All is not What it Seems…..
Netfix continues to stretch its British wings with the taut Safe hitting our screens this month
Preview by Rupert Watkins
From the grandeur of the White House and Buckingham Palace to the unsettling streets of suburban UK, Netflix continues to set the standard in watchable dramas. Safe, with a cast headed up by Dexter’s Michael Hall and Sherlock’s Amanda Abbington, shines an unsettling spotlight on the prim facades and hidden secrets of prosperous middle class England. Michael Hall’s character, Tom, is searching for his missing daughter after a house party goes awry. With a fleet of young British talent, including Amy-Leigh Hickman, Hannah Arterton and Hero Fiennes Tiffin on board as well, those seeking tangled psychological dramas may have found their fix for 2018.
Playing the spoilt but devious Sia Marshall at whose illicit house party things start to unravel, Amy-Leigh, just fell in love with the script, “it had always been a dream of mine to play such a character – someone with depth, not just the overindulged party princess.” There’s certainly a tone in her voice that indicates she’s hugely enjoyed playing against type. In the well-off gated community the series’ cast inhabit, it is hardly surprising to the viewer it is nothing more than a cage, a veneer hiding the indifference, violence and disgust – as well as petty snobberies – that provide that rather English psychological backdrop to the unfolding series. “There’s a strong seam of irony running through the series,” Amy ponders, “these are all well-off people, their problems just aren’t problems in the real world and so when things go wrong, the façade breaks and people begin to spiral.”
For the former cast member of Tracey Beaker and Eastenders it is certainly a different level of plot complexity, “you just have to know each other’s story arc,” she says, “there’s so many layers of plot running at once.” Despite this, Amy-Leigh has loved the atmosphere on set, “it’s a nice team feeling on the set – I’ve especially enjoyed working with my on-screen parents, Laila Rouass and Nigel Lindsey.” Seeing Amanda work close up has been a highlight for her, “even when she doesn’t have too many lines just the way she inhabits her character, there’s just a ‘wow’ factor to her.”
With the series written by Harlen Coben, the American thriller writer and constant in the New York Times bestseller lists, it’s hardly surprising the cast were jumping at the chance to work on such a project. It is also Amy-Leigh’s first Netflix project, “it’s just been a phenomenon,” she comments, “it’s not surprising – as a viewer Netflix offers you the ability to watch what you want when you want – everything is just there.” With the digital giant producing ever more polished TV shows – not to mention its ever increasing, and much talked about financial muscle – one doubts Safe will be their last suburban psychodrama to have us twitching the curtains.
Safe begins on Netflix May 10th