After some time away from our TV screens, Noel Clarke is back in ITV's new thrilling four-part drama Chasing Shadows, playing DI Carl Prior.
The series is set in in a missing persons field unit that hunts serial killers who prey on the vulnerable.
I've only seen the first episode, and there's always an element of having to get to know the characters in an opening episode, but by the end of episode one we really get to know the characters and the drama really gets going, and I can't wait to watch episode two.
I recently caught up with Noel Clarke to talk about his new role, what it was like working with Reece Shearsmith and Alex Kingston, and whether or not he'll be watching the new series of Doctor Who.
First of all, tell us a bit about Chasing Shadows and your character DI Carl Prior...
It's a police procedural show, but where it's different I think is that it has so many different ways it could go. It's not your average, someone gets murdered every week and you find them. With missing people, there are so many reasons why people go missing. Some people actually want to go missing and I think that's what makes the show so interesting.
Carl Prior is a detective who's going up the ranks pretty quickly, he works exceptionally hard so he gets promoted well before his time, and thus he's younger than a lot of the people he's in charge of, including Sean and Ruth, Reece (Shearmith) and Alex (Kingston)'s characters. He gets stuff done and he's a man that works on facts. He cares about getting results more than getting into the personal aspects of it.
Essentially, when you start the show, he's not even interested in missing, that's not his job. His job is murder. One of the lines in the short trailer is "If you're involved, I will get you.", he's not a person that messes around. He's like - "I know it's you. I'm going to get you. So we can dance around all we want, but I'm going to get you." - he's more that kind of guy which I enjoy.
Sean sees patterns in things but Prior's really about - "OK, well I don't doubt you. But until I get the evidence, I can't take this guy down. I can't go after him." Ruth is the compassionate one who's always talking about the family. So I think the dynamic between the three characters really make it interesting.
What drew you to the role?
Exactly that really. I hadn't done TV in a while and it was really a chance to again do something that was slightly different. It was really about the scripts and dealing with missing people that really drew me to it, because it was so different. That interested me to it the most I think, that anyone of us could go missing today, someone can snatch you and it'll probably be around 11:30pm that someone goes - "They should be here by now." - do you know what I mean?
Because you could have drinks after work or whatever and then that's a lot of time. And then what if you're found in a year's time and you don't want to be found? You just made that decision to go and you don't want your family to know. There are so many different things and that's what really drew me to it. Oh so and so's murdered, we investigate.
That bores me. Who am I to talk about the state of TV but I know that's not anything I want to watch, and so I won't watch them. Whereas this one, the places it could go, potentially if it goes on, that interests me.
Do you think Chasing Shadows could come back again for another series?
Yeah, I think it could. I think there's a lot more legs in a show like this than some other shows, because 250,000 to 300,000 people go missing a year. And how many people do we hear about on the news? Ten max? Four maybe? Why is it that this person is more important than this person? All that stuff is so interesting. What if we're told to find someone but we want to find someone else?
Did you speak to anyone involved in missing people?
No I didn't. I was cast quite late and I think Reece and Alex went to the actual Missing Person's bureau. My character Carl actually works for the police, so he's just put in charge of them. He's early homocide and stuff like that, but I've looked at that stuff before.
There was a film I was going to do at one stage that involved a lot of missing people so I've looked at that stuff before. I knew about the stats beforehand and found it really interesting.
What's it been like working with Reece Shearsmith and Alex Kingston?
Yeah, it was really great. I'd never met Reece before, I'd seen his stuff obviously, and we really got on (laughs). He's really funny. And Alex we'd never met before either even though Doctor Who fans had deep gasms when they found out we were working together! My Twitter feed was all - "Can you tell Alex this? Can you tell Alex that?" - but we got on really well.