Alesha's had a pretty dark start to the series. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
"We thought coming back with the first one we're really going to have to address this but because of the nature of Law & Order they're all standalone shows. We also thought 'how are we going to address the fact that she works in a world where she's dealing with sexual offences all the time?' - is it going to throw her back over and over again? She becomes quite functional. She wants to do her job, but the beauty of the show is you only see them in the context of their work so it doesn't seem wrong to have her get on with her job because that's also her way of dealing with it. She's got guards up and doesn't want this emotional landslide. She is able to divide her personal experience from her professional life."
Will it have an impact on her relationships or potential romances?
"With people in the workplace? Maybe! In episode eight, James Steel says to her 'We want you to take the reins on this one and do a little bit more'. That's reinforcing the strength of their relationships in her mind. I think she felt a little bit abandoned and a little bit disillusioned with the whole system and then as players within the system by the end of episode seven. I think they go some way to mending that in episode eight. In terms of romance, you make of their relationship what you will!"
"It's amazing the stuff we're doing now, but I don't know when it's going to be on screens. You really see developments with her and James Steel's relationship actually, and you just see her in a completely different stride really. For me as well, I've fallen into a different stride. Everything's a lot more comfortable and a lot more second nature. When we embarked on this world, none of us were familiar with it - and now I kind of feel like I could prosecute you if I needed to! The others were very much her superiors in the first series and she has an opinion but doesn't know when to express it. I think you see a bit more of her on a par with them in this series."
In terms of overall story does it follow on directly from what you were filming last time?
"Only in so far as how much you see changes in their relationships. Everything that's going to be happening, it's going to be affecting them as people so they're going to take that on into the next series and episodes beyond. But again we go back to the fact that it's about the story and it's about the crime. You only really get a smattering of colour from the character, which I think is nice - it's a slow burner and I quite like that."
Do you think Alesha would be good in a US version?
"I think it would be fabulous. We went to Monte Carlo - me and Bradley - and we were saying to Dick 'We're all one big family' and S. Epatha Merkerson was saying 'We love them! Bring them over!' So we banter about it but how realistic it would be I don't know. He said he likes the idea of crossovers so we're going to keep prodding. Not that I don't love being here, but that would be an opportunity you couldn't turn down, right?"
Do you think we'll get another UK spinoff?
"I think the series did amazingly well - I don't think anybody can deny that - so based on that there's certainly grounds for it. It's such a successful franchise so let's see. It's up to them and I'm sure it would be successful if they did but obviously my focus is on Law and Order: UK."
"It's only a matter of weeks before it's on the telly - you've waited this long! I was in touch with Russell again the other day and that whole world is - as I've said a multitude of times before - I love what I'm doing and at one point it was a decision of doing this or going into Torchwood. Russell completely supported my decision on this. It's great because for me at this stage it's about gaining different experiences and doing different things but Martha's not done!"
She's going to be back at some point?
"I'm going to say yes!"
Do you think you'll shed a couple of tears when David Tennant departs?
"When I first got into the Who world I did say the show is about change. I haven't changed my opinion on that just because it's different for me now. I truly believe that. I don't think it's a sad thing - embrace Matt Smith and it's going to be brilliant with Karen as well and David's going to be doing famously well. What's there to be upset for him about? He's off and up!"
Law & Order: UK returns to ITV1 for its second series in January. The first series is out on DVD January 11.
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