I love Line Of Duty. I love Steve Arnott and his chippy little ways; I love Kate Fleming’s calm insouciance; I love Ted Hastings and his paternal, old-fashioned sheriff ways; and, more to the point, I love the fact that writer and director Jed Mercurio has torn up the rule book when it comes to crime drama. He kills people – established characters no less – without too much concern. Big-name actors, too. I love the fact that the characters he allows to stick around are deeply flawed but have so much ambiguity you don’t know whether you’re coming or going with them. Lenny James’ Tony Gates, Keeley Hawes’ Lindsay Denton, Daniel Mays’ Danny Waldron. and not forgetting Craig Parkinson’s Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan. Heck, even the members of AC-12 are hardly heroes in the traditional sense. They all had so much going on with their characters – nuances, depth, emotional entry points. You weren’t sure whether to love them or hate them. So the addition of Thandie Newton – a seriously good actress – and her character DCI Roz Huntley should have been a shoo-in into this esteemed gang of flawed are-they-aren’t-they characters. But with the series finale looming large on the horizon, I’m still waiting for the moment when things click with me with Roz Huntley. As dazzling and as addictive as the show is, I’m not quite there with it this series. Why?
NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading
(C) New Pictures – Photographer: New Pictures
And so it came to this. The final instalment of a crazy, dual timeline-hopping story that has taken in Germany, Iraq and Switzerland as its three main locations. A story of family breakdowns, shocks, twists and a power drill. Yes, this second series of The Missing has had a bit of everything and is the closest thing on television to a high-concept, page-turning crime novel. What I mean by that is novels – especially crime novels – often rely on unreliable narrators, different timelines and all sorts of literary tricks and devices. This series by Harry and Jack Williams has felt like that at times, and they’ve pulled out the structural trickery to deliver some real pyrotechnics in pretty much every episode.
NB: Spoilers inside
(C) New Pictures – Photographer: New Pictures
So last week I posted a review where I stated everything seemed to point to the women who said she was Alice Webster being Alice Webster. Some readers pointed out that I got this wrong. But surely this is all part of the game – the Williams brothers pulling us this way and that, injecting subterfuge and obfuscation at every opportunity to throw us off the scent. To lead us down avenues, and then take us down others. To establish suspects and then present us with others. But back to it. Adam Gettrick – the man who had killed our young German police friend – had been earmarked as the kidnapper, and with this we knew the chase was on to not only expose him and explain why he had done what he had done, but to catch him. And, of course, to finally find out the true identity of the young woman who had presented herself as Alice Webster…
NB: Spoilers ahoy! Continue reading
(C) New Pictures – Photographer: Steffan Hill
Can we talk about the drill? I think we can. When army liaison officer Adam Gettrick was revealed to have been ‘Alice Webster”s captor and father to her child (or at least that’s what was inferred) and mercilessly and brutally killed German Polizei Jorn Lenhart with a cordless drill (I still can’t drive past a B&Q after that), everything changed. It was bold by Harry and Jack Williams to reveal the captor and/or killer so early, eschewing the usual last-episode reveal, but now we want answers. What happened between Gettrick and Alice Webster? Was the Alice Webster we saw in the Swiss restaurant and the cabin the Alice Webster? Where is Sophie Giroux? Where is Lena Garber? What did happen in Iraq and what did Stone, Reid and A N Other do? We might not have got all the answers tonight, but we got some, in another very strong episode.
NB: spoilers, la la la la la, spoilers, la la la Continue reading
(C) New Pictures – Photographer: Laura Radford
I’ve been enjoying this series of The Missing. I have, honestly. I know I’ve been gobbing on about lack of emotional connection with the characters (because of the dual timeline approach), but I have been enjoying it: it has been innovatively told, very well acted and full of edge-of-your-seat twists and turns. This episode – episode five – was the one I was really impressed with, providing us as it did with a bold and daring twist right at the end, and some deeper characterisation.
NB: Spoilers, spoiler, spoilers. And more spoilers. Continue reading
(C) New Pictures – Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian
By now you’re probably up to date with The Missing, and if you are, up until about an hour ago you were one step ahead of me. I’ve just managed to catch up with episode four of the second series, which has so far been twisting and turning like a python dancing to Chubby Checker. The last I saw of the Websters Alice was out in the back garden with a shifty-looking Colonel Stone, who was intimating to Alice that she should keep her mouth shut. But in the two episodes I’m quickly going to recap, a whole load more stuff has happened and the story has moved on significantly. Continue reading
(C) New Pictures – Photographer: Aimee Spinks
So off we went on series two of The Missing last week – another emotional rollercoaster ride, this time featuring the Webster family, who were coming to terms with the reappearance of their lost daughter, Alice Webster. But that wasn’t all. That was in 2014, and now, in the present day, Julien Baptiste was in Iraq Kurdistan on the hunt for the man who he thought had abducted Alice and her fellow abductee, Sophie Giroux. We also saw that, two years after her disappearance in 2014, Alice Webster was lying in the ground. So, following two timelines, we were on our way to find out what happened to Alice and her fractured family, and follow Baptiste as he travelled the world tracking down the bad guy. Continue reading