The Control Room cast and all you need to know about the thrilling BBC drama

The three-part drama tells the story of an emergency call handler

The Control Room BBC
(Image credit: BBC Pictures)

Fans of a new thriller can't wait for The Control Room to hit TV screens as we look at who is in the cast of the new BBC drama.

If you love BBC dramas like Rules of The Game or Four Lives then you'll want to watch this three-episode series which tells the story of Gabe - an ordinary man who works as an emergency call handler for the Strathclyde Ambulance Service in Glasgow. 

His world is turned upside down when he receives a desperate 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 that threatens to have devastating consequences.

Written by award-winning writer Nick Leather, who's worked on Mother's Day and Murdered For Being Different, this latest production was filmed in Glasgow last year.

Nick revealed how the story was inspired by his own real-life 999 emergency. "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. Their manner is so important and its quite an intense relationship for a few minutes. 

He continued to explain, "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."

Now you know what it's all about, it's time to look at who's in the cast... 

The Control Room BBC cast

The Control Room cast includes Iain De Caestecker (Gabe), Joanna Vanderham (Sam), Line of Duty's Taj Atwal (Leigh), Game Of Thrones' Daniel Portman (Anthony), Sharon Rooney (Breck), Garry Sweeney (Sean), Taqi Nazeer (Jat), Rona Morison (Danni), Conor McLeod (Ross) Bodyguard's Stuart Bowman (Ian) and Daniel Cahill (Robbo).

Speaking about his lead role, Iain, (star of Us, Roadkill and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D) said, "I would say it’s one of the most exciting scripts I’ve ever read and it was a page turner from start to finish. I just had to know how it ended."

He praised the work of writer Nick at keeping viewers in suspense. "Nick [Leather] has a way of using really relatable and universal themes and emotions. The characters are not two dimensional. What I really like about The Control Room is that it’s a mish mash between different genres. You have the obvious thriller side of it with lots of plot twists and cliff-hangers at every corner. On the other hand, it could be described as a love story about enduring love and how far a person might go to protect somebody or someone that they love." 

He added, "There’s also a coming of age quality to it as well. Nick is a master writer of suspense and it leaves you on the edge of your seat. It’s nail biting but it has a more sensitive side as well."

Working opposite Iain is Joanna Vanderham (star of Dancing on the Edge, The Go-Between, Man In An Orange Shirt), who believes viewers should watch the show for its uniqueness. She explained, "It’s genuinely like nothing you’ve seen before. Nick’s script is so fast paced; there’s so much plot, it’s so character driven and it’s the type of show where you think how this could really happen to anyone and people will question what they would have done in that situation. I think people will love these characters, want to spend time with them and watch them come through the other side of this hugely transformative couple of days."

The Control room episodes explained

  • Episode One - Call handler Gabe (Iain De Caestecker) receives a desperate call from a woman who appears to know him. Under pressure to work out who she is, he makes a decision that may have devastating consequences.
  • Episode Two - As Gabe (Iain De Caestecker) finds himself forced into further criminal behaviour, he realises that if he’s to escape the nightmare of his present, he will have to confront his past.
  • Episode Three - With both the police and criminals closing in, Gabe (Iain De Caestecker) realises that his life is now truly on the line as past and present collide at the Christmas tree farm.

The Control Room start date

The Control Room three-part drama starts on Sunday 17th July to Tuesday 19th July at 9pm with one 60 minute episode airing each night. You can also stream it on iPlayer.

Where is it filmed?

The Control Room is filmed in various parts of Scotland including Glasgow, Stirling and a real Christmas tree farm, which has been a delight for two cast members who have local connections.

Iain explained, "We filmed around Glasgow, Stirling, and on a real Christmas tree farm. For the control room we built a set in an old police control room. 

"There’s something about home that you feel a bit more at ease. I’d spent some time before filming in America, which I really loved. Out there there’s more emphasis on being an actor off screen rather than on screen sometimes. Scotland’s a really down to earth place."

Joanna agreed, "Working in Glasgow is the dream - my mum looks after my dog and I see them every weekend! It’s also a lovely opportunity to show how beautiful Scotland is. One night we were filming at the Christmas tree farm and this mist settled. It looked like there were diamonds all over the trees. That felt special. 

"I mean, we were thrown in at the deep end with the weather. We looked like drowned rats some days!"

See more

The Control Room airs from Sunday 17th July to Tuesday 19th July on BBC One at 9pm and is available to stream on iPlayer.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)