Dougray Scott on why Irvine Welsh's new cop show Crime 'is nothing like CSI'
For more than a decade, all Dougray Scott has wanted to do is get involved in Crime.
The Mission: Impossible 2 star and good friend Irvine Welsh have been working hard to bring the author’s best selling novel about a traumatised Edinburgh detective hunting a child killer to life - and both of them are absolutely thrilled that it's finally happening.
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Scott heads an all-star cast for the gritty new detective drama launched on streaming service Britbox on November 18th, alongside Ken Stott, Jamie Sives, Joanna Vanderham, John Simm, Laura Fraser, Angela Griffin and many more.
New six-part drama Crime is the Trainspotting and Filth author’s first ever television series, and the first time he and Scott have worked together after years of trying.
Scott, 56, is an executive producer on the show as well as the hero, DI Ray Lennox.
He said: “I read the novel 10 years ago so it was a long labour of love but the power of the narrative and the demons in this guy, his journey, what he goes through, and his relationship with all the characters, was just so fascinating for me."
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His character Lennox was first seen in a smaller role, played by Jamie Bell, in the 2014 Welsh movie adaptation Filth, starring James McAvoy as Lennox’s corrupt former boss Bruce Robertson.
The 2008 novel Crime follows the adventures of a much different Lennox in Miami on holiday to recover from a particularly horrific child murder case he’d just worked on back home in Scotland.
The TV show introduces the new world by telling the story of the child murder hunt that precedes the events of the novel – so there’s plenty of scope for sequel series where there is more sunshine than Leith in Edinburgh can offer.
Scott said: “In Crime, I was really intrigued by what happened to this guy, how did he become the guy that he was and what happened in Edinburgh.
“It became evident that it was much easier to get that story told rather than the Miami side so we decided to hone in on that.
“I’d like to continue playing Ray Lennox for a while and we’ll see where it goes. There’s the Miami stories and Irvine has written another novel after this one, so that’s great source material as well.”
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The new series, written by Welsh and Dean Cavanagh, is the latest step in Dougray Scott’s stellar acting career, launched via Taggart, Soldier, Soldier and Twin Town.
Having been feted by Hollywood and cast as the original Wolverine in X-Men before his villainous role in Mission: Impossible 2 ran over, he was also in the ‘next James Bond’ running for years.
While the claws and the tux may have eluded him, he’s been constantly in demand for Hollywood and UK screen gigs over the last 30 years with shows like Doctor Who, Desperate Housewives, Fear the Walking Dead, Hemlock Grove, and movies Enigma, Taken 3 and Deep Impact.
Introducing Dougray Scott as DI Ray Lennox, a troubled cop investigating the case of a missing school girl while battling his own inner demons.
🐊 Stream #IrvineWelshsCrime from 18th November, exclusively on BritBox.
@IrvineWelsh @BuccaneerMedia #Crime #BritBox pic.twitter.com/hVwOdA3cCq
— BritBox_UK (@BritBox_UK) November 9, 2021
Few projects have ignited his passion like Crime though.
Scott’s big-hearted copper Lennox is a brilliantly split character. He’s a dedicated, caring cop who brings the worst killers to justice, but is also broken in two and a recovering addict who struggles with the horrors he witnesses every day at work.
While the new series is about police officers and set around police work, it’s definitely not CSI Edinburgh.
Scott said of police shows: “I watched Cracker, and in terms of American shows, Mindhunter is amazing from a psychological point of view. It’s not just about the plot.
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“They’re all really plot driven, the procedurals. I don’t particularly care about the intimate details of hair fibres. That can be interesting from a scientific point of view, but I don’t connect to it emotionally.
“In Crime, we follow the guy’s psychological relationships, with all the characters in the story.
“These shows are great, CSI Miami, New York, LA, they’re all really popular and people love them and I’m certainly not disparaging them at all."
He added: “But when Irvine Welsh asks the question – it’s not ‘how?’, it’s ‘why?’.”
Scott added: “He gives power to people without a voice. That was my upbringing and you never leave that behind. That’s why I love him so much.
“That’s the stories I love to tell.”
Crime is launched on Britbox Thursday November 18.
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