Review: Broadchurch (S3 E4/8), Monday 20th March, ITV


The past three episodes of arguably Britain’s premiere whodunit have successfully – and rather rapidly – built up a cadre of suspects, all attendees of Cath Atwood’s 50th birthday party; the fateful night when Trish Winterman was brutally sexually assaulted. The conspiracy theories are already starting to flow thick and fast: was this, in fact, a sex party that got out of hand? Is that what Trish’s ex-husband Ian wanted to desperately erase from his laptop? Is Broadchurch a steaming Gomorrah of swinging and sex parties? Who knows. What we do know is that Hardy and Miller had a huge list of attendees to process, and not a lot of resources to process them with. But in episode four, the half-way stage of the series, things began move.

NB: There be spoilers (and theories) Continue reading

Louise Doughty: I’m working on Apple Tree Yard 2


P(C) Kudos – Photographer: Nick Briggs

Twenty-seventeen kicked off with a tense four-part thriller on BBC1 in the UK, based on Louise Doughty’s best-selling psychological thriller, Apple Tree Yard. The BBC’s adaptation – co-written by Doughty and Amanda Coe – told the story of a scientist, Dr Yvonne Carmichael (Emily Watson), who seemed to have it all. When she started a torrid, illicit affair with the mysterious Mark Costley (Ben Chaplin), things went pear-shaped very quickly. The ambiguous ending seemed to be the end of the tale, but Doughty has now said that she’s working on a sequel. Continue reading

Fargo releases new series three trailer; Ewan McGregor talks playing dual roles


What a treat for a grey, drizzly Monday morning (spring my arse) – Fargo has released a batch of new little teasers that warm the heart, raise a chuckle and whet the appetite for the imminent series three. And what delicious little treats they are. Fargo and its home network in the US – FX – do such a fantastic job of producing these little teasers, which are almost like little Fargo episodes in themselves. They show the Fargo world and give us what the show does best by mixing the macabre with the farcical. They’re brilliant, and they’re after the jump. Continue reading

Review: SS-GB (S1 E5/5), Sunday 19th March, BBC1


(C) Sid Gentle Films Ltd – Photographer: Laurie Sparham

I approached the finale of SS-GB, the good-looking conspiracy thriller, with some optimism just about intact. There had been flickers of life in this stodgy tale of alternative history, but so often when things threatened to spark they petered out and sunk into drudgery. Gorgeous-looking drudgery, mind. Still, it was the finale and there seemed to be a lot to fit in: would Archer and Harry manage to escort the infirm King out of the country? How would Britain rid themselves of the occupying Nazis?

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading

Interview: Brenda Blethyn, Vera


Series seven of Vera starts tonight (Sunday 19th March) on ITV in the UK, and, as ever, it showcases the talents of one of Britain’s finest actors – Brenda Blethyn. Adapted from crime writing legend Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope novels, the series has become a bit of a Sunday-night institution. Series seven starts when Vera investigates the body of a wildlife ranger, found on a remote island off the coast of Northumberland. Her death is at first assumed to be an accident, since she was alone on the island when she died, but marks on the body seem to point to murder. A few weeks ago I went along to ITV’s HQ to chat to Brenda about Vera. But with Brenda it’s never just about one thing – she’s just a hoot and a delight, with an infectious laugh and an endless stream of stories. Have a read after the jump… Continue reading

Val McDermid announces New Blood panel for this years Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing festival


Regular readers will know that I like to get out and about and go to a few crime literature festivals across the year, and then report back here on some of the panels and some of the words spoken within them. Arguably the biggest is the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, held at the Old Swan hotel. One of my highlights every year at the festival is the New Blood panel, where crime writing legend, Val McDermid, hosts a panel comprising four authors who have published debut novels during the past year (or are about to publish). Val herself picks the panellists – which is a ringing endorsement in itself – and this year, the panel has been announced ahead of time.  Continue reading