Yesterday, I kicked off the countdown that every self-respecting, discerning crime drama fan had been waiting for (well, two of you): The Killing Times’ Top 15 Crime Dramas Of 2016. This year has seen an incredible variety of crime dramas, and numbers 15-11 reflected that: there was a horror/crime mash-ups, dramas based on real, true-life stories, and even a good, old-fashioned whodunit. So what’s next, and who makes the top 10? Read on!
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
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!
Hold on to your thermals: at the end of this week much-anticipated Swedish crime drama, Modus, starts up on BBC4. Normal service is resumed, hurrah! Elsewhere, The Missing reaches its penultimate episode, Y Gwyll/Hinterland continues on S4C, and there’s a new radio drama on BBC Radio 4. Elsewhere, it’s slim pickings as a) I’m A Celebrity dominates, and b) we head into the Christmas period. Enjoy!
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
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.
Last night I went along to a special screening of episode five of The Missing (review coming later tonight), held at a posh hotel in the middle of London. It’s always a treat to see television dramas on the big screen, and to also see some of the talent connected to them talk about their work afterwards. In this case, Harry and Jack Williams and Tchéky Karyo were in attendance, so I’ve transcribed some of the things they said.