Finding 25 New TV ‘Faces' Every Week
New Zealand TV WeeklyOctober 9, 1967
Z Cars is a programme with an insatiable appetite for actors. Each week producer David E. Rose has to find an average of 25 new faces to join the regulars of the Newtown police force.
By the time that Z Cars reached its 100th programme nearly 1,000 actors and actresses had appeared in speaking parts on the programme, nearly 300 of them more than once. That's over 10 percent of the mem- bership of British Equity.
Each week makes the casting
search just that much harder.
Youngster are easily come by, and
so too are old people. But the num-
ber of good middle-aged character
actors who are not too well-known
for the show, are scarce and getting
scarcer, says Elwyn Jones, who
brought the show to the screen.
But the search for new faces has
In a semi-documentary
like Z Cars, freshness is of prime
importance, says David Rose.
Each week We must have fresh
faces, fresh performances, fresh
Characters in this programme are
always there for a specific purpose.
Our regular characters don't' just
appear every Week and go through
their lines. We try for a certain fresh-
ness of human behaviour.
Rose endeavours to find his new
faces in the North of England if he
We start from Lancashire
first - and a high percentage of our
actors come from there. I visit Manchester frequently to audition new
people for the programme.
Actors are also recruited from
London, but they must, as Elwyn
Jones says, be capable of producing a Northern accent.
Just how well they succeed was
summed up recently by the London
Daily Mirror critic, Richard
Seear, who said:
This is where
the series excels - by picking the
right characters, putting the right
Words in their mouths, and photographing them with imagination....