New Channel 4 comedy Year of the Rabbit follows three members of her majesty’s finest as they attempt to protect the East End from corrupt politicians, street gangs and Bulgarian princes.
The unlikely crime fighting trio, Detective Inspector Rabbit (Matt Berry), Sergeant Strauss (Freddie Fox) and Mabel (Susan Wokoma), band together to track down a serial killer who leaves mysterious markings on their victims.
Detective Inspector Rabbit
Played by Matt Berry
Award-winning actor Matt Berry (Toast of London) plays Detective Inspector Rabbit, an ageing crime-stopper with a faulty ticker, who’s forced to work with a new partner, Wilbur Strauss (Freddie Fox).
With his heart stopping at inopportune moments, the hardened detective needs to rely on police officers Strauss and Mabel.
When asked about the inspiration for the show, Berry explained, “myself and Ben Farrell at Objective are both obsessed with The Sweeney and both thought about doing some kind of prequel to that show.”
“I love the warmth between the characters in that which was the inspiration for this.”
Played by Susan Wokoma
Mabel Wisbech played by RTS award-winner Susan Wokoma, aspires to become a female police officer in a sexist world.
Against the wishes of her father, Chief Inspector Wisbech (Alun Armstrong), Mabel pursues her ambitions and joins forces with Rabbit and Sergeant Strauss, in the hopes she can get closer to fulfil her dream.
“She is closer to Spice Girls feminism, one of the lads,” said Wokoma about her character.
“So it’s wanting to be one of the lads, work as hard as them, fight as hard as them, catch as many criminals, beat up as many people.”
“And then she meets Lydia, Keeley Hawes’ character, and that’s the first female I think ever in her life that she’s gone, “Oh my God, she’s completely different and there’s no men around her. What is that?”"
Sergeant Wilbur Strauss
Played by Freddie Fox
Freddie Fox stars as Wilbur Strauss, a fresh-faced police sergeant straight out of Cambridge who’s keen to report for duty and patrol the streets of Victorian London.
With his knowledge of the city limited to just pamphlets, Strauss is ill prepared for the harsh realities of the tough streets and will look to hardened detective Rabbit and Mabel for guidance.
“I think he knows he’s been very closeted by life, his upbringing and an overbearing family and he wants to go and take a bite out of a real piece of life,” commented Fox.
“You get that double joy of it satirising issues of today but through the lens of Victorian London, added Fox about the show.
“Obviously that’s a central sociological issue this moment of our history, so being able to play with the satire of what it was like for women back in Victorian London was great fun.”
Chief Inspector Hugh Wisbech
Played by Alun Armstrong
Alun Armstrong plays Chief Inspector Hugh Wisbech, Rabbit’s boss and the head of the Whitechapel police station.
With the force stretched thin, the chief Inspector looks to the trio for results but clashes horns with his daughter Mabel as she pursues a career in the police force.
Also among the cast is Keeley Hawes as the mysterious Lydia, Jill Halfpenny as Rabbit’s deadly ex, Flora, Sally Phillips plays Princess Violetta of Bulgaria and Paul Kaye as Rabbit’s arch rival, Detective Inspector Tanner.
Year of the Rabbit starts on Monday 10th June at 10.00pm on Channel 4.