Review: Liar (S1 E2/6), Monday 18th September, ITV

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Episode one of Liar was a slick, tense she-said/he-said noir thriller, but it still made me feel uncomfortable watching it. In this age of transparency and encouragement to the survivors of sexual abuse, I often wondered whether this sort of drama, which pointed suspicion at a survivor, might do more harm than good – after all, we’re being asked to judge a woman that really shouldn’t be judged. Continue reading

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Review: Rellik (S1 E2/6), Monday 18th September, BBC One

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Last week’s opening episode presented us with a tricksy and challenging viewing experience – Rellik’s story started at the end and worked backwards thanks to a series of rewinds and flashbacks. Many won’t have enjoyed this, and the jury was out for me, too. On the one hand, Rellik could be a daring, bold telling of what is a fairly by-the-numbers procedural story, that flips our consumption of information and clues on its head; or it could be based on a gimmick that doesn’t actually work. I still couldn’t decide which side it fell on after this second episode. Continue reading

Review: Strike – The Silkworm (S2 E2/2), Sunday 17th September, BBC One

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Set in the cut-throat world of publishing, one with which writer/exec producer JK Rowling must be familiar, The Silkworm is a murder mystery with a twist – all the suspects are featured in the victim’s final novel. But which character represents the killer? Continue reading

Review: Black Lake (S1 E1&2/8), Saturday 16th September, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Ah, the comforting tones of the Swedish language on an autumn Saturday night. We’ve had umpteen Scandinavian crime dramas in the 9pm slot on BBC Four in the past, and, as the nights are drawing in, we’re once again transported to a snowy, barren, beautiful land, way up in the north of Sweden on the border with Norway. And this feels immensely comforting to me – the landscape, the language, the furniture (my god, the furniture) and that unique way so-called Nordic Noir has with characterisation and story. Blake Lake (Svartsjön), however, is no procedural – we’ve heard that BBC Four, in particular, was on the lookout for something a bit different from the usual Nordic Noir, and Black Lake certainly does provide that. Continue reading

Review: Liar (S1 E1/6), Monday 11th September, ITV

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NB: Spoilers inside

I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to watching Liar. Yes, it’s created by Harry and Jack Williams, and yes, it stars the ever-reliable Joanne Froggatt (and Ioan Gruffud), but this was advertised as a story about a young woman who had gone out on a date with a reputable surgeon, and woke up the next morning and accused him of rape. It filled me with unease – in a world where survivors of sexual abuse have a hard enough time convincing the authorities (and indeed friends and families) that their claims are truthful, I did wonder whether this story was going to be detrimental to rape survivors. Continue reading

Review: Rellik (S1 E1/6), Monday 11th September, BBC One

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NB: Spoilers ahoy!

Welcome to Williams Week. Harry and Jack Williams, the talented, sibling showrunners responsible for The Missing and One Of Us, have two shows on British television this week – Rellik on BBC One and Liar on ITV – on the same day and on at the same time. I’m going to look at Rellik here, the six-part tale of a serial killer told in a very different way. Rellik is ‘killer’ spelled backward so that should give you an idea of what to expect. Continue reading

Review: Strike – The Silkworm (S2 E1/2), Sunday 10th September, BBC One

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(C) Bronte Film & TV Ltd – Photographer: Steffan Hill

NB: Spoilers inside

Following the series opener The Cuckoo’s Calling, do we know all there is to know about down-at-heel detective Cormoran Strike, or his implausibly glamorous assistant Robin? Obviously not – there must be more revelations to come in this second outing for JK Rowling’s impecunious investigator. Continue reading