The makers of Elementary are fixated on the idea that Holmes is trying to live without sleep. Even if he could, which isn’t possible for any human, would he be daft enough to try to impose this ruinous lifestyle on Watson? Yet we open this episode with the results of his experiments with arc-lamps – a brownstone blacked out by a blown electrical panel.
Much loved in Scandinavia (never understood that one), Midsomer Murders is a doughty, hardy perennial with storylines that seem to be getting dafter and dafter as the series trundle by. Set in the bucolic environs of Midsomer, the village has become a byword and joke for murder. It’s surprising that there are any residents left after the mayhem that has ensued for almost 20 years. But let’s not forget that the series is responsible for my favourite death in television, when Martine McCutcheon was killed by a giant piece of cheese. Today ITV announced that it’ll be back for more episodes, although the channel couldn’t confirm that cheese would be a part them.
ITV has been bashing out the crime dramas like no one’s business during the past few years. With Vera currently airing, and the recent successes of Broadchurch and Code Of A Killer, as well as Safe House starting tomorrow night, the production line continues with the announcement that two crime dramas have been recommissioned, both at the opposite ends of their life. Lewis is to return for a ninth series, while Prey is back for a second.
In last week’s first episode of this intriguing and excellent two-parter, we saw David Threlfall’s DCI David Baker and his team investigate the double murder of two teenage girls in rural Leicestershire. Running out of leads (and funds), he joined forces with leading geneticist Alec Jeffreys at the local university, who had been undertaking his own investigation – to come up with a way to unlock the mysteries of DNA. When Jeffreys had cracked the code and invented genetic fingerprinting, Baker went to him for help. Two men on two obsessive quests were now joined together. But having DNA profiling available to them was one thing, how to use it to catch a killer was another thing entirely, especially as Jeffreys’ techniques had eliminated a sure-fire suspect.
In Gotham City, a trip to the circus can culminate in bloodshed and terror; a sea voyage can lead to captivity and torture; and a visit to a nightclub can end in violence and murder. Who’d be crazy enough to live there? While Fish Mooney is consolidating her hold on the captive rabble in her mysterious dungeon, Penguin is leading her old club to ruin, by putting on his mad old mum as the big attraction. Stabbing customers who complain isn’t going to improve the situation, which is why Victor Szazz brings in Butch Gilzean as a minder; Butch has been pretty much broken by Szazz’s torture, but still terrifies Penguin. (There are some lovely shots using the club’s lighting; sometimes you have to re-watch Gotham just to enjoy the skilful way it’s made).
If there is one thing we have learned over four series, it is that Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope (the sublime Brenda Blethyn) doesn’t really ‘do’ change – and she’s seeing a fair bit of that, even thus far into the fifth. She has a notoriously short temper, and it does take new personnel a while to understand her and take evasive action in the face of her, er, forthright manner.
Oh exciting times crime drama fans. Not only was this a week that a teaser trailer AND release date for the second series of True Detective were revealed, but last night Danish state broadcaster DK DR premiered a new 40-second trailer for the third season of The Bridge. That means the top two series in our end of year poll are back (have a look at the poll here), and both (perhaps) back this year. But before you ask, there’s no Martin Rohde. Take a look after the jump…