Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones and Line Of Duty’s Lennie James reveal what fans can expect from new British drama Save Me
Suranne Jones and Lennie Jones have given fans a first glimpse into what to expect from their new British drama series, Save Me.
The Doctor Foster actress, 39, appears alongside the Line Of Duty and The Walking Dead actor, 52, in the hotly-anticipated TV thriller, which is set to air on Sky Atlantic in 2018.
Lennie also created and wrote the series, which is directed by TV BAFTA award winning director Nick Murphy.
Save Me tells the story of Nelly Rowe (played by Lennie), who is accused of grooming and abducting his estranged 13-year-old daughter Jody. He sets out to defend his name – and find his daughter’s kidnapper.
Suranne plays Jody’s mother Claire, who returns to the council estate where her and Nelly shared a ‘summer of love’ 13 years ago.
Lennie said: ‘It’s about the affect that [the abduction] has on Nelly, the affect that it has on Claire, played by Suranne [Jones], who plays my baby mother.
‘They come back into contact and it’s about the ripples that causes but also the ripples amongst these friends and amongst this community and in their lives and his.’
Suranne – who won a National Television Award for her portrayal of Gemma Foster in the acclaimed BBC One drama – says her character is forced to revisit the past after Jody is kidnapped.
She said of her character: ‘[Claire] is beautifully written. She used to hang around the estate that she then comes back to, obviously they [her and Nelly] had a summer of love together which resulted in a child.
‘Then she felt that she needed to move away from that life, and she met someone and she got married and she then took the child away, [she] very much left that life behind.
‘So when the two of them come together, what Lennie’s character is doing is bringing a whole lot of history back.’
It sounds like the dynamic between the two titular characters is as complex as that of Gemma and husband Simon in Doctor Foster, who famously shared a steamy sex scene in the show.
Suranne said of Nelly and Claire’s relationship in the show: ‘I end up living in a situation where we spend a lot of time together, and actually they have a very deep connection that is very, very complicated and difficult to be around, and obviously they’re joined by this journey.’
However, the two character’s personalities – having lived separate lives for 13 years – are completely different, with Lennie’s character Nelly having ‘no class’ and living on a council estate while Suranne’s character Claire has ‘a lot of money’… but still no class.
Suranne said: ‘The costume was quite fun because we did all this new money stuff and she’s got a lot of money and a big house so we said “let’s spend all this money – but not quite give her class”.
‘Then it strips away as… not saying your character doesn’t have class…’
Lennie agreed: ‘He doesn’t have class, he wears a yellow puffa jacket! He never takes it off.’
Which sounds like enough of a reason to tune in to be honest.
Lennie told the audience that the aim of the series wasn’t to make a ‘documentary about life in south east London’ – but more to focus on the many multi-faceted characters (including the supporting cast), in that setting.
He said: ‘It was really important to me that I wrote this story from the inside out, and not from the outside in, not a slice of life or a documentary type thing about south east London council estate, that’s not the focus of my story.
‘My story is a thriller, set on a council estate in south east London. That’s what’s unlikely, and Nelly is an unlikely hero. Also their relationship and when you first see them together, in the pub, you’re going “there’s no way these two were ever together.”
More: Suranne Jones
‘That would never, ever happen. That’s just Lennie James’ fantasy! But then gradually, as you get to know the personalities, you get to know them and you see what it is that he did for her and what she did for him.’
So is there a happy ending to the story? Lennie said: ‘The only thing I will say is you have to watch it until the end. And even at the end, it’s not necessarily the end. That’s all I’ll say.’
Sounds like a second series is already in the works…
Save Me is coming to Sky Atlantic in 2018.
Got a story?
If you’ve got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.