Review: Collateral (S1 E2/4), Monday 19th February, BBC One

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Collateral picked up a hefty 3.2 million audience share alongside some high praise from critics for its debut episode last week, with a star-studded cast and topical script making it an immediate Monday night favourite for viewers. It was pretty clear from the conclusion of the initial episode that writer David Hare wasn’t taking us down the conventional route for a police procedural, as we knew both the murder victim and murderer before the running time was up – resulting in the show being less about who but why they committed the crime. With a handful of episodes left and the narrative shifting on in real-time, it certainly wasn’t hanging around this week to get the various plot threads back into motion.

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Review: Craith (S1 E7/8), Sunday 18th February, S4C

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

With only two episodes left, Craith needed to step up its leisurely pace in order to sort everything out. Not that there had been anything wrong with this leisurely pace – the eight-episode order had allowed the series to go deep into characterisation, giving its cast rounded personalities, proper social context and ample time to examine relationships with each other. But, with Dylan Harris still at large, Megan Ruddock still under lock and key, and indeed Cadi John’s father – Huw – at the centre of a wrongful conviction case, there were a few significant ends to tie up. Continue reading

Review: Endeavour (S5 E3/6), Sunday 18th February, ITV

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

When a boutique assistant, Frances Porter, disappears after a night of passion, Morse is happy to let Fancy take the case – but it soon proves to be beyond him. Passenger is all about the railways (Auden’s The Night Mail gets quoted), so there’ll be plenty of opportunities for trainspotters to complain about the trains having the wrong number of bogies, or the ticket inspector wearing the wrong hat for the region. We won’t be indulging.  Continue reading

Review : Mosaic (S1 E1/6), Saturday 17th February, Sky Atlantic

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NB Spoilers Inside

The hotly-tipped Mosaic reaches our shores this weekend courtesy of Sky Atlantic, having wrapped up on HBO in the States last month. It’s a big name affair with Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Erin Brockovich, Traffic) on directorial duties and Ed Solomon (Now You See Me) penning the script. The biggest draw for most people will be the casting of Sharon Stone in the lead role playing children’s author Olivia Lake who is drawn into a deadly web of intrigue and conspiracy, alongside a solid cast of veteran Hollywood character actors including Beau Bridges and Paul Reubens in support. Soderbergh likes a gimmick (his upcoming film Unsane featuring Claire Foy was shot entirely on an iPhone), and Mosaic started life as an interactive app, where you could choose which part of the story to begin from and sift through documents related to the case as if you were the detective. Unfortunately, this product was only made available in America, so I’ll be reviewing Mosaic the old fashioned way – episode by episode.

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The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 19th – Sunday 25th February)

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It’s another big week in the crime drama arena – when isn’t it – with series two of Hans Rosenfeldt’s London-based series, Marcella, starting up this week (although, what we really want is his Malmö-based series to hurry up and get going over here). Elsewhere, the excellent Craith comes to an end next weekend and, on the same day and at the same time on the BBC, there’s another two-part Strike to get stuck into. Enjoy! Continue reading

Review: Modus (S2 E3&4/8), Saturday 17th February, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Last week, the second series of Modus began with quite the opening gambit – the POTUS, Helen Tyler (Kim Cattrall), was abducted during her first state visit to Sweden. This flung Ingvar and Inger-Johanna into action, but as far as concepts go it was fairly high up on the ladder. This, as many pointed out, presented a horrid juxtaposition with the series that preceded it on BBC Four: comparing Spiral to Modus is like comparing a Michelin-starred meal to a thin gruel. Still, this is where we are and, I have to say, for all its preposterousness I’m not hating it. I’m not loving it, but it’s not entirely awful. Continue reading

Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic starts on Sky Atlantic – will you be watching?

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One of the shows we were looking forward to immensely was Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic – a six-part series that started on HBO last week in the US and now comes to our shores via Sky Atlantic. It stars Sharon Stone (yes, THAT Sharon Stone) among others, and yes, I mixed the dates up: it starts tonight! Continue reading