A NEW comedy drama directed by Danny Boyle hits screens next week.

Described as a fast-paced and razor-sharp cop show without detectives, Babylon is written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong — creators of award-winning shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat.

The comedy drama, which stars Brit Marling and James Nesbitt, sees London’s police force in need of a public image revamp and chief constable Richard Miller has found just the woman to do it.

Liz Garvey is an American visionary from the world of new media and parachuted in to revolutionise the force’s PR department.

In an age of rolling news, smartphones and an information-hungry public, Liz preaches transparency and honesty.

Oscar-winning director Danny, who comes from Radcliffe and attended Thornleigh School, said: “Television has changed so much since I last worked there on Inspector Morse.

“The confidence and ambition of writers writing for the medium is palpable, and is electrifying audiences around the world.

“In Jesse and Sam, Britain has two of the world's finest, and funniest writers.

“Their take on the world’s oldest police force as it navigates the new world of social media and instant modern communication was irresistible.

“And all of it without a detective in sight. In turn, of course, this quality of writing helps attract the finest actors.

“Their characters, 16 of them, are kept in the air throughout. That's a wonderful way to look at the spread of humanity under phenomenal pressure in an essential public service.”

A feature length episode of the show will be screened next Sunday, February 9, and filming for a six-part series will start from spring, planned to be on air later this year.

Brit, who plays Liz, said: “Danny and I spoke on the phone and I loved how he saw the story developing, and the questions he wanted to ask about how technology and the transparency it creates is changing all of our lives.

“How does law enforcement change when a criminal is using Twitter or Instagram? What’s the future of the public’s involvement in law enforcement as a result?

“And how do you create a career girl that isn’t a typical ball-buster but is multi-faceted? All awesome things to explore.”

Danny and executive producer Robert Jones approached the writers Sam and Jesse with the idea of doing a show about a modern police force.

When asked what it was like working with Danny, Jesse said: “Really good. He is just a very nice and decent man and that radiates out throughout the show, from the way he treats people in audition, to the inclusive feeling around the rehearsal process, which he is very protective of.”

Babylon is on Channel 4 on Sunday, February 9, at 9pm.