David Morrissey has been described by the British Film Institute as “one of the most versatile English actors of his generation”.
And his body of work over the years certainly backs that up.
After roles in Our Mutual Friend, Hilary and Jackie, Some Voices and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, he played Stephen Collins in State of Play, Gordon Brown in The Deal, and Jackson Lake in Doctor Who special The Next Doctor.
He then went onto appear in The Reaping, Sense and Sensibility, Red Riding, Nowhere Boy, Centurion, Thorne, The Walking Dead, The 7.39 and The Driver. But even when you consider his massive range of roles, there was something special about six-part drama Sherwood that prompted the 58-year-old Liverpudlian to get involved.
“Before I read the script, I was attracted to the whole package,” he says. “I’m a big fan of James Graham’s work. I loved his play Ink and This House and I thought Quiz was brilliant. I mean, he is just a fantastic writer, I’ve always wanted to work with him. I had the first three episodes, which were sent to me, and then a sort of story outline for the next three and I loved it. I love the idea of it being this ensemble piece about a community. I thought it was subtly written, a story about a historical event which I knew a lot about. I’d lived through that time and it was about the repercussions of that time in Nottingham.”
Morrissey plays DCS Ian St Clair, and if you’ve watched the first five episodes of the drama ahead of tonight’s finale, you’ll know he’s an upstanding member of a community deeply divided by events during and after the miners’ strike.
In tonight’s conclusion, he and wife Helen (Clare Holman) finally share the secrets they have kept from each other and talk about hurt they’ve caused. Meanwhile, the Sparrows discuss the arrow found at their door. Mickey (Philip Jackson) suggests his family think he’s the intended target, but Rory (Perry Fitzpatrick) admits he neglected to help Scott (Adam Hugill) and believes the arrow is a message for him.
Elsewhere, Daphne (Lorraine Ashbourne) is throwing axes on the farm. Sensing her upset, Mickey suggests they take a trip together before leaving her alone.
After DS Cleaver (Terence Maynard) updates the team on the arrow attack and Scott’s movements, Chief Constable Fraser (Phaldut Sharma) admits to to Ian and Kevin that the Home Office has confirmed an undercover officer was placed in the community in 1984, but their identity will remain secret.
Kevin (Robert Glenister) receives a text from an old colleague with the crime scene photos from Raggett’s death, and hands over a photo of the numbers of the other spycops to Ian.
Later, Mickey discovers Scott hiding on his allotment, and the police rush out to apprehend him.
Mickey chases Scott through the backstreets of the village, but just as it looks like Scott is escaping, he is knocked off his bike.
Finally, the community gathers for the welfare meeting, and despite best efforts, the conversation comes back to the miners’ strike, the fire, and the divides it caused in the village.
Can Ian ever let go of his desire to know who the spy cop is?