Review: In The Dark (S1 E4/4), Tuesday 1st August, BBC1

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Over three episodes, In The Dark has presented us with a compelling new female police character – DI Helen Weeks – and a strong central performance from MyAnna Buring, who has more than proved she can carry a show on her own. But that’s beside the point for now, because in this finale Helen has to find out what happened to her partner Paul and whether he was a dodgy cop or not.

NB: Spoilers inside

This was a sombre, considered episode, which not only dealt with the ongoing case but also the human impact of gang crime and human interaction, grief and loneliness. That’s not to say that In The Dark has been perfect – it hasn’t – but the characterisation was deeper than your average crime drama, and much of the credit for that goes to screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst and star MyAnna Buring, who has given Helen Weeks such depth and believability. The way Brocklehurst has structured this four-parter – not including Mark Billingham’s franchise character, Tom Thorne, and killing off the man who replaced him – made absolute, total sense narratively.

Whether you could suspend belief enough to go with the fact that a super-heavily pregnant woman would pound the streets searching out leads and interviewing inhabitants of an area has been another matter.

There were touching scenes between Helen and her father, and also the young gang member who was involved in her partner Paul’s death. Helen, needed human contact and succour, which took the form of sex with Adam in this case (although, once again, it was hard to believe that someone so pregnant didn’t just want to put her feet up). Nonetheless, she was living a nightmare and these emotional dimensions gave In The Dark something extra and made it intensely watchable.

Add in the jeopardy faced by the gang members – who were being hunted by another, rival crew – and indeed the question of whether Paul was dodgy (of course he wasn’t, he’d been working undercover to target real bent coppers) and this made this finale of In The Dark the best of the bunch.

The twist came when Helen – thanks to some ballistics results and some good, old-fashioned digging – found that Sarah, the driver of the car, had been told by someone to mow down Paul at the bus stop. That person? Her lover Adam. She gave him the way in and, to her horror, he lured Paul to the bus stop to discuss the baby – this was a personal case. In the end, Theo – who Helen had traced – took Helen to the hospital to give birth.

So what are we to make of In The Dark? The heart and soul of it was Helen Weeks, and MyAnna Buring was excellent as the no-nonsense policewoman (most impressive line in this episode? “I’ve got bleach and I will use it on your fucking EYES”). There were some fairly by-the-numbers elements to the first three episodes, but they were never less than enjoyable, but this finale made for excellent viewing. Yes, occasionally heavy on exposition, yes a few corny moments, but Buring and Weeks kept you watching.

I wonder if she’ll be back.

Paul Hirons
@Son_Of_Ray

For our episode one review go here

For our episode two review go here

For our episode three review go here

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2 thoughts on “Review: In The Dark (S1 E4/4), Tuesday 1st August, BBC1

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