Noel Clarke (The Hood trilogy) and Ashley Walters (Bullet Boy) create and star in Sky 1’s Bulletproof. Aired at 9pm on Tuesdays, this action-comedy series follows the crime fighting excursions of two London cops and best friends Aaron Bishop (Clarke) and Ronnie Pike (Walters).

Breaking Boundaries

Directed by Nick Love, best known for The Football Factory and The Sweeney, Bulletproof has produced a similar response to previous projects that have attempted to bring street culture to our sofas – whilst some find it relatable and entertaining, others are left scratching their heads.

The two British actors break boundaries by creating a show with black protagonists in the overwhelmingly white environment of the British Police Force, whilst their decision to go down the route of a big budget Sky 1 production is also significant. The authentic, street-inflected dialogue and daily lives of the protagonists are combined successfully with the requirements of a weekly series on prime-time TV and this combination is something that Walters saw as a necessity from the start. Like the protagonists, two young black men from London making headway in the police force, the show itself makes a splash in the equally homogeneous realm of mainstream television.

Cameras and Sound

The production was supplied with an ARRI Alexa SXT and multiple ARRI Alexa Minis by ICE FIlm and this filming package helped produce some great images despite the action-packed narrative and difficult-to-film scenes. The high-end SXT is labelled an all-rounder by ARRI whilst the lightweight Alexa Mini allows for easy transportation with a wireless remote control, making it one of the more dynamic options for filming in 4K Ultra HD.

The frequent action scenes also presented a challenge for the sound editors who created both a 5.1 and a Dolby Atmos home entertainment mix, the first UK drama to do so. The editing team described how TV dramas can reach high levels of sound production quality even without massive budgets and it is impressive to see how this has been achieved in Bulletproof.

Bulletproof by name. . .

The high intensity action, the relatability of the two main characters and the cutting-edge camera and sound equipment has led to the show’s success in relation to viewership, taking a 7.4% share on Sky 1 in the week May 21 – 27.

Always expected to divide opinion, Bulletproof is living up to its name and gaining momentum despite any criticism it may receive.