The Ghost Squad (Series 1, 2005 Channel 4)
Crime – Drama
Series & episodes
Series 1, episodes 1 – 7 (air-date 15 November to 27 December 2005)
Director: Richard Laxton, Charlie Palmer, Daniel Percival
Screenplay: Tom Grieves
Cast: Jonas Armstrong, Elaine Cassidy, Emma Fielding
Role: ‘Pete Maitland’
Filming: Spring – Summer 2005
Inspired by the real life “Ghost Squad” that existed between 1994 and 1998, secretly investigating police corruption, the premise of the series is that the squad continued to operate in secret after officially being shut down. It starred Elaine Cassidy as a police constable recruited into the squad and Jonas Armstrong as her handler. Tense, urgent and gripping, new cop drama The Ghost Squad deals with the murky morality of policing the police.
Each episode features the undercover internal investigation team stamping out corruption within police ranks. But this isn’t a world of heroes and villains, cops and robbers. Here, everyone carries a badge.
Reviews & awards
The Ghost Squad is by far, one of my favourite shows, Jonas has worked on. I originally watched the series, just after series 1 of Robin Hood finished back in January 2007 (courtesy of youtube 😉 ) and found myself glued to the screen from the off-set. In meantime the series has actually aired & has been repeated on Belgian TV channel ‘ Canvas’ 😀 And thanks to our French neighbours, you can actually buy the region 2 DVD as well!
I won’t get too much into details of the plots, as otherwise it will just be spoiling the fun of watching it for yourselves. As stated in the synopsis, each episode (though ep 7 is a 2-hour long double episode) deals with one specific case of police corruption, set in a particular location of the UK. It’s up to new recruit ‘Amy’ to figure out who the bad apples are so to speak, all the while keeping her cover with the help of her handler ‘Pete’ played by Jonas Armstrong. They both report to DSI Carol McKay, who is seemingly in charge of the Ghost Squad team.
It’s a great police show, and the under-cover element really adds to the feel of the story-lines. The characters are all great, it’s just sad that channel 4 ended its run, just when it was finding its groove 😦 So in terms of character development, it could have gone so much further, if only the series was given a chance. ‘Amy’ is very likeable and ‘Pete’ is just a real great character to hang out with lol. Once again Jonas shows off his cheeky charm, humour & fun but also showcases deep compassion & outrage when he finds evidence of injustice. I really cannot recommend watching this series enough! 😀
The reviews overall, were very positive! Most did lament the fact that channel 4 canceled the show just after 7 episodes as it had so much potential. I really would have liked seeing another series of this too! In hindsight it all worked out fine for Jonas in the end as he got the Robin Hood gig, a few months later. But still Jonas told in an interview , how much he liked working on the show and would have happily signed on for more series.
The Ghost Squad got a BAFTA nomination for best editing in 2006