This is why you should catch up on ITV police drama with a difference, Wild Bill

Sunday, 16th June 2019, 13:03 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th June 2019, 17:12 pm
Rob Lowe as Chief Constable Bill Hixon (R) ITV drama Wild Bill (Photo: ITV)

A new police comedy-drama on ITV is examining what it's like when a high-ranking cop from the US winds up policing in rural Britain.

Wild Bill stars American actor, Rob Lowe, as Bill Hixon, who moves to Boston, Lincolnshire with his 14 year old daughter in a desperate bid to escape painful memories in their recent past.

Here's everything you need to know about it - and why you should catch up before the second episode is broadcast.

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What is Wild Bill about?

Eager to continue his police work, Hixon joins the Lincolnshire Police Force ("America’s Top Metropolitan Police Chief three years running is the ideal candidate to make his mark," says ITV), and finds that its sleepy routines and unexciting call-outs are a far cry from the everyday mayhem of his American post.

Not only does he have to contend with the relative tedium of a rural constabulary, his deputy Lydia Price makes absolutely no secret of her disdain for him, and local journalist Lisa Cranston grills him on his approach.

"This unfamiliar, unimpressed community will force Bill to question everything about himself and leave him asking whether it's Boston that needs Bill, or Bill that needs Boston?" Says ITV's synopsis.

"Bill isn’t about making friends. He’s here to get the job done and get the hell out as quick as his spin-class-toned legs will carry him."

The perfect set-up for the series’ fish out of water premise - hilarity is sure to ensue.

Who stars in it?

Rob Lowe is Bill Hixon, a Hollywood actor whose face will be familiar to anybody who pays attention to comedy from the US and beyond.

Lowe appeared as Chris Traeger on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation between 2010 and 2014, and made his breakthrough as Sam Seaborn on the NBC political drama The West Wing, for which he received nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.

Wild Bill transplants Lowe's US cop to Lincolnshire (Photo: ITV)

"As an actor, Wild Bill is a larger than life character who’s outrageously articulate, has nothing to lose and revels in being an American fish out of water," said Lowe.

The star was given a warm welcome by the local population when filming on location.

“When I walked through the town market, people were coming up to me and thinking I was the actual new Chief Constable, which was great,” he told inews.

Alongside the 55 year old, Bronwyn James (Harlots) is DC Murial Yeardsley, Aloreia Spencer makes her screen debut as Bill's daughter Kelsey, and Rachael Stirling (Detectorists) is Mary Harborough.

Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard) is unrelenting police deputy Lydia Price, Tony Pitts (Line of Duty) is Keith Metcalfe, and Angela Griffin (Waterloo Road) is inquisitive journalist Lisa Cranston.

Elsewhere, the cast includes Anthony Flanagan (Versailles), Davian Ladwa (Detectorists), Aleksandar Jovanovic (Tatort), Steffan Rhodri (Keeping Faith), and Vicki Pepperdine (The Windsors).

Who's written it?

Wild Bill has been created by Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton, who both have experience with police dramas through their time working on Silent Witness.

But don't expect the new series to be anything like BBC's hard-hitting cop show.

(Photo: ITV)

"We wanted to write something that couldn’t take place anywhere else, or at any other time,” the pair said.

"We wrote this for Rob Lowe, for his smart-talking, anarchic, soulful voice."

"Displacing Rob in Brexit Britain and specifically in Boston, Lincolnshire allows us to tell stories that are leftfield and unexpected."

The series is inspired by David Cameron’s short-lived plan to install US “supercop” Bill Bratton as the head of the Metropolitan Police.

Lowe (who is also an executive producer on the new show) said the series was a response to the town’s Brexit vote.

“There have been very few, if any, TV shows centred in the Lincolnshire area.”

Boston has been called the most pro-Brexit town in England.

“To do it now when Boston is known as the home of Brexit, with over 75 per cent of people voting to leave, also gives it a timeliness and a reason for being,” the actor said.

“The characters that populate our show are not the people you think of when you think of London. They live in a very different world that does not get the spotlight shone on it very often.”

Tim Carter, another executive producer, told inews, “Obviously the Brexit statistic was a point of inspiration, but we haven’t set out to make a Brexit drama.”

“It’s a drama that hopefully reflects our time and modern Britain in an interesting and slightly offbeat way.”

When can I watch it?

Episode two of Wild Bill will air on ITV on Wednesday 19 June at 9pm. You can catch up on the first episode via ITV's website.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews