REVIEW The Capture (S2 E1/6)

Twenty-nineteen’s The Capture was an intriguing and hugely watchable high-tech thriller, dealing as it did with deep fake technology and the potential it has to commit crimes, cover them up or, as series one did, finger someone for a crime they didn’t commit.

At the end of that series, DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) – who had investigated the case of the doomed Lance Corporal Shaun Emery – had surprisingly joined the very shadowy intelligence services that she was desperate to expose.

There was always the feeling that she was joining this organisation because she wanted to bring them down from the inside, but now – six months after the Emery case – we finally got confirmation that that was her intention. But before that, a whole heap of things happened.

We know that creator Ben Chanan is concerned with studying the potential impact of the aforementioned technology, and he wasted no time in setting up another intriguing, tech-heavy story.

A Chinese-Asian man had a rather extravagant home security set-up in his apartment, but something’s awry – he sees the lift on the ground floor of his apartment building open and close but without anyone inside. The same happens on his floor – the lift door opens, but no one gets out. In the blink of an eye, he’s assassinated – shot in the head by the ghostly figure standing outside his front door as he approaches from inside his apartment.

Someone’s been messing with the CCTV again.

We then meet hotly-tipped security minister Issac Turner (the brilliant Paapa Essiedu), who is a very modern politician. He’s surrounded by a team of advisors monitoring his every movement and word and is in constant contact with them via tablets and facetime and all the rest of it. He has to make a big decision – whether to award a Chinese firm called Zander a contract to supply British airports with unrivalled face recognition scanning technology.

The benefits are manifold – the tech can tell instantly if someone is carrying a virus, for example, or something worse. But as manifold the benefits are so are the potential disasters (racial profiling for a start), and Turner is intent on turning down Zander because of their links to the Chinese government. The firm’s shady boss is not impressed and the two exchange barbs loaded with passive-aggressive intent.

While all this is happening DI Rachel Carey is not a happy camper. She’s inside Shadowy Intelligence Forces HQ, but the wonderfully withering DSU Gemma Garland (Lia Williams) is keeping her at arm’s length and away from the fun stuff on the seventh floor. It’s only when her old team contact her after the murder of the Chinese-Asian man that the fun really begins.

Turner’s advisory team are being bumped off – a second man is targeted using the same MO (ie CCTV tampering), which leaves Rachel’s former colleague Patrick Flynn with two bullets in his chest. It’s time for panic stations, and Turner is scooped up by Garland’s team and moved to a safe house, along with the rest of his advisory team.

But Rachel – as is her wont – thinks there’s something fishy about all this, and pleads with Garland and Turner at the safe house for him to move again. She thinks that the mystery assassins have him exactly where they want him for a reason yet to be determined.

And that’s when the TV comes on. Turner was booked to appear on Newsnight to reveal that he opposes Zander’s involvement in any facial recognition technology. But despite being at the safe house, there he is on TV, saying that he’s happy to award the contract to the Chinese firm.

Is the CEO of Zander making good on his threats and using extraordinary methods to secure the contract? Or is he being set up by his governmental colleagues (there was strange boys’ club meeting between Turner, a very smarmy Home Secretary and his pitbull communications head, which implied they were out to get him despite the smiles and fake bonhomie)? And is new police recruit Chloe Tan one to watch?

Oh, it’s a juicy one this, and an excellent first episode to kick things off. As I mentioned in my reviews of series one, there’s something inherently creepy and very scary about deep fake technology, and the potential for disaster if it ever got into the wrong hands with the wrong intent. And this story plays right into that creepy-old wheelhouse.

Yes, some of the dialogue is a little stilted, but this was undeniably slick and, once again, really, really nicely done. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Capture is broadcast in the UK on BBC One and on iPlayer

REVIEW Shetland (S7 E3/6)

After a solid start to series seven – including an excursion to Glasgow on the mainland, no less – things really moved on in this episode.

Jimmy and co, having ruled out any involvement by Danny Cairns in the disappearance of his son Connor were facing a dead end, especially as the young fellow was still missing. And let’s not forget, there had been two bodies found, too – the mystery man in the suitcase (ew!) at the end of episode one, and Connor’s girlfriend, Bryd, who was found dead in the boot of a car at a compound at the end of episode two.

Tosh, ever dogged, was on the case and snooped around the car and its origins, as well as a lead that suggested Connor’s former employers, the Davidsons, had been acting suspiciously in the lead up to the disappearance. It turned out that they had been disposing toxic waste illegally from their business, which is why Connor had fallen out with them.

So, along with Danny Cairns, the Waldrons, smitten Murray the librarian (who was still dealing with the fall-out of being arrested), Abbie’s pal Clana and now the Davidsons, a whole host of suspects had been processed and discounted. That’s pretty good going after three episodes.

Which left… let’s move on to lodger Martin Otina, who has been acting suspiciously – photographing anything and everything in sight and really involving himself in the Cairns’ family business – and new, well not really a suspect at this point but you never know, Connor’s art teacher and mentor, Lloyd Anderson. It was Anderson’s car Bryd was found in, and he recognised a photo composite of the mystery man in the suitcase when it was shown on TV.

And what about Connor himself? One of the things this episode did very well was to play with our preconceptions. Up until this point, Connor was a victim – missing and presumed dead at the hands of an aggressor. But what if he was missing for a different reason? His ring was found in the boot of the car next to Bryd’s body, and Jimmy was starting to entertain the idea that Connor had something to do with both deaths, especially as some of the lad’s erratic behaviour had now been disclosed.

Turning the tables like this was clever and a fine piece of writing.

As for Jimmy and Tosh, their personal lives were taking a turn, too. Jimmy and Meg were getting closer all the time, and the stoic cop even found it within him to plant a kiss on Meg’s lips before the episode was out. We all know that this is Jimmy’s last hurrah, so is this the way out he’s being given?

Things were going in the opposite direction for Tosh, who decided to surprise Donnie with a coffee on her break, only to find him hanging out with one of his exes, Carol Anne Mané. As you can imagine, that went down like a lead balloon. And worse was to follow for Tosh.

Connor’s phone had been found, and after it had been unlocked the team looked at some of the locations he had spent time at. One of them was remote, and when Tosh said she would take a look at it despite the hour growing late, you just knew something bad was going to happen.

And indeed it did.

Tosh found a caravan that Connor had been using – his drawings festooned everywhere as well as other personal effects and notebooks. Also in the caravan was a booby trap, and episode three left us with a proper cliffhanger – Tosh phoning Jimmy pleading for help as a bomb timer ticked down, and then an explosion.

We talk about the Jimmy leaving, but is Shetland clearing the decks completely? A really very strong episode – good tempo, engrossing story, twists and turns galore and that cliffhanger – but this can’t be the end for Tosh, can it?

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.



The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 29th – Sunday 4th September)

It’s all go this week as the new season starts to kick in. We have our full autumn/winter preview coming later in the week, but until then look at this little lot… enjoy!

S7 E4/6

Perez issues a warrant for Connor’s arrest, to the outrage of Rachel Cairns. The complexity and size of the bomb suggests Connor was planning some kind of attack. The team speak to those who knew him in search of extremist beliefs. Jamie, Murray and Lloyd reject any notion that Connor is capable of violence, but a despairing Danny admits environmental issues made his son angry. Meanwhile, Sandy searches for William Rodgers’ reason for being in Shetland.
Wednesday 31st August, 9pm, BBC One

S2 E2&3/6

Security Minister Isaac Turner’s hacked TV interview sends shockwaves through his personal and professional life. He tries to clear his name by booking another TV appearance, unaware that he is walking into another trap. Carey investigates a web of politically charged clues that lead to China, and makes some useful new allies – but she may not be able to trust them.
Monday 29th August and Sunday 4th September, 9pm, BBC One

S1 E2/4

Carol calls in Ridley to assist with the case when the body of a young woman is found buried in a shallow grave on a bleak Pennine moorland, but the victim was not all she seemed as the former detective discovers that she was leading a secret double life.
Sunday 4th September, 8pm, ITV

S1 E1/4

A recent life-changing medical diagnosis has thrown psychologist Joe O’Loughlin off-balance, and he is feeling reckless. When a young woman is found murdered, the unusual manner of her death prompts DS Riya Devi to suggest asking Joe for a professional opinion. Joe is shocked by the sight of the body – but is he just shaken by the brutality of the killing or is there something from his past he’s not telling the police? 
Monday 29th August, 9pm, ITV

5 The Secrets She Keeps *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S2 E4/6
Meghan’s life spins out of control and the devastating truth of who she has killed is finally revealed and when Agatha is hospitalised after a severe beating in jail, the pair’s paths once again collide.
Saturday 3rd September, 9.20pm, BBC One

6 Agatha Christie’s Hjerson *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S1 E2/8

The head of security on the ship wants Klara and Hjerson to back off from the investigation, but time is running out to catch the murderer. Another death raises far too many questions and forces Hjerson and Klara to rethink their list of suspects.
Friday 2nd September, 9pm, More4


In a nocturnal and hostile Rome, Valerio must investigate the death of his son, an apparent suicide. The investigation is also a last chance to restore a bond with the son he hadn’t seen in years, facing the ghosts of the past.
Friday 2nd September, Walter Presents/All4

S1 E7&8/8

Synposis will be added.
Monday 29th August, Acorn TV

9 Murdoch Mysteries *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S15 E22/25

When Crabtree’s deranged kidnapper Amelia turns herself in, he braces for trouble.
Thursday 1st September, 9pm, Alibi

10 Unforgotten *REPEAT*
S4 E5/6

Cassie and Sunny interview two of the suspects again and get closer to the truth of what happened to Walsh. Balcombe believes she may have found the cause of death. Unexpectedly, things take a devastating turn for Cassie.
Tuesday 30th August, 10pm, ITV3