We Talk To Darklands Writer And Director Mark O’Connor
It’s one of the most highly-touted homegrown hits in recent times, with comparisons to the likes of Love/Hate abound. Book your spot on the sofa and strap in tight; it’s time to get stuck into Darklands.
Airing Mondays at 9pm on Virgin Media One (Virgin TV 103), it’s a gritty crime thriller from writer and director Mark O’Connor – who filled us in on what to expect! You can listen to a bit of the chat as part of the new PLAY Podcast – but if you’d rather read to get the skinny, then fire away…
WHAT’S THE SHOW ALL ABOUT?
“Damien is a 16-year-old kid, in his last year in school, who’s an amateur MMA fighter. His brother Wesley is involved in gangland crime, and he goes missing. So Damien has to find out what happened to his brother; he starts to hang out with his brother’s friends, and he slowly gets sucked into this world. The effect of Wesley going missing means the family starts to break down, and that starts to feed into Damien’s psyche too. It’s all about how a teenager ends up down this path.”
WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION COME FROM?
“When I was doing my first feature film – Between The Canals – there were a couple of younger actors involved, and I thought it would be interesting to explore the younger generation; see how they’re influenced by that world, and examine how and why they get involved in crime. That’s the core, really, of why we evolved the story.”
IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME WORKING ON A TV SHOW?
“It is the first TV show. I was never all that into TV – I was all about film – but when I watched shows like Breaking Bad, saw how the long-form narrative worked, how the evolution of a character can run across multiple seasons, I started to appreciate that form. That’s when I realised I wanted to do something in the medium.”
WE KNOW IT’S BEEN A LONG-TERM PROJECT; HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FINALLY SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD?
“It’s been surreal to finally see it on screens; we’ve been working on it for four years, and it’s gone through so many different forms. Originally it was set in the inner-city in Dublin; now, it’s based in Bray, which actually fits perfectly for the show. But to see it in the edit, and now going on air? It’s incredible.”
Virgin Media customers won’t even need to wait a week for another fix; after an episode airs on Virgin Media One, the next episode will be available On Demand!