove themselves as capable officers. This includes dealing with the pressure of the job, the demands of training, and the difficulties of building relationships with colleagues and members of the public.
Throughout the series, viewers may see the characters develop their skills and gain confidence in their roles while also facing moral and ethical dilemmas that challenge their values and beliefs. There are personal storylines that explore the characters’ lives outside of work, such as romantic relationships, family issues, and personal struggles. The talented cast shines throughout the series. Here is a brief character introduction of the main cast that appears in season 1 of “Blue Lights.”
Sian Brooke As Grace Ellis
Sian Brooke plays the role of Constable Grace Ellis, a middle-aged single mother who was previously a social worker in the Midlands. She decides to move to Belfast with her son Cal Ellis (Matt Carver), where she has been living for 20 years before going to the Midlands. Right from the beginning of the series, Grace is determined to make a difference and help people. Her quiet nature enables her to handle complicated situations with ease.
Throughout the series, Grace displays a caring attitude towards Angela (Valene Kane), despite other officers being skeptical about her. Her relationship with Officer Stevie reveals her affectionate side, and their chemistry gives a new dimension the the show.
Following the absolute massacre that took place at the Palace, Grace’s handling of the situation was commendable. She cleverly extracted the memory card from the agent’s camera, which led to the arrest of the drug lord James McIntyre (John Lynch) and his son Mo McIntyre (Michael Shea).
Nathan Braniff As Tommy Foster
Tommy Foster starts the TV series as a timid probationary officer, lacking confidence during his police training. However, as the series progresses, he begins to find his footing and becomes brave enough to successfully complete his shooting test. Despite facing personal tragedy when his mentor Gerry passes away, Tommy is inspired by Gerry’s legacy and chooses to carry on his work. In a heartfelt tribute, Tommy decides to leave the “fast-track program” and instead chooses to serve as a constable, the same way Gerry did. Tommy’s dedication and commitment to his job, as well as his determination to honor Gerry’s memory, make him a valued member of the team. In addition, Tommy’s empathetic and compassionate nature endears him to his colleagues, making him an asset to the force.
Katherine Devlin As Annie
Annie is a young, aspiring probationary officer from Belfast who lives with her mother and plays hockey for the local club. Upon joining the Blackthorn Police Department, she finds it challenging to cope with the disasters that unfold, particularly her run-ins with Mo McIntyre, who punches and spits on her. Despite facing numerous obstacles, including death threats, Annie perseveres and decides to continue as an officer, even though she has contemplated quitting several times. Initially, Annie resents Jen due to her status as the Chief Superintendent’s daughter, but as the series progresses, Jen’s actions in standing up for Gerry help to repair their strained relationship, culminating in a heartfelt hug between the two women.
Martin McCann As Stevie Neil
Martin McCann, known for his exceptional performances in acclaimed movies such as “Calibre” and “Belfast,” portrays the character of a seasoned senior officer in the TV series “Blue Lights.” Stevie, the enigmatic figure, is a man of mystery who never indulges in socializing with his team and has no presence on social media. Only Grace is privy to his personal life. Stevie refers to himself as a “bucket man,” metaphorically alluding to his role in cleaning up the dirt in society by investigating and solving crimes in Belfast.
Stevie’s compassionate nature is revealed through his unwavering support for his colleagues and his kindness toward others. Steve has garnered a lot of experience and skill in his field, and has faced a personal tragedy that has helped him become the man he is today. He was married to Sarah for only a year before her untimely death due to health issues. Stevie is a caring individual who enjoys walking dogs and regularly checks on his parents and siblings.
Richard Dormer As PS Gerard ‘Gerry’ Cliff
Richard Dormer, a highly skilled actor, portrays the character of Constable Gerry, who is the heart of the first season of “Blue Lights.” Throughout the series, his witty interactions and guidance to probationary constable Tommy Foster make him a beloved character that viewers root for. With 27 years of service as a constable on the streets of the Blackthorn, Gerry has never been promoted due to his stand against corruption within the department. Despite this, he remains a constable because he refuses to let the corrupt officers win.
After witnessing the unethical support of the McIntyre family by the Blackthorn Police Department, Gerry decides to intervene in Mo McIntyre’s illegal firearms deal. Tragically, Gerry ends up taking multiple shots from Eoin O’Sullivan during his attempt to stop the deal. Gerry’s death leaves a lasting impact on the Blackthorn Police Department, especially on Tommy Foster, who is deeply affected by his mentor’s heroism.
Hannah McClean As Jen Robinson
The character of Constable Jen Robinson in the series appears to leverage her mother’s position as Chief Superintendent of Belfast’s police department to easily advance through the ranks. She engages in an intimate relationship with senior officer Jonty (Jonathan Harden) to gain an unfair advantage in the department. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Jen never aspires to become a police officer and only does so to fulfill her mother’s dream. However, when she stands up to protect Gerry and shoots down Eoin O’Sullivan in retaliation, it marks a significant turning point in her character development after two years on the force. Ultimately, Jen admits to using Jonty for her own gain and resigns from the police department.