Review: Broadchurch (S3 E8/8), Monday 17th April, ITV

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Before you ask, yes I did watch episode seven of Broadchurch. I had a bit of a busy week and wasn’t able to watch it until Wednesday and couldn’t find any time to write it up. No matter, we headed into this finale – not just the series three finale, but the actual finale of the whole thing – still not knowing who raped Trish Winterman or who had carried out the historical sexual assaults in the town. Jim Atwood was still in custody, but episode seven ended in high jeopardy for Lindsay Lucas (the excellent Becky Brunning, a revelation in this series) when she found a stash of what looked like trophies in a drawer in her husband’s garage. He was just pulling into the driveway as she stood agape at her findings. Pray for Lindsay.

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Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E4/6), Sunday 16th April, BBC1

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Talk about a cliffhanger – Steve’s attack by Balaclava Man and subsequent plunge down a stairwell must count as one of the most shocking moments in modern drama. What’s the betting we’re kept hanging for ages before we discover whether he lives, or dies?

NB: Spoilers ahoy!

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Review: Maigret’s Night At The Crossroads, Sunday 16th April, ITV

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You know it’s holiday season in the UK when ITV wheels out another Maigret, this new adaptation quickly becoming synonymous with Christmas, Easter and all the rest. We’ve had two new Maigret films with Rowan Atkinson at the helm now, each one slowly and shakily better than the last. But still, in a modern age where the likes of Line Of Duty – on more or less at the same time on the other channel – tearing a new hole in the patchwork of crime drama, Maigret still feels like a stick-in-the-mud. Some may well argue Maigret is reassuringly Golden Age and familiar in its template, like putting on a favourite pair of slippers, and if you subscribe to that argument there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – there’s room for all sorts of crime drama in its great panoply – I just wish there was more oomph to this adaptation. I’ve made this argument before, but there were signs in this feature-length episode of improvement.

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Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E3/6), Sunday 9th April, BBC1

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Huntley’s digging herself deeper and deeper into dishonesty, with the murder of Tim Ifield layered on her presumed framing of Farmer – but at the moment she’s in complete control of the situation, able to manipulate the evidence and investigations as she pleases. But we reckon that Kate, done down from every side by her own colleagues as well as by Huntley’s, will be the one to crack the case – possibly over a cosy coffee with Huntley’s increasingly dodgy-looking husband Nick.

NB: Spoilers ahoy! Continue reading

Review: Prime Suspect 1973 (S1 E6/6), Thursday 6th April, ITV

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The fact that the opening of wunderkind Mike Oldfield’s 1973 debut Tubular Bells starts this finale merely points up that this tune is remembered by many for featuring in director William Friedkin’s outstanding and genre-busting horror film The Exorcist (released the same year). It also launched the career of a certain Richard Branson, as it was the first album released by Virgin RecordsSo it doesn’t really sit well in the context of this misguided prequel to the groundbreaking Prime Suspect series. It comes as Cliff Bentley (Alun Armstrong) runs from the conflagration at the bank that claims the life of DI Bradfield (Sam Reid). It is a good explosion, but with pretty cheap-looking CGI flames. Continue reading

Review: Broadchurch (S3 E6/8), Monday 3rd April, ITV

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So far, so tense in Broadchurch. With three sex assaults – two historical – all pointing to a serial rapist, the pressure is on for Hardy and Miller, whose list of suspects have more or less remained the same since the first episode. Something had to give. Add to that a potential confrontation between Mark Latimer and Joe Miller looming large and this episode threatened to be pivotal – closure in the Joe Miller case? Real progress in the Trish Waterman case? I hoped so.

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Review: Line Of Duty (S2 E2/6), Sunday 2nd April, BBC1

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(C) World Productions – Photographer: Aidan Monaghan

Last week’s episode did rather stray into Inside No 9 territory towards the end, what with forensic officer Tim Ifield’s bargain-basement B&Q-style Chainsaw Massacre tribute on his kitchen floor. Although, had Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) been torn asunder, it would have been as good a death scene as Messrs. Shearsmith and Pemberton could have dreamt up for their star players. The scene did pehaps err on the side of silly – indeed, had the late, great Graham Chapman’s Colonel from Monty Python popped up to say it was all getting too silly, we wouldn’t have been surprised in the slightest.

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