Review: The Interceptor (S1 E6/8), Wednesday 15th July, BBC1

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Programme Name: The Interceptor - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 6) - Picture Shows:  Alex (RALF LITTLE) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

We have discovered a way to make The Interceptor more bearable. Rather than think of it as a hard-hitting, grown-up drama series (come on, no one will ever swallow that), just view it as a live-action version of The Powerpuff Girls, but with less gravitas, obvs. Imagine that instead of central London, it is all set in Townsville, and Ash (O-T Fagbenle) and his pals from Unit are just more butch-looking versions of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup – and their dad – sorry, boss – is Professor Utonium, masquerading as bad-tempered Cartwright (Ewan Stewart), and the violent undertones… well, you can probably see where we’re going with this, although this series isn’t as clever as The Powerpuff Girls, nor is it likely to win TV awards – as the kids’ show did. 

After the fiasco of the Ecstasy operation last week, evil Roach (Trevor Eve) approaches Yorkie, an extremely wanted gunman, to help him with getting together his Costa holiday cache for that sit-down with the Capo di tutti capi – or whatever the ‘Sarf London’ expat crime community calls its Godfather. 

Yorkie (played by the usually reliable Ralph Ineson – Finchy from The Office, as he’s no doubt sick of hearing now) is in a totally different league to the no-hopers Roach has co-opted recently, and what Unit members find out about him really puts the wind up them. But Yorkie represents the best hope the crew has had yet of delving deeper into Roach’s network. And nabbing such a wanted criminal would make a nice peace offering to hand over to Cartwright’s old police adversary Stannard, who is still intent on shutting down the Unit. 

Roach’s lieutenant Docker (Gary Beadle) immediately gets on the wrong side of Yorkie by being chippy when he demands to deal with the t’engineer rather than the oily rag. “I’m not some smack rat doing errands,” he rasps.

Channelling his best Sean Bean growl, our professional Yorkshireman won’t genuflect to Roach, especially after Roach tries an insincerely matey smile and an ingratiating tone: “We are the outlaws.”

 Yeah – since when did Roach ever get his hands dirty? Still, Yorkie is in it for a good payday and is happy with the arsenal supplied to do the job. 

By yet another amazing coincidence the wheels man for the heist plan is Ash’s childhood BFF Alex – a feckless ne’er-do-well played by Ralf Little, another star name holding his nose and taking the money. Alex is a perennial loser, a small-time crook who apparently almost dragged little Ash over to the dark side during their schooldays. 

Not that Ash ever needs much dragging. Not only has he already sent his two rather sweet children to spy on Docker in a shop, he directly flouts the rules of conduct during a boozy evening with Alex.

Ash believes he’s rekindled his bond with Alex and tries to persuade him that if he gets out now and turns informant he’ll be stashed away in a safe house in Perivale. But it is pretty clear (even to Lorna, who is dismayed to hear Alex is back in their lives) that he’s a dead loss and into the gang for far too much money because of his gambling addiction. 

Lorna, though too trusting, is a pretty good judge of character – far better than her husband. She’s always pegged Alex as trouble and she’s proved right. 

Unit, along with police lady Gemmill’s armed officers, stakes out the casino Alex has told Ash is the target. But perfidious Alex and the gang rob the security van before it has delivered the cash to the casino. The police are wrong-footed and the van’s guards are left in a bloody mess on the roadside. 

Fearing Alex has met a similar fate, Ash heads to the gang’s lock-up (alone, natch), where Docker and Yorkie cosh him. Oh, and Alex pops in to explain to his erstwhile pal that he’s decided to shaft him after all – before disappearing with his stash. 

The mad Yorkshireman is left with the task of offing Ash – but he’s obviously seen too many Bond movies in which the villain gets carried away with his own verbosity and forgets he has a perfectly good gun. 

Inevitably, Ash, bleeding and trussed up, nevertheless manages to have the obligatory fistfight with Yorkie – and just as he’s about to get his head stomped, Gemmill’s guys break in and shoot Yorkie dead. Why is Ash only able to whisper, “Don’t shoot – he knows [Roach]” – thereby prolonging our agony for another fortnight? He was yelling his head off moments before. 

Later, alone in hospital, having been deserted by Lorna, Ash answers Yorkie’s mobile – and hears Roach’s voice for the first time. 

Back in Kim’s ailing love-life, not only is she cold-shouldering dishy colleague Martin (Charlie di Melo), she’s finally given her ex, Flying Squad officer Connor (Felix Scott), the boot from her flat. He’s not too bothered; he’s already finished his surveillance for Stannard, and seems hopeful of getting himself out of some kind of career-ending shtook. 

Oh, how this makes you hunger for classy tosh like Luther – come back Idris, and show us how maverick cops should be done.

Deborah Shrewsbury
@shrewdkitty

For our episode one review, go here

For our episode two review, go here

For our episode three review, go here

For our episode four review, go here

For our episode five review, go here

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