I write this on a Bank Holiday Monday. A really wet and miserable Bank Holiday Monday at the end of an August that has been pretty rubbish weather-wise. This means only one thing – might as well sit in front of the telly and watch loads of crime drama, which, thankfully, shows no sign of abating. There’s a big new American series this week, as well as lots more goodies. Look out for this week’s radio highlights, too – there’s lots of Agatha Christie and a new three-part drama.
- Rectify *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
The cable network AMC, responsible for landmark dramas like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, has set up shop in the UK, thanks to carriage with BT (it’s also available on Sky, via BT. Click here for details of how to get hold of the channel). Aside from plenty of repeats and movies, there’s this – a 22-episode series that has garnered some serious critical acclaim Stateside. It tells the story of Daniel Holden, who is released after nearly 20 years of complete isolation on Death Row. He returns as an outsider to his family, to his community and to the times. Having spent his entire adult life waiting to die, the walls suddenly come crumbling down setting Daniel free in a world he no longer understands. Daniel’s unexpected release throws his families’ small town into disarray, which ripples out to all the people connected to his case – the prosecutor who rode the notoriety to become a State Senator, the Sheriff who pushed the boundaries of the investigation, and the entire town of Paulie that blamed him for killing one of their own.
Tuesday 1st September, 9pm, AMC UK
2. Hannibal *SERIES FINALE*
It’s the last of the series of this bleak, trippy crime drama and what’s more, it might even be the very last if someone pick it up again. For now, we can enjoy (if that’s the right word) Will, Hannibal and Francis Dolarhyde entering into a final showdown. There may be some blood. Just a hunch.
Wednesday 2nd September, 10pm, Sky Living
3. Ripper Street *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
Series three of this (now) Amazon-BBC co-pro is shaping up to be the very best yet, with genuinely emotionally involving storylines and nicely plotted stories. This episode is a corker and something a bit different. The vicious stabbing of local woman Ida Watts results in the exceptionally wealthy wife of a decorated war hero standing before the men of Leman Street charged with murder. Lady Vera Montacute was found beside the corpse, yet it remains possible her only `crime’ was her curiosity. The investigators of H Division – now bolstered by a recovered Reid – are tasked with confirming the culprit before the weight of the authorities bears down upon them.
Friday 4th September, 9pm, BBC1
4. The Trials Of Jimmy Rose*NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
As the tale of a man released from Death Row has to get used to civilian life again sounds with this British drama starring Ray Winstone, who’s out from a lengthy prison stretch trying not to fall back into his old ways. In this episode Jimmy sees a local drug dealer meeting Tony, an old partner in crime whose violent actions led to an increase in his sentence. When he learns that Ellie and Aaron are in trouble because of his actions, Jimmy finds himself forced to consider working with Tony once again.
Sunday 6th September, 9pm, ITV
Here’s another chance to see Chris Brunt’s edege-of-your-seat three-parter, starring John Simm as Detective Sergeant Marcus Farrow who’s wrongly accused of the murders of his wife and son, he seizes the first opportunity to escape. On the run in Manchester, he’s thrown into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse across the city, and as a wanted killer, he has few allies.
Monday 31st August, 9pm, ITV Encore
6. New Tricks *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
With Sasha back, UCOS investigates the death of a talented cricket prodigy, who was the apple of his father’s eye, yet loathed by his on-field team-mates. The death was recorded as misadventure but with new evidence pointing to infighting, over-zealous autograph hunters and extra marital affairs, UCOS are soon bowled over by the list of potential murder suspects.
Tuesday 1st September, 9pm, BBC1
7. Aquarius *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
Hodiak’s efforts to return Emma to the safety of her family seem to have been in vain when Manson sends Sadie, one of his loyal followers, to bring the runaway teen back into the fold. Meanwhile, the murder of a black hairdresser brings Sam back into conflict with the South Central Black Panthers, and when his son Walt returns from a black ops mission with what appears to be proof of the US president’s duplicity, the veteran cop hits the bottle – resulting in another showdown with Charlie at the `spiral staircase house’.
Tuesday 1st September, 9pm, Sky Atlantic
8. Castle *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
Beckett and Castle investigate when an astronaut is murdered during a simulation for a mission to Mars, a private venture funded by an internet billionaire.
Wednesday 2nd September, 9pm, Alibi
9. Prime Suspect
Another chance to see series four. Jane Tennison revisits Southampton Row to investigate a child’s abduction and focuses her inquiries on a known sex offender recently released from custody. Delving into his background, she unwittingly provokes a hostage crisis and finds herself racing against time to avoid a tragedy.
Thursday 3rd September, 10pm, ITV3
10. Agatha Christie’s Poirot
Missing your Agatha Christie fix now Partners In Crime has finished? For the 13th and final series, Poirot finds himself investigating the strange and gruesome murder of an elderly psychiatrist. Elsewhere, the detective’s old friend Ariadne Oliver is being pressed to uncover the truth behind two decade-old deaths. As the pair dig deep for evidence, they soon discover that their separate investigations are linked and join forces to solve the overarching mystery.
Sunday 6th September, 7pm, ITV Encore
OVER ON RADIO…
Agatha Christie Season
Monday 31st August – Friday 4th September, ALSO ON IPLAYER
The Adventures Of The Clapham Cook
A classic Agatha Christie story unearthed from the BBC archives and not heard for over 40 years. Hercule Poirot (formerly chief of the Belgian force, now private detective) would have preferred to spend the day attending to affairs of importance, trimming his moustaches and applying pomade. But suddenly the case of a missing domestic fired the little man’s imagination.
NOW ON IPLAYER
Close Up: Agatha Christie
Sixty years ago Agatha Christie’s friends and colleagues gave a portrait of the writer. These included Richard Attenborough, Sir Allen Lane, Margaret Lockwood, Peter Saunders, Francis L. Sullivan and Sir Mortimer Wheeler. And the author herself talked about her approach to her work.
NOW ON IPLAYER
Behind the Screen: Agatha Christie
Made for Radio 4 Extra. Behind The Screen is a collaborative detective serial written by members of the Detection Club. It was first broadcast in six weekly instalments on the BBC National Programme in 1930, with each contributor reading his (or her) own part of the story. The six authors were Hugh Walpole, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Anthony Berkeley, E.C. Bentley and Father Ronald Knox.To reflect the changes of storyteller, we have a different reader for each part of this new version: Michael Jayston, Penelope Keith, Sarah Badel, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Gunnar Cauthery and Nigel Anthony. When first broadcast, some listeners were puzzled by the method employed in planning a collaborative detective story like Behind The Screen. If the whole thing were indeed to be written like a game of consequences, with each new writer picking up where the last one left off, how could any consistency be achieved, and how could a satisfactory plot be managed and concluded? Lord Peter Wimsey creator, Dorothy L. Sayers, who co-ordinated the different contributions, explained the process: “The first three authors carried the story along according to their own several fancies; while the last three used their wits, in consultation, to unravel the clues presented to them by the first three.”
Monday 31st August – Friday 4th September, 11am, BBC Radio 4 Extra (FIRST EPISODE NOW ON IPLAYER)
The 8.55 to Baghdad
In 1928 the English crime writer Agatha Christie began a Middle Eastern adventure. Andrew Eames recalls how he retraced her journey.
Monday 31st August – Friday 4th September, 2.30pm, BBC Radio 4 Extra
Agatha Christie Season: Crooked House
Returning home from WWII, Charles Hayward is finally free to marry Sophia Leonides. However, the suspicious death of her grandfather has thrown everything into confusion. A classic Agatha Christie whodunit, starring Rory Kinnear and Anna Maxwell Martin.
Tuesday 1st September – Friday 4th September, 6am, BBC Radio 4 Extra
The fourth series of The Interrogation features three hard-hitting contemporary crime stories that probe some of today’s most complex moral issues. The series, by Roy Williams, follows two police officers from different worlds, whose professional relationship has slowly evolved over the years, especially since one was seriously wounded in the course of action. Episode one, tells the story of Tom, the son of a wealthy scrap metal merchant and his wife, who happens to be one of DS Max Matthews’ old colleagues. With Kenneth Cranham as DS Max Matthews; Alex Lanipekun as DC Sean Armitage; Luke Norris as Thomas; and Susan Brown as Debbie Ross.
Wednesday 2nd September, 2.15pm, BBC Radio 4