Friday Forum: Matt Devlin - Fill In the Blanks! - Jamie Bamber News
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Friday Forum: Matt Devlin - Fill In the Blanks!

This week, we want to talk backstories - namely, Matt Devlin's, in all its sketchy glory. Jamie definitely brings a lot of charisma and gravitas to every episode of L&O:UK, as do all the cast, despite the show's strict adherence to the L&O formula: procedural structure with emphasis on the finer details of the guest stars' characters backgrounds every week, not on the stars of the show. We do know some things about Matt, thanks to the series press notes and little bits and pieces that tumble out during dialogue, particularly his scenes with Ronnie, but there's still a lot left to discover. And we'll likely end up learning more - if you look at the Wikipedia page for Mike Logan (Chris Noth's character in the original show, who Matt is partially based on), a lot of his background bubbled up to the surface over the years. Then again, he was on and off various L&O series for a long time, and the U.S. seasons have three times more episode as the U.K. ones so there's a lot more opportunity there to flesh out each main characters' role in the process of solving the murder-of-the-week. Suffice to say, ultimately, it's unlikely Matt will get as detailed a back story as Lee Adama, or most major characters on other series.

So here's where you come in. And I'm not ashamed to admit I'm being slightly self-serving in this, because it's my birthday, and I want a present. ;) Write me Matty's back story! While watching the show, this kind of stuff has to have crossed all our minds, right? For those who write fanfic the lack of backstory is practically a gift; the less canon you have to work with, the more creative you can be!  But to the point - I don't mean write an entire personnel file (Though the graphic implies that... sorry, I just thought it looked good, heh.) You can make it as detailed or as piecemeal as you like. If you each want to throw out one fact at a time and build off of that, go for it. It can be basic CV (Siblings names & how many? School background? First love?) or slightly off kilter (Goofy nicknames at police academy? Embarrassing cock-up on his first day as a PC?)... all good. So please step up, and don't be shy.

Did I mention it's my birthday? ;) 
(If you are absolutely devoid of ideas, though that would make me *sadface*, I will accept picspam as well.)


25 comments or Leave a comment
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: July 16th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Happy birthday my dear.

Okay I'll have a go at this.

Full Name:- Matthew Peter Christopher Devlin

Place of Birth:- Kilburn North London

Siblings:- sisters Kate and Siobhan and brothers Mark and Michael

How's that for starters?
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 16th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I love that you gave him two middle names. In the notes I jotted down (for the fic I'll probably never get 'round to writing), he has two middle names too. ;)

What else, what else!? ;)
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: July 16th, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I've started to write a Matt fanfic about his family and one day will get round to finishing it.
wisteria_ From: wisteria_ Date: July 16th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Happy birthday!

I actually wrote a L&O:UK crossover fic a few months ago, with a bit of backstory though not very in-depth. It's Kara/Matt, so it might not be your cuppa, but I thought I'd throw it out there. :)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 16th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Thanks for the rec! I like the bit about the girl he was sleeping with who was a witness. (Bad bad idea, but he enjoyed it at the time. XD)

My fic idea involves a woman he really, really shouldn't get involved with, too. (there's something appealing about that particular moral quandry, for someone like Matt who is so thoroughly dedicated to his work, to put him in that position... ev0l and delightful. ;))
skieswideopen From: skieswideopen Date: July 16th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I love this idea! When I have more time, I may come back to it. In the meantime, have a comment fic rec. :D
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 17th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Please do. And quite a nice little ficlet. :)
kaitlia777 From: kaitlia777 Date: July 16th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link Me)


Five Glimpses into the Life of Matthew Patrick Hubert Devlin

1. As the second youngest of seven siblings (and thank God, Shannon (Nonnie) had come along and saved him from being the eternal baby of the family), five of whom were boys, Matt Devlin had learned young that you had to be scrappy to survive. Not that he thought Pete, Andy, Johnny or Tommy would actually kill him (Mary, the oldest, or his Mam would let them have it if they actually hurt him), but anyone with a passel of siblings knew the value of a sharp little elbow and big, innocent eyes.
Not that Mam was ever fooled by the innocent look, but it worked on people outside the home. And who would think little Mattie (always small for his age) was the brains behind a significant amount of the innocent mischief the Devlin boys got into. But, unlike a few of his brothers, he was bright enough to know where the line between dumb ass kid and juvenile delinquent lay and never crossed it.
2. When he was 12, tired of the pretty boy taunts at school and on the pitch, Matt convinced Johnny to break his nose, in hopes of messing up his face a bit. The resulting pain and only temporary roughening of his looks (as well as the swatting Mam had administered when she got the truth out of Johnny) had not been worth it and Matt then decided it was better to simply earn a reputation as someone not to be messed with.
Hell, he already knew how to take and throw a punch.
3. Aiya Nagara had been his first love. They’d met at orientation on their fist day at University, both taking core courses in general studies, as they’d been unsure what direction they wanted to hear in life. While most of their friends went trough relationships like tissues, they remained together well into their second year. Though both very young, Matt loved her with his whole and, just before the Christmas holiday, bought a small engagement ring.
The ring, in it’s little velvet box sat in his dresser to this day. A man, strung out on a nasty cocktail of drugs had stabbed her in the neck as she walked home from the library and the paramedics hadn’t reached her in time.
He knew he wouldn’t be able to prevent such a thing from happening again, but as a police officer, the idea that he might be able to save even one was enough.
Still, every month, he put a lily on her headstone.
4. At the academy, the ‘pretty boy’ taunts had reared their ironically ugly heads again, as had the questions about his sexuality, as he didn’t date much. Some wounds were still fresh. It was Nonnie who came up with a solution and proceeded to have a seemingly endless stream of her lovely young friends show up to visit him where other cadets could see them. Because of his devious baby sister he earned a reputation a as player, which earned him the respect of his fellow cadets. Sometimes he had to take a step back, look at his own gender and just shake his head, cause the taunts didn’t end, but were now tinged with some respect and a hint of resentment.
5. Hazing the rookie. It seemed to be a tradition that couldn’t be ignored but, on his first day on the job, he’d been a bit to excited to remember this fact of life. When his training officer, Stigers, had sent him running into a bar (having seen one of the miscreants from the shift briefing enter the building), Matt had barreled into the place…smack into the middle of a hen party. A hen party that had apparently ordered a copper themed stripper.
He’d practically had to fight his way out of the bar, and emerged, ruffled, red faced and embarrassed to find
Stigers howling with laughter, having been joined by several other officers. One of whom had a camera.
It had been a few years since he’d seen one of those snap shots, but he had the lingering fear that one could pop up at any time.

Happy Birthday!!

Hope this was what you were looking for!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 17th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC) (Link Me)


Holy crap - YOU FTW!!!! :D

I love, love this. (And you have far more courage than I to give him a tragically-killed girlfriend... angstangstangst! :( I had a bit of tragedy lined up, too... but not that intense.)

I guess I should post something at some point. Let me whack it into shape first. :P
kaitlia777 From: kaitlia777 Date: July 17th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC) (Link Me)


Thank you!!

LOL, yes, angst! For some reason, the idea struck me and I had to write it.

Oooh, can't wait to see what you've written. There's not nearly enough Law & Order UK fic out there.

Good luck with your fic!!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 17th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) (Link Me)


Thanks, I'm gonna need it! (Terrible double-edged-sword of being unemployed - technically I have all the time in the world to write, but I really don't, I'm constantly out there trying to find a work!)

This was cobbled together from all the notes I jotted down "for later," if I ever do get around to writing it. ;)

Matthew Connor Nathaniel Devlin is the second of four children born to Robert and Kathleen Devlin of Kilburn, northwest London. He has one older brother, Robert Jr. (Bob); one younger brother, Paul; and one baby sister, Maria, whom he was very protective of growing up and is closest with in adulthood. His father, a Northern Irish former railway worker who took up amateur boxing and moved to London to (unsuccessfully) chase a professional career, was an alcoholic with a violent temper who lashed out at both his wife and kids on a regular basis; he finally walked out on them when Matt was ten, and he hears of his father once in a blue moon but never sees him (of his own choice). Kathleen (neé Sweeney, also of Irish stock and raised in Portsmouth) struggled by often juggling two jobs to raise the kids, though she had the help of friends and his maternal grandparents. She died of breast cancer when he was 26; she never remarried, though Matt had always hoped she would.
Matt rebelled quite a bit in his early adolescence, in the period following his father’s abandonment: himself, his brothers and others from their school frequently got into punch-ups with kids from the public secondary nearby, occasionally talking back to their teachers and getting sent up to the headmaster. As his GCSE’s grew near, though, he began to clean up his act; always the most intuitive and caring son, he began to regret the strain he put on their mother, and as the Devlin boys had developed reputations as troublemakers he wanted to distinguish himself. (He’d still rarely give throwing a punch a second thought, of course, if someone was hassling his sister.) He pulled his grades around quickly, and though he’d served as an altar boy and was dutiful about attending mass, he was far less interested in religious studies than history, science and sports, which he excelled at. (In particular, football and wrestling, the latter of which he was all-city champion in his weight division.) Though not particularly fond of maths, he had a knack for problem solving and enjoyed attempting to decipher any puzzle or mystery. (He stopped just shy of applying his analytical gifts to the chess club, though he was lobbied to join. Too bloody slow.)

(con't in next comment)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 17th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC) (Link Me)



An added benefit of his sports involvement was the muscle weight he gradually put on since secondary school, during which he went from girls finding him “cute” and wanting to confide in him to being outright chased, and he quickly learned to navigate the surge of female attention using his gift for charm. He lost his virginity at 17 to a beautiful brunette named Samantha Bonner, two years his senior; this would long remain a sore spot for his brother Bob, who had been wooing her for years. Though he scarcely lacked for attractive company, Matt’s new-found ambition and dedication to his studies (and later to career) would frequently stymie his attempts at long-term romance. Though there were a few who came close, among them Grace Obasanjo, a gorgeous Nigerian exchange student he read history with at uni (among other things they got up to); and much later, Rebecca Poole (aka Bex), a tough-as-nails, rather lovely fellow PC in his constabulary with whom he had a long-term fling on the down-low, until their respective competitive streaks gradually drove them apart.
He decided to join the police force at 20, while a scholarship at City University and deciding he needed a significantly larger challenge than being a scholar or teacher. Truthfully, he had dreamed of being a cop through most of his childhood… though briefly during primary school, he wanted to be prime minister. A key moment in his police aspirations came during one of the altercations when the police were called to the Devlin home: His father, drunk, was carted off to jail while his mother was brought to casualty with a dislocated elbow. A kind constable pulled seven-year-old Matt, in his pyjamas, aside and knelt down next to him, telling him “Remember, son… where you come from is only part of what makes you who you are.” When Matt made PC, even though he had no reason to access his father’s record, he sweet-talked a clerk with a crush into helping him find out the names of the arresting officers that night, hoping to thank him for the advice that drove him to pursue his dream. He was crushed to discover that the PC in question , Roger Clough, was killed four years earlier, in a car crash while chasing a stolen vehicle suspect. He did track down Clough’s partner that night, Brian Pinnock, who as it turned out had a son, Chris, working in the Met at CID. He and Matt became very good mates, and it was Chris’s feedback along with high marks from his superiors that confirmed Matt’s desire to pursue a detective’s badge.

I know. Too much detail. I think writing CV's is almost as fun as writing actual fic. XD
kaitlia777 From: kaitlia777 Date: July 17th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link Me)


Love the details in this and how you incorporated the little hints we've been given on the show.

Yes, writing a character's backstory can be as fun as real's all about details, which I love!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 17th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link Me)


Yeah, I mean what little canon there is, I prefer to work it in. Including deleted scene stuff. I'm nothing if not a trainspotter. ;)

(Although I had a recent conversation where we were trying to figure out if they mentioned Matt attending university in the show - I thought for sure they did, but now I can't find it so I'm wondering if I imagined that or not. :P )
kaitlia777 From: kaitlia777 Date: July 16th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)


Just a little additional fact...

I chose Hubert for his confirmation name because I can see a teenage boy looking through the list of saints and thinking, "The saint of mad dogs! Cool!"

Edited at 2010-07-16 10:29 pm (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 17th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC) (Link Me)

Re: Note

LOL. You know, I should probably give his confirmation name a little more thought in my version, too... ;)
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: July 18th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm loving all the fanfic ladies.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: July 18th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Someday I'll commence writing the actual plot. I hope. XD
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: July 19th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Come on. If I can write fanfic, anyone can.LOL
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 22nd, 2010 08:16 am (UTC) (Link Me)
This is probably not the right place to ask, but I've read several articles in France that mention Jamie Bamber joining a french feature film, anyone know anything about this?
I wondered if it was a mistake or I misread or something... the movie is called "La pere de ma fille".
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 22nd, 2010 08:43 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Sorry I meant *Le* pere de ma fille obviously!
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 22nd, 2010 11:15 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Heh. Not obviously, since my high school french is very rusty. ;)

Just doing a quick Google search I was able to find it's a short shoot. Since Jamie is bilingual, perhaps the film needs an actor who can speak both English and French well? Though I know Kristen Scott Thomas has done several French films. I'll see if I can find out any more information. Thanks for the tip!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 22nd, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
You're welcome!
Yeah I'm guessing he'd play an English guy in France or something (his french is pretty good but I'm not sure he could get away with playing a local Parisian) there have been alot of french films with bits in other languages lately. I know Andrew Lincoln did one and Justin Bartha...
But if it's really happening I can't wait to hear Jamie speaking some french too!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 22nd, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh and btw I've read they're starting to shoot in the next days in Aquitaine and wil shoot through to October.
(Sorry for the multiple posts!)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 22nd, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Not a problem! The information is appreciated. :)

The little news I was able to find put shooting from the beginning of August through the end of September. If filming goes into October, there may be a conflict with Law & Order: UK. Though, still waiting on ITV to make an announcement on the series future. :/ And Jamie's part could be completed before filming on the movie is.
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