As temperatures soar across the country this July, BBC One is about to increase the heat further with tense new thriller The Control Room.

The story of Gabe, an ordinary call handler for Strathclyde Ambulance Service, begins when he gets a life-and-death call from a woman who appears to know him.

With Gabe under pressure to work out who she is, he makes a decision which has potentially devastating consequences.

Written by Nick Leather (Mother’s Day, Murdered For Being Different) and produced by the team behind Sherlock and Dracula, The Control Room is a unique suspenseful drama.

“It’s a thriller that’s also a love story and also a relationship drama; the coming of age,” said writer Nick Leather. “We don’t all exist in one genre, we move between these things.”

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Here is everything you need to know about The Control Room...

The Control Room cast

  • Iain De Caestecker – Plays Gabe
  • Joanna Vanderham – Plays Sam
  • Taj Atwal – Plays Leigh
  • Daniel Portman – Plays Anthony
  • Sharon Rooney – Plays Breck
  • Garry Sweeney – Plays Sean
  • Taqi Nazeer – Plays Jat
  • Rona Morison – Plays Danni
  • Conor McLeod – Plays Ross
  • Stuart Bowman – Plays Ian
  • Daniel Cahill – Plays Robbo
Iain De Caestecker as Gabe in The Control Room BBC

Iain De Caestecker – Plays Gabe

“I play Gabe and some people call him Gabo. Gabe is a normal, nice, quite shy and introverted guy. Whilst he’s quite dedicated to his work as a call handler in an ambulance emergency control room, he doesn’t put in much effort in life outside the work. He’s kind of just coasting through, he doesn’t have many or any real meaningful relationships in life.

“He doesn’t have a big social life by choice and as the story progresses, you come to learn he’s quite stuck in the past. There’s some childhood trauma from his past that he’s not quite ready to let go of, so when someone from his past comes back into his life quite suddenly and unexpectedly, he finds himself having to confront demons from his past face on.”

Where have you seen Iain De Caestecker before? Iain played Leopold Fitz/The Doctor in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and has appeared in the films Lost River and Overlord.

Joanna Vanderham – Plays Sam

Joanna Vanderham as Sam in The Control Room BBC

“I play Sam Tolmie in The Control Room. Sam is an incredibly fiery, damaged woman who gets caught up in something much bigger than her.

“To get to play a character as she figures out how to get over something was very exciting. There was also the opportunity to work with Iain De Caestecker. He’s a fantastic actor and working opposite him is a dream.”

Where have you seen Joanna Vanderham before? Joanna has appeared in the TV series One of Us, Warrior and Irvine Welsh drama Crime.

Sharon Rooney – Plays DI Anna Beck

Sharoon Rooney as DI Anna Beck in The Control Room BBC

“I play DI Anna Beck and she is the leading detective investigator on a very interesting crime. There’s nothing typical about this case for her. You never quite know where you stand with her; even when I was playing her, I didn’t know where I stood. That’s what Nick does as a writer; he leaves you little gifts and little clues about your character.”

Where have you seen Sharon Rooney before? Sharon has appeared in TV dramas No Offence, Finding Alice and The Teacher.

Taj Atwal – Plays Leigh

Taj Atwal as Leigh in The Control Room BBC

“I play the duty manager, Leigh, and as we discover throughout the series, she’s kind of having a relationship with Gabe.

“It’s a thriller set in the paramedic world in a call centre in Scotland. It’s an edge of your seat thriller. You never know what’s happening or what’s going to happen. There are so many revelations as the series progresses.”

Where have you seen Taj Atwal before? Taj has appeared in drama series In the Club and The Syndicate.

Daniel Portman – Plays Anthony Hardison

Daniel Portman in The Control Room BBC

“He is the supervisor in the control room. He is the second in command; he looks over the call handlers and is there for assistance when they need it. But you’re never really sure where he’s coming from or what his motivations are.

“He’s a confident, dominating presence. I imagine him as someone who was probably a bit of a bully when he was younger and someone who is willing to do what it takes to get ahead.”

Where have you seen Daniel Portman before? Daniel is best known for playing Podrick Payne in Game of Thrones.

The Control Room explained

The Control Room artwork BBC

“The Control Room is about Gabe, a call handler in an ambulance control room and an everyday hero. Every few minutes, he deals with matters of life and death. And then one day, he takes one call and realises that the life on the line is actually his own,” says writer Nick Leather.

His inspiration for the drama was an emergency call he had to make for his child.

“One morning, I went in to wake my daughter up and I couldn’t; she was just floppy. We called 999 and in that desperate few minutes, I realised sort of how profoundly the person on the other end of the line can help you and affect you,” he said.

“Their manner is so important and its quite an intense relationship for a few minutes. Everything was ok in the end but then the next time I sat down and tried to come up with a story, I wrote two things at the top; one was call room handler and caller.

“I then put a circle around it and tried to think of the way the relationship between those two people would be and a scene that involved them both.”

When does The Control Room start?

The Control Room airs on BBC One from Sunday to Tuesday 17-19 July.

Watch it all on BBC iPlayer from July 17.

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