Also, read this recent article of Tamzin via Express.co.uk: In the closet with Tamzin Merchant
Murder On The Home Front Promotional Photo and stills
featuring Tamzin Merchant as Molly Cooper
featuring Tamzin Merchant as Molly Cooper
MURDER ON THE HOME FRONT
By David Kane
Visceral, detailed, blackly comic and hugely entertaining crime drama set in the dead centre of the birth of modern forensics - the London Blitz of World War II. Based on the memoirs of Molly Lefebure, the secretary to the Home Office Pathologist, Keith Simpson, this addictive drama will show a side of this much exploited period not often seen in television drama. The increased body count of the war allowed the development of forensics, as we know them today. But this is a world pre DNA profiling and consequently far more inventive, contentious and taboo breaking. If you thought that post CSI, Waking the Dead and Silent Witness audiences knew everything thing there was to know about forensics - then think again. When young women are found murdered DI Freddy Wilkins believes the obvious suspect is the vulnerable loner, Wilfred Ziegler as a result of the swastikas carved on the victims’ tongues. Dr. Lennox Collins the passionate and brilliant Home Office Pathologist and Molly Cooper, his vivacious young secretary have their doubts and employ ground breakin forensic techniques to ensure the right man is brought to justice. However, Lennox soon learns that not only is he fighting a battle to modernise the way in which crimes are solved, but he’s also clashing with a government who will go to any lengths to ensure the country’s morale is sustained – even cover up a murder. Despite its dark themes this is a vibrant, life affirming drama full of characters loving life.MURDER ON THE HOME FRONT
Loosely based on the memoirs of MOLLY LEFEBURE
By DAVID KANE
Tamzin Merchant is MollyCopyright © Carnival Film & Television Ltd 2012
Like her Murder On The Home Front character Molly, Tamzin Merchant is feisty, forthright and very, very driven. As Patron of the charity Build Africa, Tamzin has worked hard to highlight the plight of children and families living in extreme poverty in Uganda and Kenya. But it was an early audition at the age of 17 that set Tamzin on the path to a career in acting.
“I was reading Pride and Prejudice at the time and my mum mentioned she had read an article about the movie. Luckily a casting director had visited my school, so I called her to find out who was casting the film and then rang up and asked for an audition,” she laughs. “I think they were a little confused by my approach, but amazingly, agreed to meet me and after three auditions I got the part.”
Determined to stick to her plato get a good education Tamzin went to University and studied English Literature at Cambridge before graduating in 2010 and like her character Molly, writing is a priority for Tamzin. “I’ve written a number of screenplays – my aim is to continue with acting and writing, which is my passion, opening myself up to as many different experiences as possible.”
When Lennox offers Molly the opportunity to hone her writing skills by becoming his pathology secretary it doesn’t take Molly long to accept.
“Molly’s real passion is to be a crime writer so she makes it her job to report on all the crimes that she can in London. When she meets Lennox she becomes his assistant because she doesn’t have a problem with blood, guts and looking at corpses as she is fascinated by it rather than disgusted. She doesn’t faint when she sees a dead body, which Lennox think is a real bonus in an assistant.”
Molly finds a kindred spirit in forensic photographer Issy and it’s not long before the two are hitting the town and painting it red. “There’s a real dynamic between Molly and Issy,” explains Tamzin.
“They are from different backgrounds but they click really well. The morgue where they work is a collection of misfits and I think it brings them together in a way; they all bring different elements and strengths to the dream team. Then you have DI Freddy Wilkins played by David Sturzaker who becomes a fourth member of the team. They all come at it fro m different angles but in the end they make a pretty good crime fighting team. Within the four main characters you have a group of misfits both socially and in the attributes and skills they bring. You’ve got the brilliant genius Lennox, the feisty go - getter Molly, posh Issy with a penchant for photographing crime scenes and Freddy who is still finding his way and has a lot of pressure from the top; together they make a great crime fighting team.”
A highlight of the shoot for Tamzin has been stepping back in time to the 1940s. One of her earliest memories was a trip to the Imperial War Museum as a child. “I remember going there when I was very young and seeing all the tanks, the huge rocket, the boats that went to Dunkirk and the Blitz experience,” she recalls. “It’s been amazing to actually get to live that and since filming in and around London I have noticed so much more history and the effect the Blitz had on London, which was pretty profound.”
The Rivoli Ballrooms in Brockley doubled as the Metropole Nightclub, and was one of Tamzin's favourite locations. “The Rivoli was the plushest and most wonderfully eccentric location we filmed in and was so much fun” explains Tamzin. “The swing band that we had there for the day were amazing as were the professional dancers who were all lunging and lindy hopping around. I felt like I had two left feet just trying to do a simple dance scene. It was really atmospheric.”
The sets, production design, costumes, hair and makeup design all played an important part in creating the backdrop to the drama and Tamzin did not hold back when it came to getting into the character of Molly. “I agreed to cut my hair because the forties was such a sexy period for women and it was important to be as authentic as possible to the period. The style and design of all the clothes for my character have been really feminine and our designers had similarly strong ideas for how Molly should look. It’s really cool to work with a team who are all on the same wave length.”
The first and second World Wars were turning points for women in terms of doing jobs and forging careers that in peacetime they would never have been able to undertake. “Although the war had tragic consequences, it also meant women had to prove themselves equal to men which set off a chain of events still ongoing today. It was a time when women really stepped up and Molly is certainly an example of that. She is such an admirable person, she goes out there and bangs on the doors - she is a fighter. It is so wonderful to play a character that you really respect and would get along with in real life, Molly is awesome and kicks ass,” she laughs.