The Capture, on BBC1, is a six-part surveillance thriller that looks at a troubling world of fake news and the extraordinary capabilities of the intelligence services. In this ‘post-truth era’, can we really believe what we see? Famke Janssen stars as Jessica Mallory.
Please tell us about Jessica.
Jessica’s very high up in her line of work, and she’s the boss of Frank Napier (Ron Perlman). She comes in towards the end of the series, seemingly to put him in his place and have him clean up his operation, but there appear to be other larger things at stake. Jessica’s a businesswoman, somebody who has gotten her way for a long time. She’s worked very hard, especially as a woman, to get to the position that she’s in. She’s no-nonsense on a lot of levels, just making sure the job gets done – however it needs to get done. She enters the series in a very glamorous way, which was really fun to film. As I say, her way into the story is really through Ron’s character and she has no connections directly with Shaun Emery and Rachel Carey [a soldier let off a murder charge based on flawed video evidence and a director assigned to his case respectively], though of course everybody is indirectly connected…
Why did you want to join the series?
I thought it was wonderful! I loved reading The Capture because it’s a spy thriller in the way that The Fugitive was. You, the viewer, are with a hunted person who all the evidence proves is guilty yet you think he’s innocent. It has that element, but the difference in The Capture is that there are so many layers. Every single time you think you know what’s going on – it’s like an onion it keeps on unravelling and more and more truth comes out. There are times when you don’t know who to believe anymore or what the truth is, but it keeps peeling and you keep finding out new fascinating elements. What really attracted me to it was this notion of what can be done with CCTV footage, and the extent it can be manipulated. The ramifications of that in the real world are frightening. It’s a very timely story.
Why should people tune in?
It’s a story about truth, and finding out the truth and then proving it in a world with so much fake news. It’s really a story about our future and what we are looking at. We are being photographed every single day and in every imaginable way. Privacy is gone – it’s been gone for a really long time. When you start thinking about the notion of actually being able to manipulate footage that’s out there on you, where you can be accused of a crime all of a sudden and now there is actual footage of you doing it even though you never did? That is a scary concept. What I think is wonderful about The Capture, and why I believe people will really want to watch, is that they will be constantly guessing and wondering and trying to be ahead of the story, but the story is always ahead of them. There’s so much intrigue, it’s a spider’s web that you will want to get to the centre of.