No Offence is genuinely touching and genuinely challenging
I read the draft of the first episode which I found massively enjoyable, having been a long-time fan of Paul Abbott’s. It was the first time I’d actually got my peepers on one of his scripts. I was completely enthralled by the dialogue, but also the incredible energy he puts into his stage directions; it’s like reading an expressionist novel where all these really scurrilous and colourful details come in for your privileged reading, as the viewers will only get a hint of that! I was all fired up after reading it.
I went for the audition on the day after my father died. My dad was a fast-talking Mancunian so there was something incredibly right about going to try out for a fast talking Mancunian. When someone dies it’s terrible, but it also makes you full of adrenalin as there was so much to sort out. So that was the strange state I went in for this meeting. And it worked, because the scenes were so funny and macabre, and laced with the whole ridiculousness of death.
We don’t learn much about Miller’s hinterland. He’s divorced, he’s a doctor who went straight into working with the police. He’s Deering’s longest colleague, he’s been there for years and years. He’s the police doctor and he’s something of a polymath. He basically hijacks the digital pursuit of our main malefactor and he’s a real brilliant auto didactic – he just knows what to do. The nice thing is he’s often hungover. He’s brilliantly patient, he can be terribly rude and awfully patronising but he is sweet and he does care about people; and if they were genuinely on their arse he would be the first to pick them up. He’s smart, like the rest of the team.
He has an avuncular relationship with Dinah. He cares about her and rates her. The interesting one is Joy, who at the start he makes it clear he thinks she’s a bit of a joke, but you actually see his opinion of her change – and he’s very happy to eat his words. I think Miller does have a ‘minister without portfolio’ aspect - he does a lot of stuff! He’s a maverick. Friday Street cop shop is this wonderful bacteria-filled petri dish of a place where people can do all sorts, that’s why he’s stayed there for so long.
No Offence is genuinely touching and genuinely challenging. What’s written just shimmers and tells a story and it’s a matter of serving that. It’s one of the most shocking things I’ve ever read but brilliantly funny. It’s just about life. Audiences will be drawn into the humanity too.