Here’s What It’s Like to Come Back From the Dead (Kind Of)

Here’s What It’s Like to Come Back From the Dead (Kind Of)
Stephen Graham and Daniel Mays star in Code 404, exploring what it's like to come back from the dead as a robocop.

Surely all of us, at one time or another, have wondered, “what would it be like to come back from the dead as a robocop?” No? Well anyway, Stan has answer that question with Code 404.

The series sees cop John Major (played by Daniel Mays) brought back from the dead, part AI and full of glitches. With the help of his partner (played by Stephen Graham), his wife and a not-so-great scientist, Major must fight to stay alive and track down his killer.

What better way to find out what it would be like to play a robocop than asking Daniel Mays himself? So here goes…

What would do if you came back as a robo-cop?

Go ‘round saying “You have 20 seconds to comply!” I’ve no idea! I’d love X-Ray vision or something like that! Reading peoples thoughts! Quite honestly, I’d hate to come back anything like DI John Major because his wiring is so awful. He’s a walking, talking disaster at times as the program is a prototype, so not completely the finished article. Also, if I was part robot that would have meant that I was killed somewhere along the line, right? Call me old fashioned, but I don’t really like the sound of that!

Did the tech in Code 404 make you ask any wild questions?

The thing I love about the show is that it’s set in the near future, so the tech is much more advanced than today and yet we still identify it as our world. I think mostly it made me question how reliant we’ll be on Artificial Intelligence in the future. I mean how important are our mobile phones becoming, for example. There’s an app for everything, right? Where will it end?

Why do you think we all love a bumbling British cop?

You can’t help but love John Major as his heart is in the right place. We as the audience are always rooting for him, I think. But he certainly is a bumbling buffoon who continuously makes the wrong decisions. He was the best cop in the unit with the best arrest record, the star of SIU if you like. Now unfortunately, he’s kicking down the wrong doors, arresting the wrong people, but if anything, his already inflated ego has got even bigger! He certainly is a joy to play. The comedy is very slapstick at times and hopefully that’s something the audience enjoys watching. We always described Code 404 as the love child of RoboCop and Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

What attracted you to the role in Code 404 in the first place?

I thought the scripts were hilarious, proper laugh out loud material with cracking one-liners. I adored the characters, the premise, the love triangle with Major, my wife Kelly and Roy, the conspiracy theory and the overall ambition of the piece. And, of course, at its heart was a classic straight-man funny-man double act. I’m also known for playing intensely dramatic roles here in the UK, so Code 404 gave me an opportunity to play in the comedy world, which I really relished.

Can you tell us anything about Season 2?

Season 2 is much of the same but bigger, funnier with even greater ambition behind it. We’re introducing some new characters, but also adding to the winning formula of Season 1. The great thing about getting a second run at it is that we’re more confident with the characters and there’s an added comfort in the fact that we now have a hard-core fanbase created via Season 1. We’re also ad-libbing much more in the scenes which always keeps it fresh and alive.

You can watch Season 1 of Code 404 on Stan now.

Log in to comment on this story!