Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E6/6), Sunday 30th April, BBC1

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Whatever you think of this fourth series of Line Of Duty – and we definitely don’t think it has been the best of the bunch – there’s something so addictive and so intoxicating about this show, you just can’t help going along for the ride. And what a ride. People are now playing Line Of Duty bingo on the internet, people now speak like Ted Hastings on social media… Line Of Duty has really entered into the nation’s consciousness. Even though this site has expressed reservations about a few of the narrative elements and characters (read that here), tonight’s finale proved to be a superb ending to an enjoyable if frustrating series. It had a lot of work to do and a lot of questions to answer. There were at least four biggies: who is the Balaclava Man, and is he the serial killer? Who killed Ifield? Is Farmer guilty, or is Huntley framing him? And is any of this tied in with the network of police corruption discovered in previous series?

NB: For the love of God, spoilers inside, fella Continue reading

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 1st – Sunday 7th May)

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So, what is happening with Hinterland? Series three of the Welsh procedural premiered on S4C last year in its original, eight-part, Welsh-language version. For spoilery reviews, go here. A few weeks ago it appeared in its second incarnation – the eight-part, English-language version on BBC Wales. There is no episode this week on BBC Wales. Next Saturday also sees the premiere of the BBC Four version – four, feature-length episodes in English. Confused? Elsewhere, there are series finales of Midnight Sun and Murdoch Mysteries. Enjoy! Continue reading

Line Of Duty: Lindsay Denton versus Roz Huntley

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I love Line Of Duty. I love Steve Arnott and his chippy little ways; I love Kate Fleming’s calm insouciance; I love Ted Hastings and his paternal, old-fashioned sheriff ways; and, more to the point, I love the fact that writer and director Jed Mercurio has torn up the rule book when it comes to crime drama. He kills people – established characters no less – without too much concern. Big-name actors, too. I love the fact that the characters he allows to stick around are deeply flawed but have so much ambiguity you don’t know whether you’re coming or going with them. Lenny James’ Tony Gates, Keeley Hawes’ Lindsay Denton, Daniel Mays’ Danny Waldron. and not forgetting Craig Parkinson’s Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan. Heck, even the members of AC-12 are hardly heroes in the traditional sense. They all had so much going on with their characters – nuances, depth, emotional entry points. You weren’t sure whether to love them or hate them. So the addition of Thandie Newton – a seriously good actress – and her character DCI Roz Huntley should have been a shoo-in into this esteemed gang of flawed are-they-aren’t-they characters. But with the series finale looming large on the horizon, I’m still waiting for the moment when things click with me with Roz Huntley. As dazzling and as addictive as the show is, I’m not quite there with it this series. Why?

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading

BBC acquires Katrina: American Crime Story

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One the shows we’re really excited about this year is the follow up to The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. Ryan Murphy’s latest dramatisation of true events will focus on Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005, and its catastrophic aftermath. We knew it was going to appear on the US cable network FX later in the year, but now we know that it’ll be the BBC who broadcast it in the UK. Continue reading

Review: Little Boy Blue (S1 E1/4), Monday 24th April, ITV

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And so we come to our post-Broadchurch, Monday-night crime watch. Whereas the final, third series of Broadchurch managed to present a harrowing case of sexual assault with sensitivity and a great deal of procedural realism, almost to the point of documentary style, it has nothing on an actual true story. And this is what Little Boy Blue is – an adapted drama made with the consent of a murdered 11-year-old boy’s family, whose story and tragedy deeply touched and saddened a nation a decade ago. Anything that is based on real-life events makes me nervous (Will it do justice to the victim? Will it do justice to the family of the victim? What is the point of telling the story?), so I approached this with trepidation and a little nervousness.

NB. Spoilers inside Continue reading

Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E5/6), Sunday 24th April, BBC1

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After last week’s shocking cliffhanger (when isn’t there a shocking cliffhanger in Line Of Duty?) we couldn’t wait to see whether our chippy wee fella Steve Arnott continued his recovery, and whether Roz Huntley and her husband Nick’s relationship – Jeremy Kyle will surely come calling after this series – further dissipated. All bubbling up nicely…

NB: Spoilers from the start Continue reading

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 24th – Sunday 30th April)

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(C) World Productions – Photographer: Des Willie/ Aidan Monaghan

There’s a little bit going on this week, not least next Sunday’s no-doubt thrilling finale to series four of Line Of Duty. Elsewhere, Stephen Graham pops up in the dramatised true crime story, Little Boy Blue, which should be harrowing and painful to watch. Everything else? As you were! Continue reading