Review: Black Lake (S1 E5&6/8), Saturday 30th September, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

We’re into the back end of this Swedish/Danish-language horror/thriller, and one of the things it’s doing well is to present us with a possibility of paranormal activity on the one hand, but then also give a potentially rational explanation to all the goings-on. Is Hanne really sensitive to ghosts or is she just still traumatised by the death of her younger brother? Was Jessan really possessed by an evil spirit or was she experiencing a psychotic episode, one of many she has experienced in her short life? Are the inhabitants of the lodge being terrorised by ghosts or, in fact, by two brothers who want them out? It’s this balance that has made Black Lake fun to watch so far. Continue reading

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Review: Liar (S1 E3/6), Monday 25th September, ITV

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

You watch enough crime dramas to know that by episode three or four in a series of six something is going to happen. Perhaps a new character will emerge that will put a spanner in the works, or a reveal will take place that will propel the story into new territory. So it proved with episode three of Liar. Up until now, the two episodes we’ve seen have very much been playing along the lines of he said/she said. But there’s only so long this idea can be played out until it starts to feel repetitious – something needs to happen that develops the story. And something did happen. Continue reading

Review: Rellik (S1 E3/6), Monday 25th September, BBC One

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

This Harry and Jack Williams series has, so far, been a test of patience more than anything else. The two opening episodes presented us with a serial ‘acid’ killer case, told backwards. With plenty of what seemed to be scenes that didn’t make sense placed within a structure that was bold but not quite genius (some would call it irritating), Rellik was in danger of existing in a kind of limbo state: very pleased its clever plotting, but ultimately not that satisfying. Until this third episode. Continue reading

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 25th September – Sunday 1st October)

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Things roll along, as usual, this week, with new episodes of Black Lake, Rellik and Liar, among others, but the thing that’s piquing my interest is the start of David Simon’s new series on Sky Atlantic. Not necessarily an out-and-out crime drama, per se, but a series about crime and those who live within it. Simon worked with crime writer collaborators George Pelecanos and Megan Abbott, so expect stories from the tough New York streets of the early 1970s. Enjoy! Continue reading

Review: Black Lake (S1 E3&4/8), Saturday 23rd September,

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Last week, Swedish series Black Lake (Svartsjön) started on BBC Four and provided plenty of horror/crime mash-up fun, telling the story of a group of twentysomethings stuck in a remote ski lodge, which has a history Р20 years before a young family was murdered in the hotel, and our main character, young Danish woman Hanne, believes the ghosts of the children now roam the place. Episodes one and two contained plenty of classic horror genre devices, but there was also a noirish, amateur detective element to the piece, which made things interesting. Episodes three and four continued to mesh both genres, to devastating, impressive effect. Continue reading

First Look: Spiral (Series 6)

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Caroline Proust (Laure Berthaud)

One of the heavyweights of European crime drama, Spiral (Engrenages), returned for its sixth series premiere on Monday night in its native France. The hope is that we’ll be able to see it here in the UK on BBC Four before the year is out, but in the meantime, there was much excitement on the other side of the Channel, as our French friends tucked into the first episode. Let’s get some reaction… Continue reading