Review: Paranoid (S1 E2/8), Thursday 29th September, ITV


paranoid-713558It’s time for the third in our Thursday triple header. Last week’s opening episode of Paranoid was hardly an auspicious start, especially when you consider there are eight episodes in the series. It started off in jolting fashion – a man ran amok in a children’s playground, stabbing to death one of the mothers in plain sight of everyone. So far so shocking. But, as one of our readers pointed out, it developed into an exercise of shaking a big bag of chichés, emptying them onto a blank canvas and seeing which fell out first.

NB: There are spoilers in this review

We finished episode one in Germany, where the estranged husband of the stabbing victim was found dead, face down in a swimming pool. (The same reader asked why, every time there’s a swimming pool there’s a body?) The tox report – delivered by German detective Linda Felber via Skype – revealed lots of booze and class As in the vic’s system.

After that it was back to the investigation at hand, and Chief Niles was still banging the Jacob Atley drum to the point where he gave the team 24 hours to get some leads or he’d go to the CPS with the suspect. It was down to Bobby, in particular, to try prove his innocence (Bobby didn’t like Atley for it and was developing a bond with Jacob’s brother). Meanwhile, the Ghost Detective was still taunting them – especially Nina and Alec, whose relationship escalated considerably (they’re the most unlikely pair ever) – from afar.

No doubt we’ll find out what the Ghost Detective is up to soon enough, and the end scene saw him fling Alec off the top of a power station. It was a classic set-up too – Nina trying to call Alec to tell him she had been a bit annoying (you’re not kidding) and that wanted to have a relationship with him, about the same time he was being thrown to, perhaps, his death.

It rattles long with pace (thank god), and the plotting is good enough, but the dialogue is so expositional, it felt like each scene was a recap of the case. So, the Ghost Detective has sent me this… so, we found this… so, we did this. When you’ve got series like The Fall, The Night Of and National Treasure doing the rounds with dialogue that flows so smoothly and believable characters that gel so nicely, it’s difficult not to be turned off by Paranoid. Like Alec, it’s in danger of falling by the wayside.

Paul Hirons

For our episode one review, go here



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