Rob Lowe Crosses the Pond as ‘Wild Bill’

By Trixie Pacis | 11 Jun 2019 at 1:00pm

ITV’s fish-out-of-water cop drama Wild Bill premieres this week, bringing a stellar cast together for a crime drama with knockout comedic beats.

The series follows Bill Hixon, a high-flying police chief from Miami who winds up in Boston, Lincolnshire with his teenage daughter in tow. Chief Constable Hixon is an analytics expert who arrives with all the stats and algorithms needed to tackle the county’s crime figures—only his new job turns out to be more hands-on than he imagined. Hixon quickly becomes a fish out of water, both on the job and as a single father.

“The interesting sort of flavor of it was what drew me to it, it’s tone really,” Lowe told Deadline. “I love these shows, I love Fargo, Better Call Saul, I love these shows where there’s a titular hero in the middle of it, but surrounded in a world that is very odd, very different and really authentically intense and violent, and then really, really sweet and emotional and then really, really funny, all at once. And it’s hard to do and our writers pulled a rabbit out of a hat.”

The series blends gritty crime drama with moments of comic relief. Season 1 is comprised of six episodes, each focusing on a particular case whilst working within a larger series arc.

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Air Date

Will Bill premieres in the UK on ITV this Wednesday, June 12 @ 9 pm. There will be six episodes in total. Following the premiere, each following episodes will air one week apart.

The series may also appear on either Hulu or Netflix in the US, according to Deadline.

Cast

Wild Bill is packed with familiar faces from hit shows such as Line of Duty, Bodyguard, Shameless, and Call the Midwife. Here’s an introduction to the cast and characters of the series.

Rob Lowe plays Bill Hixon

Rob Lowe
(KUDOS/ITV)

Hixon is the latest addition to the East Lincolnshire Police Force. Tasked with solving the county’s crime figures whilst facing budget cuts, the Hixon falls immediately under challenging circumstances. Hixon is “so American so that can bump up against a proper British sensibility,” Lowe told RadioTimes.

You may recognise Rob Lowe from his previous roles as Chris Traeger in Parks and Recreation and Sam Seaborn in The West Wing. He received one Emmy and two Gold Globe nominations for the latter. The Hollywood Brat Pack actor is also an executive producer on the series.

“What I like about the show is that it’s a character study of Bill, dressed up as a procedural,” Lowe told Deadline. “He’s a guy at a crossroads in his life, he is recently widowed, his daughter is in real trouble, he’s been kicked out of his last big job as the police commissioner in Miami, he’s kind of on the run really, he needs to find himself. And the irony that he would have to come to Boston, Lincolnshire to find himself?

“I think is really kind of fun. All of the crimes that we do on the show, the procedural element of the show, exists solely so that Bill can learn something about himself.”

Aloreia Spencer plays Kelsey Hixon

Kelsey is Bill’s sharp-witted 14-year-old daughter. As she navigates her mother’s death and teenage years, she uses sarcasm as defense and coping mechanisms. Wild Bill is Spencer’s first screen role.

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Rachel Stirling plays Mary Harborough

Harborough a local judge and member of the Lincolnshire aristocracy. Seemingly posh on the outside, Mary is also a misfit of sorts. Thanks to her charm and wit, she becomes a romantic interest for Hixon.

“She’s really smart and she’s good with computers but she also helps run her family’s farm,” Stirling says of her character in an ITV press interview. “I can’t really liken her to anyone else. You can’t pull the wool over her eyes. That’s something I really like about her.”

Stirling is an accomplished stage actress who has also appeared in The Bletchley Circle, Tipping the Velvet, and a 2013 Doctor Who episode. Big screen credits include Snow White and the Huntsman, The Young Victoria, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Bronwyn James plays DC Muriel Yeardsley

Detective Yeardsley comes from a farming family but is a promising and ambitious member of the police force. She’s eager to learn from Hixon, becoming like a daughter to him.

You might have seen James in the Call the Midwife Christmas special and Agatha Christie drama The ABC Murders.

Anjli Mohindra plays Lydia Price

Anjli Mohindra
(KUDOS/ITV)

Price is Assistant Chief Constable in East Lincolnshire. Her character is a polished, by-the-book type whose promotion was thwarted by Hixon’s appointment. A pressed and polished character, she goes against everything Hixon stands for.

“This does feel totally different though to the last job I did as a police officer, DC Josie Chancellor in
Dark Heart. She was more about trying to prove herself rather than trying to crack the case,” Anjli Mohindra says of her role in an ITV interview. “Lydia is not trying to prove herself. She’s just trying to run things efficiently. I’ve not played a role like that before. Someone who is so in control.”

Mohindra appeared as the would-be train bomber in Bodyguard. She has since appeared in ITV’s Dark Heart and an episode of Midsomer Murders.

Tony Pitts will appear as Keith Metcalfe

Metcalfe is East Lincolnshire’s crime commissioner and the very man who hired Hixon. Metcalfe is a shameless and arrogant social climber. It’s a fitting role considering Pitts’ previous appearances as Lester Hargreaves in Line of Duty and Inspector Moss in Peaky Blinders.

Supporting Roles

Other roles in Wild Bill include Anthony Flanagan (Shameless) as street cop Sean Cobley, Divian Ladwa (Lion) as junior police officer Drakes, and Aleksander Jovanovic (The Lost City of Z) as Russian blueblood Oleg Kraznov.

Angela Griffin (Coronation Street) will play Lisa Cranston, a local reporter who can sniff out headlines long before they happen. Vicki Pepperdine plays Pathologist Broadbent and Susan Lynch plays Angie, the grieving mother of a missing child.

Is there a Wild Bill trailer?

Yes there is! ITV’s Wild Bill trailer gives a sneak peek at what’s to come. It also hints at just how well the new Chief Constable will settle in across the pond—a place he calls a “godforsaken cabbage patch”.


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