Well, it’s the week before Christmas – and a week before we reveal our Top 20 Crime Dramas Of The Year (yes, we’re doing 20 this year) – and in the lead-up to the big day there are treats to be had. Not many, but enough to keep all crime drama fans happy. It’s the finale of Peaky Blinders, as well as a brand-new Maigret and a whole bunch of boxsets via the BBC’s iPlayer. Enjoy!
NB: SPOILERS INSIDE
Right, let’s get back into it. This series has been dark – very dark – and also very watchable and hugely intriguing. The last we saw of Sandra Winckler had been taken prisoner by Geir Janssen – the man who had been kidnapping women, murdering their exes and siring their children while they were in captivity. See, told you it’s been dark.
So, Paul is on a well-deserved holiday, but I say we can still have a bit of good news in his absence. [Ed’s note: he’s back now and raring to go for the Christmas period] Channel 4 has acquired two new Swedish crime series for its world drama section Walter Presents, Before We Die (Innan vi dör) and Rebecka Martinsson. The first one will appear sometime within the first quarter of 2018, for the latter it’s unclear when.
NB: SPOILER-FREE REVIEW
While we all wait for a certain French crime show to return to our screens in a few weeks (Joyeux Noel Engrenages!), there’s another Gallic thriller available on All4/Walter Presents to tide us over. Vanished By The Lake isn’t exactly new – it aired in its native country in 2015 – but it’s now been picked up under the Walter Presents banner as “the French Broadchurch”. Although the two shows share a similar theme in a seaside town ruptured by the disappearance of a child, it’s significantly lighter in tone and at just six episodes is a lot easier to digest too. Think of it as the bonus stocking filler in your festive TV schedule.
I’m now on holiday for a week, but service will be continuing on The Killing Times as normal thanks to Our Andy and some timed posts. Which is just as well because there’s quite a lot happening this week – the end of Witnesses, the start of the final series of The Tunnel (spoilers: it’s good), new French crime drama Vanished By The Lake and ITV’s four-part Bancroft, which is stripped over four days. Enjoy!
NB: SPOILERS INSIDE
After last week’s third and fourth episode – where Sandra Winkler and Catherine Keemer went rogue and formed their own crime drama version of Thelma and Louise – things are now bubbling nicely on Witnesses, although Sandra’s torturing of suspect Martin Souriau left a bitter taste in the mouth. You got the sense that these two women, who had formed an unlikely friendship and bond, were being pushed to the absolute limits: their children and personal lives had been threatened and they were willing to do anything – anything – to resolve their situations and protect their families.
HBO’s Big Little Lies (it was shown on Sky Atlantic in the UK), has been one of the crime dramas of the year so far. The tale of affluent, Californian women in meltdown was a brilliant whodunit with each episode unpeeling the layers of feuds, insecurities and strained family relationships. It boasted a stellar cast (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern among them), and the news is this: it’s coming back for a second series.