Year of Spies: March
Thriller Espionage Web Series
Plagued with guilt after the trauma of killing an innocent on a mission, Agent O'Kelly goes into hiding in rural Ireland. However, not even a spy can hide from their fears and responsibilities forever.
The third episode of Year of Spies treads darker territory than previous missions. The writing team wanted to explore the psychology of a secret agent who is responsible for the death of a civilian and how this affects him both mentally and physically.
We researched stories of returning soldiers who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to try to understand how the character of Thomas O'Kelly would act and feel. PTSD sufferers tend to have horrific nightmares, reliving the traumatic incident over and over again in their minds. They are also hyper aware, making them constantly jumpy and vulnerable to loud noises.
Production took place over seven days in various locations, using the Peak District to double for rural Ireland.
"This episode also required a prop to be designed and made; the uranium bomb. I spoke to a technical advisor on how a real dirty bomb would look and added some Hollywood artistic licence in the form of a timer and flashing LEDs.
I built the prop with help from my friend G using deodorant cans, perfume bottles and bits from old computers, finishing it off with lights from a model railway set. It looks brilliant on screen and that's what really matters."
Heading up the cast was Garry Graham-Smith as Agent Thomas O'Kelly. Garry has worked extensively with Chris, starring as the villain in the prologue of 'The Last Dragon Hunter' as well as the music videos 'Between the Lines' and 'Dirty Little Secret'.
Manchester based character actor Alex Harding was chosen to play the psychotic arms dealer Vanessa Drake. Alex's own son Will was cast as her son Adam in the episode.
My son Will and I couldn't be more proud to be part of March's episode of 'Year of Spies'. We had such fun on set with fellow actors and crew, and mother and son being able to work together!
Chris and Steph allowed me to really explore Vanessa Drake. Having the freedom as an actor to fully discover your character and contribute ideas to her was a brilliant experience.
I am very fond of Vanessa, what a fun character to play! We are looking forward to watching and supporting the next chapters of 'Year of Spies'.
Charles O' Neill was cast as Charles Fox, the stern but good-hearted head of MI6.
When I got the phone call from Chris telling me I had landed the role of Charles Fox, to say I was delighted would be an understatement. As a huge fan of spy and espionage films and also of Chris' amazing body of top quality films, it was a fantastic opportunity to be involved with this series.
Charles Fox is an 'M' type character, and while images of all the previous M's where whizzing around my head, this was a very different role to all the ones I had seen before. There are many levels to his character to deal with and there is a delicate complexity to the situation he is confronted with. It was a very challenging, but wonderful role to play.
Working with Chris and the team was a joy. Work felt easy on set, with a determination to squeeze every drop out of each scene to make each one fantastic. Chris instinctively knows what looks and sounds right, and has an amazing creativity that brings out the best in his actors.