Line Of Duty: Lindsay Denton versus Roz Huntley

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I love Line Of Duty. I love Steve Arnott and his chippy little ways; I love Kate Fleming’s calm insouciance; I love Ted Hastings and his paternal, old-fashioned sheriff ways; and, more to the point, I love the fact that writer and director Jed Mercurio has torn up the rule book when it comes to crime drama. He kills people – established characters no less – without too much concern. Big-name actors, too. I love the fact that the characters he allows to stick around are deeply flawed but have so much ambiguity you don’t know whether you’re coming or going with them. Lenny James’ Tony Gates, Keeley Hawes’ Lindsay Denton, Daniel Mays’ Danny Waldron. and not forgetting Craig Parkinson’s Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan. Heck, even the members of AC-12 are hardly heroes in the traditional sense. They all had so much going on with their characters – nuances, depth, emotional entry points. You weren’t sure whether to love them or hate them. So the addition of Thandie Newton – a seriously good actress – and her character DCI Roz Huntley should have been a shoo-in into this esteemed gang of flawed are-they-aren’t-they characters. But with the series finale looming large on the horizon, I’m still waiting for the moment when things click with me with Roz Huntley. As dazzling and as addictive as the show is, I’m not quite there with it this series. Why?

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading

BBC acquires Katrina: American Crime Story

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One the shows we’re really excited about this year is the follow up to The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. Ryan Murphy’s latest dramatisation of true events will focus on Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005, and its catastrophic aftermath. We knew it was going to appear on the US cable network FX later in the year, but now we know that it’ll be the BBC who broadcast it in the UK. Continue reading

Review: Little Boy Blue (S1 E1/4), Monday 24th April, ITV

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And so we come to our post-Broadchurch, Monday-night crime watch. Whereas the final, third series of Broadchurch managed to present a harrowing case of sexual assault with sensitivity and a great deal of procedural realism, almost to the point of documentary style, it has nothing on an actual true story. And this is what Little Boy Blue is – an adapted drama made with the consent of a murdered 11-year-old boy’s family, whose story and tragedy deeply touched and saddened a nation a decade ago. Anything that is based on real-life events makes me nervous (Will it do justice to the victim? Will it do justice to the family of the victim? What is the point of telling the story?), so I approached this with trepidation and a little nervousness.

NB. Spoilers inside Continue reading

Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E5/6), Sunday 24th April, BBC1

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After last week’s shocking cliffhanger (when isn’t there a shocking cliffhanger in Line Of Duty?) we couldn’t wait to see whether our chippy wee fella Steve Arnott continued his recovery, and whether Roz Huntley and her husband Nick’s relationship – Jeremy Kyle will surely come calling after this series – further dissipated. All bubbling up nicely…

NB: Spoilers from the start Continue reading

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 24th – Sunday 30th April)

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(C) World Productions – Photographer: Des Willie/ Aidan Monaghan

There’s a little bit going on this week, not least next Sunday’s no-doubt thrilling finale to series four of Line Of Duty. Elsewhere, Stephen Graham pops up in the dramatised true crime story, Little Boy Blue, which should be harrowing and painful to watch. Everything else? As you were! Continue reading

Borgen actor Mikael Birkkjær joins series four of The Bridge

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The Bridge is currently filming in Sweden and Denmark and it’s very exciting really – we’re starting to get little drips of news filtering through from the set as the show gears up for its New Year’s Day transmission day (in northern Europe and the Nordic regions, at least). The news today is that Danish actor Mikael Birkkjær – who we all know and love from shows like The Killing and Borgen – has joined the cast of series four. Continue reading

Heida Reed takes lead in Icelandic crime drama Stella Blomvist

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Last year we brought you news of an Icelandic series – Stella Blomvist – and the fact that one of the writers on Trapped, Óskar Thór Axelsson, had been drafted in to work on the project. It was an interesting premise: Based on a series of first-person novels penned by the pseudonymous Stella Blomkvist, a hard-nosed lawyer who takes on mysterious murder cases, the series delves into the murky waters of Icelandic politics, recently in the news in the aftermath of the “Panama Papers” scandal. No English-language translation exists, but the makers – who have been touting the series at the French Series Mania TV festival – have announced that there is now a lead. Continue reading