REVIEW Sherwood (S1 E3/6)

After the jump-out-of-your-seat conclusion to episode two, Sherwood has now entered interesting territory. There’s no doubt it has, so far, been a very powerful story and compelling whodunit. But now we have two juxtaposing murders to deal with.

Right at the start of each episode, we are told that this story is based on two real-crimes – murders – that occurred in the Ashfield area. To begin with we were wondering who the second victim would be. Naturally, all eyes would be on the crossbow person who slain Gary Jackson. But the second murder was a domestic – we saw Tory councillor Sarah Vincent viciously bludgeoned by her seemingly mild-mannered father-in-law, Andy Fisher.

So now we have two juxtaposing elements being juggled – a whodunit, by its very definition a narrative device where we don’t know who perpetrated the murder; and a murder where we do know who did it. They really are two contrasting elements in play, and I wondered how writer Jamie Graham would balance the two successfully.

The first two episodes were superb, and so was this mid-series instalment. Quite naturally, Ian St Clair thought – wanted even – there to be a link between the murder of Gary Jackson and Sarah Vincent. In some way, it would’ve made him and his team’s life easier in some strange way. But his reluctant partner – Kevin Salisbury – thought otherwise. The MO was starkly different, so why would they be linked?

Throughout this episode these two really rubbed each other the wrong way. Salisbury dared to ask the questions St Clair could not ask of his friends and fellow community members (a good thing, actually) and the two’s fracturing relationship culminated in Salisbury inexplicably visiting the miners’ club and, after being recognised, getting into a drunken fight. St Clair collected him and the two launched into each other on the drive back – Salisbury blamed him for ruining his life, while St Clair still held a grudge because he was the one who had to stay behind and clear up the mess Salisbury and his Met pals had made during the strike.

In fact, throughout the episode, a strong motif emerged – one of two people, each embodying two sides of an argument being pitted against each other. St Clair and Salisbury, Julie and her sister Cathy… the list goes on.

Also in the episode, we got some touching and sensitively handled back story about the community and their divisions. Local football team Nottingham Forest were hosting Barnsley. Nottinghamshire seemed to have mostly seen its miners cross the picket lines back in the 1980s, whereas those in Barnsley were very much pro-strike. A bus-load of Barnsley supporters – led by Stephen Tomkinson as the charismatic and dangerous Warnock – were intent on paying their respects to their fallen comrade, Gary Jackson.

There were some tense scenes here, but also believable and dramatically very strong.

By the end of the episode, Scott Rowley was still at large and feckless, cowardly Andy Fisher – played oh-so-convincingly and with nuance by Adeel Ahktar – was on the run, surely soon for the cells. And we also edged a tiny bit closer to finding out what happened between St Clair and Salisbury on that fateful night, AND a name when it came to the ‘spy cop’… Robbie Platt.

Another very good episode.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.



Sherwood airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK

Jameela Jamil joins Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne ‘procedural’

A Rian Johnson/Natasha Lyonne crime drama series, you say?

The Knives Out creator and Russian Doll star are teaming together for a 10-part series on Peacock (a US streaming service), and will no doubt be aired on Paramount + over in the UK.

The brilliant Lyonne takes the lead role, but Variety reports that Jameela Jamil and Tim Meadows have been added to the cast.

It says: “The five new cast members join previously announced series lead Lyonne in the series, along with cast members that include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Benjamin Bratt, Stephanie Hsu, and David Castañeda. Plot and character details for the series are being kept largely under wraps, though sources say the show will follow a procedural format and see Lyonne’s character working to solve different murders in each episode.”

More news as we get it.

Apple+ TV to make Peter Capaldi crime drama

As regular readers will know, we’ve been really impressed by Apple+ TV’s output in 2022. Scoring hits like Slow Horses and Shining Girls, its series have been adult, complex and dark.

Now the streamer has announced a new eight-episode series called Criminal Record a new one-hour thriller starring Academy Award winner Peter Capaldi and Critics Choice Award nominee Cush Jumbo as detectives in a tug of war over a historic murder conviction. It has been created BAFTA Award nominee Paul Rutman.

Apple says that Criminal Record is “a powerful, character-driven thriller set in the heart of contemporary London. An anonymous phone call draws two brilliant detectives into a confrontation over an old murder case – one a young woman in the early stages of her career, the other a well-connected man determined to protect his legacy. The series touches on issues of race, institutional failure, and the quest to find common ground in a polarized Britain.”

Capaldi stars as Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Hegarty, and Jumbostars as Detective Sergeant June Lenker.

The series is currently in production. More news as we get it.