The show stars Warren Brown as John Paul Rocksavage, an ordinary cop whose life changes when his partner is murdered. We caught up with Warren on set up in Liverpool to find out more, so read on to find out what he had to say about Good Cop...
Tell us about your character.
"Sav is a young, honest beat cop in Liverpool who witnesses the murder of his best friend, and then his world sort of spirals out of control from events that happen after that occurrence."
Does Sav feel guilty, in some way?
"Yeah, he's there, so he witnesses it. He's tried to stop it, but he's unable to get to his friend in time so he witnesses the whole thing. So yeah, I think there's an element of guilt that he was there, and it's then his choice to either do his job or catch the criminal or seek revenge."
Is there a gradual unraveling?
Does he decide to seek revenge outside the law?
"He contemplates it."
Are we going to see any of his love life?
"Yeah. It's a really complicated character and there's a lot going on. There's enough in there - a policeman witnesses his friend get murdered and then ponders revenge, and that is brilliant. The story in there is great. But there are so many other layers to it.
"You see John Paul lives at home and his dad's not well and he looks after his father. His mum's died. You learn fairly early on he's made a couple of mistakes as well. He's not perfect. There's a girl on the scene that he hasn't seen for years and it turns out that was his ex-girlfriend, so she's new on the scene and that's sort of thrown into the mix. There's a lot of stuff going on."
He has a female partner now...
"His friend Andy is killed, so after Andy's death he's paired up with another police officer that he knows is fairly new to the unit - that's Amanda Morgan, played by the lovely Kerrie Hayes."
How do they get on?
"There's maybe a little bit of friction. Obviously his best friend and partner has died so he's in a difficult place at the moment. There's a couple of people saying, 'Are you alright to work?' and he's, 'I'm fine, I'm fine'. But he does say that she's a good copper and he likes her, but initially there's a little bit of friction - more just because I think it's where his headspace is at the time."
Did you have to get in shape for this role?
"No, I try to keep myself relatively fit. Before I acted I Thai boxed professionally for a good ten years, so I was always super super fit, and then started acting and you're busy and you're not able to. Sav is in good shape and it says [in the script] that he runs quite a bit and I'm required to do quite a bit, and I would always want to do as much as possible myself rather than having someone else stepping in and doing the physical stuff.
"So yeah, a lot of running, a lot of chasing, some little skerfuffles, a bit of scrapping. But no, it's right up my street. I love to do as much physical stuff as possible."
What are the most demanding scenes to shoot in Good Cop?
"Running on Crosby Beach was quite physically demanding because it's a short sequence in the programme, but as you know, you film it and film it and do a different angle and do a different angle and you're chased by a quad with a crane on. So yeah, we were doing it all day and the script says he was jogging and there was bits of sprinting, but I was absolutely going hell for leather as much as I could do.
"There's not really been an easy day. Every single day, it's quite epic the amount of stuff we're getting through and heavy stuff that you've really got to go to - and some of it quite dark as well - so without pinpointing particular things and spoiling stuff, it's been gruelling all the way through. But I'm absolutely relishing this challenge and the opportunity to do it."
Do you think this is a drama that happens to be set in the world of the police, or a standard police drama?
"I think it just happens that this guy, something happens. He's an ordinary guy, he's thrown into this extreme situation, but yes, he happens to be a policeman... I think it's more about the journey that he goes on and the events subsequent to his friend's death and how that affects him and the decisions he makes after that."
There are so many cop shows - how is this going to be different?
"There are, and I don't know how, but I don't worry. I was at the Crime Thriller Awards for Luther, because Idris Elba won 'Best Actor' for Luther. You know, there's quite a lot of crime genre programmes, but suddenly when you go to something like that when they're all there... there's so many... but so many very different and very brilliant [shows].
"So I think there's enough room, and I think this is different again. It's the same genre, but it's obviously popular because there's so many shows of its kind of ilk, so there's definitely an audience for it. It may have police or crime, whether it's sort of good guys, bad guys, morals, the kind of thing an audience likes, but I think no, there's plenty of room."
Did you have any worries about going from a cop in Luther to a cop in this?
"No, they're very different coppers. Obviously Ripley in Luther, he's a detective so he's in suits. And another thing I really liked about this, there's quite a lot of shows - Luther included - where it's further up the ranks and it is detectives and it's CIDs and I think this is one of the first that I've certainly heard of where it's just normal beat coppers, just an everyday ordinary, ordinary guy who's thrown into this extraordinary situation."
Was this your first time wearing a cop's uniform?
"I did two lines in a thing when I started out as an extra. What was my line in it - 'S**t, s**t, s**t' and, 'They're coming off the bus'. That was it - a dodgy Cockney copper. Aside from that, yes. And the second series of Luther, right at the very beginning."
Do you think you've had a turning point recently - with Inside Men, Luther and now Good Cop?
"I think certainly the last few years, I've been riding it and enjoying it and loving being paid to come and do my job I absolutely love doing. I feel very, very fortunate and lucky to have managed to keep a good level of work sustained, but that's just down to keeping your head down and doing good work and [having] a good agent and picking the right scripts.
"Occupation was the first thing a couple of years ago, then Luther, and it's gradually building. I can't see after this job but yeah, this puts you at another level. I noticed a different thing after Occupation, the roles I was doing then. It's exciting that this is the biggest thing. Until I've done this, I don't know."
Did you ever contemplate being a policeman in real life?
"Fortunately being an actor you get to do loads of jobs, don't you? You get to be a soldier, you get to work in a bank... So no, I've not contemplated it. I went out with a good mate of mine - he works for Greater Manchester Police and he sorted out that I could go and spend an evening with some police [officers], so I went out for a night for this. That was great, really good. I got a good insight.
"We went out on a drugs warrant so saw a house being searched, but just the opportunity to sit and chat with them was great - and chat to them while they're getting ready."
Why should people watch Good Cop?
"Because it's an amazing script - there's an amazing cast in it. I'm very lucky to have been involved in such an amazing project. It's got everything - it's a thrill, it's dark, it's gritty, it's northern."
Good Cop airs on Thursday August 30 at 9pm on BBC One.