A series about the police isn’t exactly a new idea, but when it’s not only concerning solving crimes, there’s maybe more to it. Babylon is a new drama and comedy on Channel 4, about the Metropolitan Police, and it doesn’t just provide singular perspectives on the cases.
Liz Garvey (Brit Marling) is the new Head of Communications, and she’s brilliant at her job. Her second-in-command, Finn (Bertie Carvel), is not pleased with her getting the job ahead of him, and you can predict that conflicts will arise between those two. However, even though Liz is fantastic at her job, she’s not great with social interaction, because why should a woman have the best of both worlds?
This is definitely a critique, and Liz isn’t the only stereotype the series provides. The Police Commissioner (James Nesbitt) is a tough older lad, who is very concrete, would never blame himself for any faults by any circumstances, and if people step over his toes he will bite back instantly. Nevertheless, the play between Liz and the Commissioner gives the series its element of comedy, he’s so certain and devoid of sympathy, whilst Liz has a hard time responding to his bad jokes. The officers deliver yet another perspective in the series, divided into a regular police force, and a special task force. The top – Liz and the Police Commissioner – deal with their actions and information about the incidents, which the police officers respond to.
In the first episode there’s a lot of drama circulating between those three forces, because a riot has occurred in a facility for young criminals. How will the Police Commissioner and Liz respond to the press about this, because a lot of violence has been drawn upon the guards, and how will the special task force free the guards and retain order?
Babylon is definitely worth watching with its high tempo and different points of view on the circulating events, but it’s certainly not very innovative for providing the same stereotypes seen so many times before.