Gangs Of London team defend violence in Sky drama

The team behind hit crime drama Gangs Of London have defended the portrayal of violence in the show, saying it is crucial to the narrative.

The series tells the story of the power struggles of international gangs in the capital and the sudden power vacuum that is created when the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated.

It was created by Gareth Evans, the director of Indonesian action thriller The Raid, which is also famous for its fight scenes.

He told the Edinburgh Television Festival: “It’s individual tastes, we all have a moral barometer.

“I think if it’s not for them, it’s not for them, but there are lots of buttons on the remote control and you can always change channel. If you’re not into it, you’re not into it, and that has always been my approach.

“If I tried to make something that would appeal to everyone, it would appeal to no-one. I can’t hedge my bets to make sure it doesn’t bump for someone.”

Star Sope Dirisu, who plays Elliot Finch in the series, said: “Nothing is gratuitous, and anything that you think is the worst thing you’ve ever seen, you either don’t see or you don’t see for very long, so, whilst it is violent, undoubtedly, it’s also tasteful and it all progresses the narrative.

“I understand that for some people it might not ring with them but I think if they are going to dismiss the series because they think it’s too violent, or they have heard it’s too violent, then they are doing themselves a disservice because the series offers so much more.

“Yes, the violence is integral and intertwined in the fabric of the production but it is not all it’s about and so they would be missing out on a lot more if they decided it was too violent because someone told them that it was.”

Evans also explained the decision to have many characters in the series speaking in their native language, saying: “We have come a long way since the ’80s and me watching videos of Hong Kong cinemas dubbed.

“There has been a push for accurate representation that includes people speaking in their mother tongue.

“I wanted the characters when they are alone together, they would talk in their mother tongue, and I don’t think subtitles are a turn-off anymore, the audience now are more open to that kind of approach.”

Executive producer Thomas Benski said: “It’s also the reality of London, the number of languages that are spoken in the city.

“We wanted to be truthful with that reality; the diversity of our characters, of ethnicities and languages, reflects the diversity of London and gives those characters a real dimension. It was important to feel very grounded in truth.”