Interview with Eliza Collings (’70s Janice Beattie)

The fifth instalment of the Strike TV series, Troubled Blood, aired with its four episodes on BBC One and iPlayer shortly before Christmas. The series received high praise, specifically directed towards the terrific acting from all the cast members.

Go make yourself a cup of tea, and read our Q&A with Eliza Collings, who portrays the younger Janice Beattie from the 1970s flashback scenes.

Credit: BBC/Bronte Film and TV

Who is your character and how does she fit into the story of Troubled Blood?

I play the younger Janice Beattie, so all of my action takes place back in the 1970s, surrounding the cold case of missing Margot Bamborough. Janice is the district nurse at the doctor’s surgery and initially seems very decent, hard working, and quite unassuming….

How was it working with director Sue Tully?

It was really great working with Sue. She is such an actor-friendly director and a thoroughly nice person too! 

What was it like working with the costars, Abigail Lawrie, etc?

Most of my scenes were with Abi, and she was a real joy to work with. I also worked with Jack Morris and Toni Peach a fair bit, and they were also great fun. There was definitely a good sense of camaraderie on set amongst the cast and crew.

Did you meet present-day Janice actress, Anna Calder-Marshall?

Sue Tully made sure that Anna Calder-Marshall and I could meet before filming started to talk through the character of Janice in detail, which was an invaluable process. Anna was really lovely and very collaborative.

Anna Calder-Marshall (left) as present-day Janice (Credit: BBC/Bronte Film and TV)

What was your overall experience like on set, with the crew, etc?

I had a brilliant experience working on the set of Strike — Troubled Blood. As I mentioned earlier, there was a wonderful sense of camaraderie, and every department went out of their way to be supportive to everyone else they were working with. This all contributed to it feeling like a very happy and well- oiled machine!

Eliza as Janice (far left) in Troubled Blood (Credit: BBC/Bronte Film and TV)

Where was the holiday camp scene filmed?

The holiday camp scene was filmed at a real-life holiday camp in Cornwall, about 30-minutes drive from Falmouth. The setting was glorious, with amazing views across the cliffs and out to sea.

Your final scene in the series was incredible. What was that like to film?

Thanks! It was pretty intense (in a good way!) to film, and took a few hours over a few separate days filming to get all the different angles and details shot. It was filmed in a studio set up for the interior shots and on location for the exterior parts. The attention to 1970s detail in all the interiors was remarkable. There was real artistry involved in the design.

Were you a Strike fan before getting the part? Had you read the books?

I had seen all the television series of Strike and loved them, so was really pleased to be cast in this series, obviously! For my sins, I hadn’t read the Strike books, but was quick to rectify that as soon as I was cast as Janice and devoured all 1000+ pages of Troubled Blood post haste! It was a fantastic read.  I had also bought my husband a copy of Cuckoo’s Calling as a birthday present when it first came out as he really enjoys any detective- or spy-type novels. I will get around to reading that too eventually…. It’s about halfway down my mountainous bedside-table reading pile at the moment!


If you haven’t already, see Eliza Collings as Janice Beattie in Strike — Troubled Blood on BBC iPlayer now!

Credit: BBC/Bronte Film and TV