A young girl sitting at a table opens a parcel and is overjoyed to find a novel. She shakes its leaves apart expectantly and when she finds there is nothing else within the book she looks stricken. She goes walking through the snowy landscape outside and wades Ophelia-like into a nearby lake. So far, so intriguing; from this pre-credits vignette we take it that the novel is somehow a message to the girl – but what was missing that drove her to suicide?
My favourite sub-genre of crime drama is noir. Aside from the stylistic characteristics (dark streets lit by neon-signs, deep shadows etc), the thematic motifs are the things that really interest me when it comes to crime drama or crime fiction. The BBC’s new three-part series – The Driver – displayed both elements of noir with aplomb, and set them in the (mostly) nighttime world of Manchester.
As predicted here last week, the return of Prodigal Mom Sharon has reduced the life of Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) – which was starting to take an upward trajectory (at least career-wise) – to its default position of disarray in record time. Sharon, the magnificent shambles who somehow birthed our just-promoted Det Sgt, rolls in and, despite all her tearful promises in the past, is still looking three sheets to the wind. She turns up at the police station with another dodgy boyfriend (natch) in tow. She wants Rachel to get him released from custody for pushing weed outside a primary school. Her beau, Rufus (we don’t have the pleasure of meeting him), is a drug-dealing wife-beater according to his rap sheet. Yup, another real catch, Shazza.
Ah yes, autumn. Welcome. Come on in with your dying trees and your crunchy leaves, your harsh sunlight and your attractive shades of deep reds, yellows and mahogany. And your television, of course. Please come in with your television. ITV announced today (here) that a new series of Endeavour is in the works for 2015, but the channel has also revealed today that in a few weeks we’ll have a new, eighth series featuring Morse The Elder’s sidekick, Lewis. And you can tack brand new crime drama Grantchester onto that, too.
There’s much excitement as the PR machine for the second series of The Fall cranks into action. The cogs beginning to turn means one thing – it is imminent. One of the crime drama hits of last year, it pitted the glacial DSI Stella Gibson (an incredible Gillian Anderson) against terrifying serial strangler Paul Spector in a dark, disturbing and gripping cat and mouse chase. For Jamie Dornan – who’s fast becoming a global superstar – has said that playing the psychopath hasn’t done him any favours.
I wanted to wait for this until it was totally, 100 per cently confirmed by HBO because, frankly, I’m fed up of writing about the casting rumour merry-go-round that has accompanied the lead up to series two of True Detective. Now I seriously loved the first series but have not enjoyed the constant casting rumours that seem to pop up every week quite so much. But it seems we now have some real, tangible and what’s more, confirmed news. And it’s to do with the two male leads.