Category Archives: The Capture

REVIEW The Capture (S2 E6/6)

Well now. Wasn’t this just about the most bonkers, most ridiculous and the most deliciously addictive finale to a bonkers, ridiculous and deliciously addictive series?

It really did play with our emotions, and – in many skilful ways – manipulated us about as well as Truro Analytics did to Isaac Turner.

Along the way, I heard myself muttering many a time, “man, I just don’t buy this AT ALL”. However, a stunning final sequence put paid to that – it really was a terrific wrap-up where all ends were tied and resolved to stunning effect.

We all know The Capture is a cautionary tale with something serious to say about emerging identity-thieving tech and data mining wrapped up in a high-concept thriller. Both of these marks were hit quite spectacularly in this finale.

We found out who the Big Bad was – it was Frank Napier… AND Gemma Garland, both so lost were they in what they were doing (and believing that the game they were playing was righteous) that they ceased to adhere to any serious moral code. And what were they doing? They had entered into some kind of Faustian pact with Gregory Knox – in return for data that would transform their surveillance operations globally, they would help him and his company send Isaac Turner to Number 10.

Up until that reveal, I did have a hard time buying everything. Turner – with the promise of power and riches – decided to abandon everything and say sod it all. He was being deliberately set up to be a flawed character, one that we rooted for one minute and disliked the other. Turns out he did have an affair with Victoria Bello, although the jury is still out on whether her son is his. This was all fair enough and, in many respects, really good writing. However, he did seem to drop everything far too easily and quickly… until the final acts when Gregory Knox’s real motivations – and his pitch to Turner – were revealed. Annoying, but also clever writing.

As for Knox, he came over a bit too modern Bond villain cartoonish at times, and then there was Rachel. Holliday Grainger is fine and I like her a lot – she’s a talented young actress – but bloody hell she doesn’t half like a pout or seven. And as for her character, it was interesting to me that she shared a lot of screen time with Paapa Essiedu’s Isaac Turner (Essiedu was very good). Whatever the reason, I started to groan a little bit when Garland – after finding out Rachel’s plot – just basically let her off and offered her her job. For all the world, Rachel looked as though she was going to accept. It really felt like the end of the first series, where Rachel decided to get into bed with the very people she was pursuing. Again.

And then the final twist – Rachel had managed to get her surveillance information to Khadija Khan and had (with the help of Tom perhaps? I wasn’t sure) staged her own deep fake interview with Isaac Turner, who exposed correction to the world, exposed Knox and data-mining companies while saving his own reputation. Not bad for an interview that didn’t actually take place.

I really did feel that The Capture snatched victory from the jaws of defeat several times during this episode. Which, again, was very clever writing. In fact, it was audience manipulation of the highest and most enjoyable form and presented us with a group of flawed characters that were, yet again, susceptible to power and greed.

All that being said, The Capture was a thrilling ride and provided something bold, thought-provoking and fresh, even though it contained all those traditional thriller beats. Furthermore, this series has that same kind of relentless, kinetic energy and visceral addictiveness that Line Of Duty has in spades and is surely its worthy successor. If the BBC had anything about it – and it generally does – it would commission series three forthwith. This could run and run and absolutely deserves to do so.

Paul Hirons

Episode rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Series rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.






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

REVIEW The Capture (S2 E5/6)

We’re nearing the end of this fun and addictive cyber thriller, and in this penultimate episode, it really started to kick off. So much so, we got a few reveals – and they weren’t what I was expecting.

Up until now, we’d been led to believe that first the Chinese and then the Russians had been to blame for manipulating security minister Isaac Turner and, in turn, breaching the security services and a national broadcaster thanks to some scary and expert deep fakery.

In this instalment, we found that Rachel Carey’s plan to expose correction – along with Turner and BBC Newsnight presenter Khadija Khan – was crumbling. Why? Turner by name, Turner by nature.

At the end of episode four, we saw Turner gingerly approach his hotel door, his video doorbell showing an image of himself. In strode his feckless aide, who told him that he had been instructed by ‘them’ to take him somewhere. We didn’t get to find out who that was until later in the episode, so we got a cliffhanger before the opening credits ran. Very novel.

So who is behind all this manipulation and why?

Let’s talk about Gregory Knox. He was on Turner’s panel of experts scrutinising X4NDER’s bid to provide facial recognition technology to the British government. He was there when Patrick Flynn was gunned down. He also helped Rachel uncover the identity of the Russian assassin who killed her former colleague.

And now he was revealed to be the mastermind behind Turner’s manipulation. His company, Truro Analytics, is a data-driven, AI and algorithm machine intent on making someone Prime Minister. Using sophisticated tech, it was behind a free-wheeling campaign to make a previous no-hoper mayor of Tbilisi in Georgia. It steered that campaign according to data, appealing to the ever-more populist views that boosted his ratings. One minute he said one thing to appeal to one part of society, then another to appeal to another.

We’ve heard about this kind of nefarious influencing becoming a real thing in Presidential, Prime Ministerial and key policy campaigning (hello Brexit). So this revelation of Knox and Truro Analytics really feels like social commentary on This Kind Of Thing. Was it plausible and did it fit the plot? Yes, it did. But let’s be honest – this whole series has been hyperreal and slightly bonkers, so it felt like just another twist to get your head around.

As for Turner, as soon as he saw the benefits of being manipulated he pretty much acquiesced. He was disgusted at first, but then – seeing first the Home Secretary’s and then the Prime Minister’s office in his sights – he mysteriously decided to abandon all of his ethics, his lust for power overriding everything.

He was well and truly out of Rachel’s plan to expose everything.

As for Rachel, she was back at work after compassionate leave and she was dismayed to find out – now that Garland and co were ensconced with Frank and his American counterparts in their HQ – that they already had the identity of the Russian assassin. So who leaked it? Was her little plot in serious jeopardy? Knowing looks between Garland and Frank seemed to suggest so.

And so we came to the ending.

Rachel – as all good thrillers do – isolated herself by figuring out Knox’s involvement before anyone else did. After a fracas, he warned her that the assassins were on the way. And this is what marks the real from the hyperreal – the inference here was that Knox was in cahoots with the assassins. That bit I wasn’t quite sure about. Perhaps he needed them to help clear the path and clean up any loose ends as he marched towards his shady objectives.

Whatever he was doing, after one of them was shot in the head by his counterpart (did he radio into American secret service that the threat had been neutralised or was that just me?) Rachel was now being bundled into a van and driven off into the night.

I honestly think the Big Bad hasn’t been revealed yet, so let’s see what the finale gives us…

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.





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

REVIEW The Capture (S2 E4/6)

There’s no doubt about it – The Capture is turning into a really fun, addictive and very creepy thriller series. In fact, I’ll say it now – this has the potential and really should be as big as something like Line Of Duty.

Aaaanyway, we’re into the second half of the series, and at the end of episode three it looked like Rachel and Turner’s undercover plan to expose correction was coming together nicely. But in this episode, it looked as though things were about to be set back. Why? Because whoever had been setting Isaac Turner up was now properly manipulating him. A real putty-in-their-hands scenario. And whatever Turner did it looked like he was walking into trap after trap after trap.

The writing here was very interesting. Normally in traditional noirs, the protagonist is plunged into more or less one nightmare and fights back to restore some sort of power against his or her foe. But here in The Capture, Isaac Turner is being beaten into submission to the point where his mind is spinning and his perception of reality is waaay out of whack. That makes him ripe for absolute manipulation.

In this episode, Turner was confronted with more discombobulation – first, the Victoria Bello lovechild story came to the fore, resulting in his wife moving out and some more deep fakery. And then something curious happened. He snapped and launched into an anti-mainstream media tirade to journalists intrusively camped outside his house lusting for any tidbit of new information about the lovechild story. The outbursts caused his approval ratings to climb. And then an appearance on BBC Breakfast – in casual clothes – caused it to go up even more. His main reason for appearing on the show was because he had heard he was appearing on the show without knowing he was about to appear on the show. He was convinced the paternity test his deep fake had previously said he was going to take on Twitter, would be revealed to be positive, thus plunging him deeper down in the mire.

And yet the paternity test he had not taken had come back negative the presenters revealed live on-air, and suddenly he found himself agreeing with his deep fake.

Now with the aid of his manipulator, he was becoming popular again.

At the end of the episode, he got a call… from himself (naturally, this is The Capture after all) who told him to come to his hotel door. There on the videocom was… himself in deep fake form.

As for Rachel, she admitted to Turner that their undercover work might take to a year (or years) to come to fruition. But she also received a breakthrough by episode end – she had asked Knox to use X4NDER’s facial recognition tech to unmask Flynn’s assassin. He did, and the assassin was Russian.

Another interesting element to this episode – Frank Napier. Now diagnosed with stage-four stomach cancer, his days were coming to an end. It was an inspired little twist because it forced frank to confront his past, and indeed his future. He sought solace at his local synagogue but instead was told that not even penance could absolve his manifold sins. He was on his own. Or was he?

He soon went round to Garland’s house, who – expectedly it has to be said – opened her door to him. She was desperate for him to come onside and find out who was causing her office to melt down, and in a brilliant scene – over Chinese dinner, interestingly – she manipulated him beautifully and cleverly. And you got the sense Frank knew it.

So a quieter episode, but full of good dialogue. The Capture is still daft, but what modern, high-octane thriller isn’t? At least it’s developing characters in thoughtful, surprising ways, and that’s really the mark of a good show.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.




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

REVIEW The Capture (S2 E3/6)

The first two episodes of The Capture plunged into another helter-skelter case involving correction, this time centring around the manipulation of security minister, Isaac Turner.

At the end of episode two, we saw his appearance on Newsnight hacked – his actual appearance and words replaced by an almost impossible-to-detect deep fake extolling a racially inflammatory message.

Now the fall-out from the incident precipitated panic among Rachel Carey and the intelligence service, and this episode saw two expertly staged and intertwined strands of the story, building nicely until the final acts of this week’s instalment. On Floor Seven, Danny Hart and Kendricks were masterminding the surveillance of prime suspect Yan Wanglei, head of the Chinese facial recognition company, X4NDA. Chloe Tan followed him by car, while Hart and Kendricks were using CCTV to track his movements… all the way to Heathrow. It always surprises me how suspenseful watching people watch other people is, and this was a case in point – as Wanglei’s car sped towards the airport, they had to hatch some sort of plan in order to stop leaving the country without causing a diplomatic incident.

Of course, when the car got to the airport, Wanglei was nowhere to be seen. Garland, Hart and co had been had again.

Weaving itself in and out of the set piece was another counter-strand featuring Rachel Carey, who received a call from the hospital informing her that injured colleague Patrick Flynn was about to wake up from his coma. Her Spidey senses flickered into life and although she was being told that all security was locked down tightly at the hospital, she was also hearing the mirage constructed at the airport with Wanglei. So she sped to the hospital.

And of course, when she got there all security officers were dead and so was Flynn. Not only that but she heard on the radio her own voice telling all surveillance that everything was normal. She – or at least her voice – had also been replicated and used against her.

These two strands were thrilling and brilliantly staged. And because of this, the last quarter of the episode sagged a little. Turner was fired for his controversial and now viral Newsnight appearance by the Home Secretary (“People heard it, and now it’s real,” he told Turner, which seems very topical for our ‘post-truth’ times) and he seemed to be, psychologically, at a tipping point. And, crucially, Flynn’s assassins were revealed to not be Chinese, playing to a theory Rachel had. So who is running this operation? Rachel thinks it’s Napier and the Americans… Garland isn’t so sure.

The episode ended when both Rachel and Turner revealed they had recorded important conversations with Garland and Hart and the Home Secretary respectively, both disclosing important evidence in Rachel and Turner’s mission to expose correction.

Like I said last week, this is entirely ridiculous and daft, but really expertly staged and plotted; the beats used by all of the best thrillers dropped with aplomb, designed for maximum storytelling impact.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.



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

REVIEW The Capture (S2 E2/6)

Although a new story, episode one of The Capture certainly picked up where the first series finished. It presented us with another hi-tech noir, this time featuring DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) opting to work with the shadowy intelligence organisation she’s trying to bring down.

Last night, we were introduced to security minister Isaac Turner (Paapa Essiedu), who is this series’ person of interest. We saw how, while at a safe house, a deep fake interview was broadcast on the BBC’s Newsnight, with Turner giving his approval to a Chinese firm called Zander bidding to implement its facial recognition technology in airports across the UK. This deep fake interview contradicted his real views.

This jiggery-pokery told us that someone sneaky – and murderous – was evidently set on making sure Zander would win the contract and was willing to go to quite extraordinary (and preposterous, let’s be honest) lengths to do so.

What was left in the aftermath of that Newsnight broadcast was an absolutely dumbstruck Isaac Turner. With the world watching – including his wife, his aides and the millions at home – no one could quite understand why he would do such a spectacular about-turn live on TV. The obvious thing to do would, he suggested, go down to the Newsnight studios and put it right. However, Gemma Garland, Danny Hart and the now visiting Home Secretary had other ideas.

Garland wanted to dismiss Rachel from the scene, but Turner insisted she stay – after all, she was the only one in the room who thought something was very wrong with the situation in the first place. Garland acquiesced but set Rachel a task: to disclose to Turner the world of correction, and what it would mean if he went public with what had really happened.

The rest of the episode saw an even more dumbstruck Turner try to tip-toe around the idea that his very identity had been compromised and he couldn’t reveal why. The Newsnight production team, too, was suspicious. They had noticed lag and glitches during Turner’s remote interview and concluded that the IP address the connection had used was from, wait for it, China. The team knew it had been hacked, which constituted a serious security breach the likes of which the UK had never seen before, let alone a major broadcaster like the BBC.

Without admitting the security breach or the true nature of what had really happened, Garland and Rachel had to dissuade the Newsnight team to delve deeper into the story, but they wanted something in return. So Garland offered up the story of Turner’s alleged Nigerian lovechild.

Oh, the politics and skullduggery.

We’ve always known that The Capture was a kind of hyper-real, noir for the 21st century, and Turner – now knowing he was backed into a corner – was now playing out the classic noir lead. And what do classic noir leads do when they’re backed into a corner? They come out fighting or, at least in Turner’s case they try to take back some control of a situation.

He decided to give his security team the slip and go to the BBC at short notice and tell his side of the story. Tasked with stopping him was Rachel, who compromised her own secret mission (we had seen her earlier in the episode adding to her secret dossier of evidence) by telling Turner that there is another way to expose the truth. Turner assured her he wouldn’t mention anything about correction on air, but he didn’t count on the fact that the so-far invisible foe was about to play its next card.

While on air, Rachel noticed that what Turner – and larger-than-life media personality presenter Khadija Khan (the always excellent Indira Varma) – was saying in-studio was not being broadcast. What was being broadcast was something completely different – another deep fake espousing even more extreme views.

As Rachel tried to lock the studio down, she also had to stop Khan from going public with what had just happened. Again, she needed a sweetener – Rachel promised to work with her to expose correction.

So another fast-paced, hugely-enjoyable episode, even though things are getting more and more preposterous. I don’t quite buy how cardboard cut-out some of the characters are (hello Frank (he’s back!), hello smarmy Home Secretary, and hello Khadija Khan) and I didn’t quite buy Chloe Tan’s rapid promotion either. Nor did I quite buy the fact that Rachel was able to record her comings and goings on the seventh floor without detection.

All that being said – and as plainly far-fetched as this is – this is rip-roaring, twisty-turner stuff and a hugely enjoyable watch.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

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

The Capture season 2: BBC confirms transmission date

The Capture season 2 is on its way back, and now the BBC has confirmed its transmission date.

The six-episode series sees DCI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) living a lonely, paranoid existence, struggling with thwarted ambitions while seconded to Counter Terrorism Command’s ‘mapping’ department. She’s officially joined the highly classified Correction team, but has yet to be truly let in.

When her former colleagues DS Flynn and DI Latif bring the case of a man murdered by invisible assailants to her attention, the stakes quickly become deadly. Carey’s investigation brings her into the orbit of hotshot politician Isaac Turner MP as the case’s links to national and international security start to emerge. Something is very wrong, but can she work out what before Britain’s security is irrevocably compromised?

And which of her colleagues can she trust?

The Capture (series 2): Sunday 28th and Monday 29th August, 9pm, BBC One

REVIEW: The Capture (S1 E6/6)

One of the things I’ve been thinking about while watching and reviewing The Capture – BBC One’s very good six-part conspiracy/tech thriller – is why it has terrified so many people, not least myself.

We watch crime dramas all the time, and often they have monsters and serial killers and sadists and psychopaths in them. These people kill other people.

That’s pretty scary in itself.

Things are slightly different in The Capture. There’s no doubt that there are bad people in this story (more on them later), but the real villain in this piece is technology. And, more specifically, how technology is being wielded to strip way our identities to create new realities; new realities that look as though that feature us, but don’t.

Realities that are entirely constructed to serve another person’s purpose.

There’s something that chomps away at the very core of us when identity is concerned. It’s the scariest thing – your face, your likeness, being manipulated in such a way that takes your situations and circumstances out of your control.

We got more of a taste of that in this final episode.

Shaun Emery had, predictably, come out of hiding when Frank had abducted his daughter from her school. He let it be known that he had her, but in such a way that chilled to the bone. He had superimposed Shaun’s face onto the assailant to make it look as though the luckless father had kidnapped her. He then distributed it to all the major news networks.

Shaun was sitting in Rachel Carey’s parents’ house when he saw ‘himself’ take his own child from her school.

Worse was to follow for Shaun. He went to Frank, who let him see his daughter – who was in some strange, benign apartment, complete with childminders reading her stories – and then issued him with a terrifying ultimatum. He told Shaun that if he didn’t confess to the crimes, CCTV cameras within the room had captured him playing with his daughter. The inference was that he could make this innocent scenario look like something much more sinister.

Shaun had no choice. To save his family, he confessed to the crimes he didn’t commit and was thrown into jail.

To say this was a downbeat ending was an understatement. He had been through so much – both in Afghanistan and back in the UK – you’d think the writers would have given him a break. But no.

Rachel couldn’t believe his about-face. But then again Rachel couldn’t quite believe what was happening around her either. The landscape of crime investigation as she knew it had changed so much in such a short space of time. What was once unethical was now the new normal, while traditional detective work was now out of the window – if you had a credible suspect, you could make him or her a fit for the crime.

This final episode concerned itself with tying up the loose ends – as most final episodes do – but it also laid out the arguments for and against these ‘corrections’ in greater detail. The case for was made forcefully by Gemma Garland (an icily brilliant Lia Williams) who asked Rachel what else are law enforcement to do? They’re up against such increased activity from extremists who constantly lie on the stand and in interview rooms, even though the things they’re involved in make the look guilty. ‘Corrections’ are no more or no less than what they’re doing, she argued, and are the final missing piece of the jigsaw.

A dodgy argument indeed.

This episode really did lay out these arguments in fine detail, but it didn’t skimp on action either – Shaun’s ending was a downcast way to end things for him, but for Rachel things also ended on a downer or at least in an ambivalent way.

Earlier in the episode, her ex Danny Williams offered her an olive branch – join him and his colleagues in their quest to use corrections to save the world or, well… Initially, Rachel was, quite rightly, outraged at both his half-hearted offer and the fact that he was on the wrong side. It reminded me of Star Wars, actually – the Empire trying to tempt the young apprentice over to the dark side.

She hid the file showing Hannah Roberts travelling on the bus in a photo frame at her parents’ house (presumably for insurance and some sort of leverage) and strode into the security services and told Danny and Gemma that yes, she was willing to join up with them.

It was a good twist to end things on. Viewers will have shouted “noooo!” at their screens, but to me this set things up for another series, one in which Rachel seeks to bring these corrupt operatives down from the inside. She has to, right? Someone who’s been built up as a beacon of goodness can’t do what she’s doing unless she’s got more of a plan.

If there is to be another series of The Capture then I would welcome it because this has been an enjoyable, pacey thriller. The two leads – Callum Turner and Holliday Grainger – held things together well and made you believe in them. In Turner’s case, he had an edge about him, but also some vulnerability. Which is just as well because his character was well and truly put through the mill.

As for Grainger, she was also believable and her character, Rachel, was likeable as an ambitious, smart young woman.

It wasn’t a perfect series – nothing is these days – and I would have certainly liked more clarification on Faisal, the Muslim prisoner who was a victim of the corrections. Occasionally there was a sense that it was going around in circles a bit (what horrid situation can we put Shaun into next?), and I do wonder if a character like Frank – a hawkish enforcer – would ever really exist in the real world. But then again, I have no idea what kind of nefarious techniques are at work within the security services.

And, if all this correction business is in play, I really don’t want to.

All in all, The Capture did, um, capture the public’s imagination. Through word of mouth, it gained traction and people were talking about it. And it did have the same sorts of qualities as Line of Duty and the Bodyguard – pace and tempo, a barely decipherable plot, some nice twists etc. In fact, you could argue that The Capture had more substance to it than the aforementioned Jed Mercurio series because it tried to say something about the use of technology and our rights as human beings.

Paul Hirons 






REVIEW: The Capture (S1 E5/6)

Holy balls.

If I tried to explain everything that happened in tonight’s episode, I would probably have to do it twice – one to explain it to you and one to explain it to myself.

The riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma began to finally unravel tonight. No, scratch that. It fairly tumbled out and if you weren’t paying attention you would have scratched your head by the end of it.

I know I did.

It really is one of those shows where you’re not quite sure what’s going on, but the pace is so relentless, the atmosphere so tense and claustrophobic, that you kind of think you do. You just get swept up in the tempo and go with it. In that sense, it does have those same qualities as Line Of Duty.

It might even be better.

At the end of episode four, we saw DI Rachel Carey fully understand that soldier Shaun Emery’s video was a ‘correction’ – something that Counter Terrorism units do when they want to swing evidence their way. They edit videos, use the latest high-tech techniques and jiggery-pokery to doctor images, to use almost movie-like special effects to cut and paste faces onto other people’s faces… the list goes on and the list is terrifying.

Carey had found out that not only Emery’s video was ‘corrected’ but also that the case of the Islamic terrorists she had cracked while she was a member of CT had also been ‘corrected’. She had taken the plaudits for a case she did not know was bogus.

Emery? We saw him apprehended by an underground activist group called the Pilgrims Of Justice, headed by Hannah Roberts’ lawyer colleague and friend Charlie.

As they sat above the techno club, Charlie got to work in telling Emery the full story.

Most of this episode took place in flashback, as all the events that took place were revealed. And it was time for the first big twist.

I thought that the Pilgrims Of Justice had taken Emery in order to get him onboard and consume him into the group. But no… we saw that they had made the video and ‘corrected’ Emery’s encounter with Hannah on the streets.

We saw how a member of the group had shot an extra scene with Hannah on the streets before that fateful night, and how, in their own control room, got every detail right before they delayed the live feed and inserted their edit into the CCTV footage that would go onto be reported.

It was they – and Hannah Roberts – who had stitched Emery up. Why? They wanted to bring attention to a case of a wrongly imprisoned Muslim man, inside for terror offences, and bring the concept of ‘correction’ to the wider world. Emery just happened to be high-profile at that time and they wanted to use him as an example.

But something went wrong. They saw how the video was redacted, how Emery was released from custody… it wasn’t supposed to be like this. So they upped the stakes and tried to make out Hannah had been abducted and carry on the chirade. They also wanted to use Carey to investigate the case – and find the makers of this ‘correction’ for them.

She was a pawn.

In the CT control room, one of the operatives who had first been sent the video by Carey to take a look at it got a facial recognition on Hannah Roberts and immediately alerted Danny Hart – he was suspicious of the video, and the fact that no CCTV cameras were in that area – who, in turn, alerted Gemma Garland, who, in turn, alerted Frank. Together they suspected that Hannah Roberts was part of a rogue ‘correction’ crew, and that was bad news. They desperately wanted to cover up their foul practices.

So the hunt was on.

The operative who was part of Frank’s team – who was helping the Pilgrims (for reasons unknown)  – was sniffed out and gave up Hannah’s location.

Frank – meeting with Hart and Garland on a park bench in a cemetery – had suggested that the only way to make this end, and wash their hands of this particular, unwanted ‘correction’ was to finish off the narrative the Pilgrims had begun – they had to kill Hannah Roberts.

So Frank and his men did. They skulked into her safehouse – festooned with technology and night-vision cameras and first kille the guard dog, Cujo. (THEY KILLED A DOG!) and then dealt with Hannah.

By the end of the episode Emery, who had escaped from the Pilgrims this time (I mean, who hasn’t he escaped from in this series?), had ended up with Carey – finally – and went to a safe house (Carey’s parents). With Ron Perlman threatening to abduct Emery’s daughter in order to flush him out of hiding, who knows how this is going to end next week.

I mean, I have no idea. All I know is that it’s an unholy but hugely entertaining mess, with each opposing group trying to snuff each other out.

I’m hoping this will all be resolved next week.

I really am.

Paul Hirons






REVIEW: The Capture (S1 E4/6)

This is the episode that The Capture turned into The Matrix.

Yes, you heard me correctly. The Matrix.

Before we get to that proclamation, there was some stuff to get through. A lot of stuff.

We last saw Shaun Emery (Callum Turner, surely going through the worst week known to humankind) surveying the body of Hannah Roberts in the boot of a car he was given to escape. He was being stitched up, of that there was no doubt.

Interestingly, Roberts was reckoned to have been dead for a matter of hours, not weeks, which suggested, sadly, that she had been kept alive right up until that moment.

DS Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) managed to catch up with him, and as he overpowered her and stole her car he told her the real address he had been taken to – it wasn’t Belgravia. Carey and an incredulous Patrick went to visit the address and what do you know? It looked exactly the same as the house in Belgravia. Exactly the same.

Ron Perlman’s sinister boss man let them in and explained that he could not divulge the work they do there because well, because he couldn’t. He explained that the painting on the wall that depicted the American Cicil War war showed the real hero of the war – General Ulysses S Grant. A spot of post-meeting googling meant that Rachel fully understood the significance of this painting – it was a fake and was used at the time to spread what is now called ‘fake news’. The Man had been flaunting his video chicanery in front of their faces.

The Man then got on the phone to his insider at Counter Terrorism… DSU Gemma Garland. He wanted Carey wiped out.

Broadcasting expert Levy had already been taken out by The Man’s men, and now only Carey stood in their way.

Elsewhere, Emery had been knocked down by a van as he tried to escape again. This time the people who had captured him were on his side.

And this is where The Matrix comparisons came in. The people who had nabbed him were revealed to be a cell of tech-savvy vigilantes. They knew all the CCTV blind spots, new the system inside out and called themselves the Pilgrims Of Justice. The head of this group? Hannah Roberts’ lawyer friend, Charlie (who I thought might be one of the suspects.)

It was all a bit far-fetched, but such was the pace and ferocity of this episode I found myself going with it.

And go with it I did, when Danny Hart told Carey – after she showed up at a dinner with his wife and threatened to reveal everything unless he told her what was going on – to look more closely at Hannah Roberts.

And this is what the question I was waiting to be answered: who was Hannah Roberts? Why was she murdered? And why did every intelligence operative in London want to find her?

It felt like she was involved in something big. Something that people would murder for.

At the end of this episode, Carey had been suspended (by Garland) and Patrick had stumbled onto something – he had found CCTV footage of Hannah on the bus, which exonerated Emery. (I was pleased Patrick got to do something instead of being a bit of stooge whose life was in danger.)

With twists and turns galore, this is shaping up to be exactly what the doctor ordered – high-concept, fun and tense all the way through.

Paul Hirons