Last week CultBox attended the third series premiere of Sky1’s Mad Dogs in London.
The drama, starring John Simm (Doctor Who), Philip Glenister (Life On Mars), Marc Warren (Hustle) and Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon), has proved to be a critical and populist hit – and the new run of episodes shows no signs of easing up in terms of quality.
Series 3’s opener kicks off immediately where we left the boys last time, in a container on a boat, which has just landed in Morocco. Immediately they’re bundled into a prison that’s “off the map” and in the control of the British Foreign Office (not unlike cult ‘60s show The Prisoner, in some ways). Here they find a shaved-headed Jaime Winstone, playing a soldier who saw too much in Kabul and revealed some info the government would have rather kept quiet online.
It’s a strange and, as writer Cris Cole would admit, a slightly “unbelievable” situation but this is par for the course for Baxter, Quinn, Woody and Rick who, just a week previous, were embarking on a boy’s trip to their friend’s villa in Spain before it escalated into a mob-fuelled, terrorist-financing, international situation. But the writing, coupled with the four sensational leads, is no barrier to the truth of the characters and their situation.
This first episode is also odd in the fact that it doesn’t really start the new series; it has the feel and the dramatic tension of a finale. And a downbeat one at that.
Thankfully, however, we know there’s more to come. All the trademark humour is still there from Cole, as are the beautifully crafted moments of humanity, mixed in with male desperation. Coupled with stunning direction from Adrian Shergold (who helmed the first series) and four mesmeric performances, Mad Dogs displays with ease just why it’s top of Sky’s drama roster.
After the episode screened, writer and creator Cris Cole joined actors John Simm, Philip Glenister, Marc Warren and Max Beesley on stage for a Q&A. Here’s what we learnt about Series 3 (and beyond!)…
» Episode 2 is set two years after the first episode of the season (which follows on directly from Series 2).
» This year’s series is “very different” to previous years; John Simm stated, it “takes us into new territory”.
» Max Beesley told us that his character Woody (a “tea total guy”) falls off the wagon under the pressure.
» “He’s quite weak, isn’t he? Very pathetic,” Marc Warren says of his character Rick. He becomes a cocaine dealer in the new series and ends up in rehab.
» The four men go on the run again during Series 3.
» Quinn (Philip Glenister) runs a club for ex-diplomats in South Africa.
» “I get to have sex,” Glenister said about the new episodes, joking: “Not just with myself!”
» The gang are split up but are eventually reunited.
» Max Beesley’s dad has a small part in Series 3, with a “couple of lines”.
» Next year’s fourth and final series picks up where Series 3 ends, Cris Cole commented. Series 4, which has already been filmed, “spirals out of control in a very exciting and unexpected way and has a phenomenally unexpected ending.”
Series 3 begins on Sky1 on Tuesday 4 June. Prior to this, the first episode of the new series will be available On Demand from Wednesday 29 May.
Watch the trailer…
Are you looking forward to Series 3? Let us know below…