Minority Report was one of my favourite films of the Noughties. Not because it had Tom Cruise in it, and not because it was directed by Steven Spielberg. I enjoyed it because it provided an interesting look into the near future, and even though it has only been 12 years since its cinema release, some of the things it showed – personalised adverts etc – have already begun to seep into our every-day existence. That’s the trick of sci-fi, and Phillip K Dick, whose story the movie was based on, did a fantastic job of creating a near future dystopia (some would call the capitalist paradise a utopia) where the technology was believable. But let’s not forget – Minority Report was a futuristic crime drama at its heart. And now Steven Spielberg is revisiting the story to develop a TV series from it.
Since it shamefully ditched the superb Thorne (based on the Mark Billingham’s excellent fictional detective series) Sky1 has been a bit quiet in the crime drama genre. Yes, we’ve had Charlie Brooker’s often laugh-out-loud piss take of procedurals in Touch Of Cloth, but now the channel is giving us something a little more serious and substantial, this time focusing on the amateur sleuth sub-genre with a new one-off to air at Christmas. What’s more, Ashley Jensen has been announced to star.
Absolutely typical. You take a bit of a break from things and you think you’ve chosen your time away from the keyboard wisely because there isn’t much on, and then there’s a glut of new stuff bombing in while you’re on your mini-hiatus. That’ll learn me.
Let’s get to it. BBC4, who has made a name for itself as finest purveyor of foreign language drama, has announced the transmission date for its latest import. And it’s not any old import – it’s a Swedish drama, featuring an amateur sleuth. We’ve not had a Scandinavian drama since The Bridge, and there has been a huge hole ever since for fans of Scandi murder and mayhem. While Crimes Of Passion may not have the darkness of a Killing or a Bridge, it does look like a worthy addition to the Nordic canon. Find out more after the jump.
As regular visitors to this blog will know I’ve been keeping a close eye on Gotham, the Batman prequel that has turned into one of the most anticipated shows of the autumn. It has been gathering interest on a few levels. On one level, it’s exciting comic fans and superhero geeks because of the Batman connection, but I also contend that from what I’ve seen, heard and read, it’s more of a police procedural, with the Batman/Bruce Wayne story simmering away in the background while the real meat on the bone is the development of Jim Gordon (played by Southland’s Ben McKenzie). It looks good and its home US network, Fox, has thrown plenty of cash at it, but there was one question remaining? How were we going to watch it in the UK? The question has now been answered.
If you’re going to have a conversation about the best crime drama of all time, Twin Peaks has to be a part of it. Many will dismiss David Lynch’s cryptic, surreal and amorphous opus as self-indulgent nonsense, but beneath all the layers and the wilful strangeness and the diversions (of which there were many), at its heart it was the story of an investigation into a young woman’s murder. Anything with symbols and/or riddles seems to pick up a core cult audience (see True Detective), and Twin Peaks had many, some relevant, some not, but the show bust out of that cultdom and took the world by storm. And now it’s back. Sort of.
As we all know by now, the second series of True Detective (in terms of plot details and casting speculation) has had more twists and turns than the whole of the first series put together. Rumour has led to counter rumour; the latest casting whispers being quashed almost as soon as they’re circulated around the internet. Now we have more news, and this time there seems to be a bit of momentum behind the items. Oh, and what items. Strap yourselves in for some big news!