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Sophie Okonedo Talks Role In New BBC 5-Part Thriller 'Mayday' + First Look Photos

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 18, 2013 at 12:50PM

A project that was initially announced a year ago is finally set to make its debut... S&A fave Sophie Okonedo stars alongside Peter Firth, Aidan Gillen and Lesley Manville in what the BBC is calling a "sophisticated five-part thriller" titled Mayday, from writers Ben Court and Caroline Ip (Whitechapel).
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Mayday

A project that was initially announced a year ago is finally set to make its debut... S&A fave Sophie Okonedo stars alongside Peter Firth, Aidan Gillen and Lesley Manville in what the BBC is calling a "sophisticated five-part thriller" titled Mayday, from writers Ben Court and Caroline Ip (Whitechapel).

What's the Mayday story:

When a young girl goes missing on her way to the Mayday parade, the small community in which she lives looks to one another for answers. But beneath the picture-postcard idyll lies a sinister other world and the dark woods teem with myth. As the community reels from Hattie’s disappearance, the drama follows the mass hysteria and ensuing search from the point of view of the central characters, each of whom fears that someone they know is responsible. As they keep silent, their suspicions intensify over the course of the five episodes.

Sophie Okonedo plays Fiona, described as "a young mum determined to protect her family, who spies on a neighbour."

Jane Featherstone, of Kudos Film and Television (then company behind the project) describes Mayday:

“A highly authored serial from Ben Court and Caroline Ip which has attracted a brilliant cast and takes an original look at a familiar story. There are no police incident rooms, autopsies or crime scene investigations, instead this is about a town facing the reality that the killer is among them, one of them.”

The five-part thriller will air on the BBC over 5 days, starting Sunday, March 3 on BBC One.

There's a good interview with Sophie about her role in the project, on the BBC's website in which she talks about her character, her approach to the role, what she hopes audiences will get from the film, and more.

Here's a snip:

What can you tell us about your character Fiona?

Fiona is a housewife and an ex-copper. She has three young children and is married to a copper. She is a good mum and always really applies herself to everything she does. At the point of when the story starts, she’s feeling a little bit fed up with just being seen as a mother and seeing to her children all the time. She misses the excitement of actually working. She really enjoyed being a police woman and that’s something she’s feeling a little bit unsure of. When Hattie goes missing, Fiona sees it as an opportunity to dust off her old police badge and start investigating and looking for herself what might have gone on.

How does Fiona react to Steve Docker rounding up the community to search for missing Hattie?

She thinks Steve is an absolute idiot and amateur. He doesn’t know how to run an investigation. He grabs a whole load of people and his own ego is leading it, and she feels he’s basically trampling over any evidence that is left anyway. Fiona certainly feels like she would do a much better job.

What else can you say about the type of person Fiona is?

Fiona is quite a low key character, she gets caught up in high drama but that’s not her natural state. She’s not an outgoing, out there person. Fiona is quite straight so I wouldn’t say she’s a great big character.

For the rest of that interview, click HERE.

There's also a trailer for it, but, unfortunately, it can't be viewed by non-UK audiences. So for our UK readers who haven't yet seen the trailer, click HERE to do so.

The images above and below are from the series.

This should be good stuff! Of course, whether or not it'll travel is another story. But glad to see that Sophie continues to work steadily. Recently, she co-starred in the Australian drama The Slap, has a supporting role in the Will Smith/Jaden Smith sci-fi adventurer After Earth, the BBC/Sky1 production of Sinbad, and  also returned to the London stage to star in a play.

This article is related to: Sophie Okonedo, Television, TV News


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