Review: The Interceptor (S1 E8/8), Wednesday 29th July, BBC1

Programme Name: The Interceptor - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 8) - Picture Shows:  Ash (OT FAGBENLE) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

With UNIT’s target finally identified as the looming Roach (Trevor Eve), The Interceptor gears up for its finale. Can it get any more ridiculous and implausible on its last lap? While there’s no improvement in the dialogue, which is as clunky and clichéd as ever, there are some twisty developments in the plot, which takes on Shakespearean overtones. As Ash and Tommy stake out Roach, Casby’s doing his Iago act, sowing internal dissent in Roach’s crew.

Ash plants a bug in Roach’s office and presciently doctors his diary to show a meeting with a ‘Charlie North’, but Casby’s OCD uncovers the bug.

Ash’s father-in-law Ralph gives him some advice on catching criminals, quoting Shakespeare (King Lear, Act 4 Scene 2) – “Humanity must perforce prey upon itself like monsters of the deep”, but it’s Martin who gets the deep six as Roach sets a trap, planting a bomb in an incoming lorryload..

The team follows the evidence from the bug and intercepts the lorry coming into Folkestone (in real life they’d be able to keep up with it on foot at the moment), but it’s rigged to explode, Tommy freezes, and Martin gets the chop. A triumphant Roach thinks he’s blown up a rival gang.

Ash foments conflict in the gang by setting Docker against Casby, but Roach has swallowed Casby’s lies and it’s Docker who gets stabbed by Roach (who, we note, has a picture of himself on his desk – or is that Trevor Eve?)

Meanwhile Stannard confronts Cartwright and tells him that UNIT is having the plug pulled – literally, as men come in to disconnect the phones.

When the real shipment comes in, with Docker dead, and Roach innocently enjoying a barbecue in Sexy Beast mode, Ash concentrates on Casby, who’s in charge of distributing the drugs. Holding Casby at gunpoint, Ash steals the shipment, phones Roach as ‘Charlie North’ and demands a meeting.

In an unlikely development, UNIT gets its phones cut off just as Ash is about to reveal his location; so Roach arrives at Ash’s old school to find him alone, about to incinerate the shipment. A struggle ensues, Ash gets cut, but the team turns up just in time to save Ash and record Roach confessing all.

After gloating over the imprisoned Roach, sticking two fingers up at Stannard and hosting a triumphant press conference, the reinstated team attends Martin’s funeral. Kim (the slag) goes off with the slimy Connor again, and Ash goes back to Lorna, but finds her (we think) in flagrante with her neighbour.

Though the series clawed back some veracity towards the end, it suffered from endless plot implausibilities, godawful dialogue, mumbled delivery, and Trevor Eve’s performance resembling one of Harry Enfield’s Self-Righteous Brothers (“If I met that Trevor Eve, you know what I’d say? I’d say Oi! Eve! Naaaaaaaah!”).

Oddly enough, one of the more compelling characters was Docker, whose loyalty almost provided a moral centre to the plot. Gary Beadle also managed better than most to deliver a compelling dramatic performance with the burden of the dialogue.

With Casby being set up as the potential protagonist of a second season, we confidently predict the return of The Interceptor, whether anyone wants it or not. It ticks too many boxes for the BBC to send it to an early grave.

Deborah Shrewsbury

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

For our episode six review go here

For our episode seven review go here

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