Last week I wrote a news story that tried to tie up the casting details for the second series of HBO’s True Detective. The whole casting rumour merry-go-round had merrily spun for what seemed like an eternity, and although last week’s news was actually bang-on, it wasn’t actually fully confirmed. Until now.
As the return from the dead of Oswald Cobblepot kicks off this week’s episode, Fish Mooney’s cry of ‘He’s ALIVE!?’ reminds us irresistibly of Brian Blessed’s utterance in Flash Gordon. Cobblepot, you’ll recall, was supposed to have been offed by Jim Gordon, who spared him in an act of compassion he may live to regret. Cobblepot has returned to Gotham and wormed his way into the confidence of gangster Maroni, and now Gordon has to explain to mob boss Falcone (as well as to his partner Bullock) why ‘Penguin’ isn’t floating face-down in the Hudson.
Det Supt Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is feeling her ice-cool façade slipping. And her still-haughty demeanour is doing nothing to dissuade us from the suspicion that she is slowly unravelling in her duel with the killer who revels in hiding in plain sight. In fact, for someone who one would assume has a fairly sedentary 9-5 profession – that of a bereavement counsellor – Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) really gets around. Obviously his workload isn’t as taxing as one would expect in the sectarian pressure cooker that is Belfast and he seems to have no supervisor on his back. Now back in the city but still apart from his wife Sally (Bronagh Waugh) and their children, he sets about tracking down his next victim.
It was a busy old day over at the Beeb yesterday (Wednesday 18th November). Not only did DG Tony Hall and Controller Of Drama Ben Stephenson get everyone into a lather by announcing two new episodes of Luther, they also announced more new crime drama for 2015. This announcement included news about a second series of one of the best crime dramas of 2013 – Jane Campions’s extraordinary, hypnotic, dream-like Top Of The Lake. Could be a good ‘un, 2015.
One of the best loved British detective dramas was in the news yesterday. Not only was it revealed that Luther was to get US version, but yesterday evening (Wednesday 19th November), the BBC’s DG, Tony Hall, and Controller Of Drama, Ben Stephenson, announced at an industry powwow that the British versions was to get a two-part finale, likely to be broadcast at the end of next year. Hold onto your hats!
Spotters of Conan Doyle references will have no problems with the massive clues dished out early on in this episode, The Five Orange Pipz. The pointers are all towards The Five Orange Pips, in which the drama revolves around sinister messages and a locked trunk full of incriminating papers from America, and Holmes untypically loses a client and fails to get his man. Elementary’s take on the tale starts off with two murders, in each case the victim having received five orange beads – children’s playthings called Pipz – in the post.
Editor’s note: We’ve got Chris onboard covering Elementary, but due to an, ahem, administrative error, his review of last week’s opening episode didn’t go up. So here it is, soon to be followed by his look at episode two. As you were.
Ahhh, Elementary. Sometimes unfairly dismissed as ‘that Yank attempt to do a Sherlock’, I’d argue that Elementary is a more successful attempt to update Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character than is the BBC’s quirky effort.