Innocent ITV Lee Ingleby

INNOCENT PRODUCTIONS FOR ITV INOOCENT EPISODE 1 Pictured: LEE INGLEBY as David Collins and HERMIONE NORRIS as Alice. Photographer Steffan Hill This photograph is (C) iTV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com


In-laws in war – Lee Ingleby as David Collins and Hermione Norris as Alice

Lee Ingleby’s in great form as a man out to prove his innocence of murder in the face of hostility from all sides

★★★★

ITV, Monday, 14 May, 9pm

WITH SO MANY miscarriages of justice down the years, it is strange that TV drama has not explored this theme more often.

Top writers Chris Lang and Matt Arlidge do a good job with this gripping thriller, however. Lee Ingleby plays David Collins, who is unexpectedly acquitted on a technicality after seven years inside for the murder of his wife, Tara.

This creates a storm of hostility and despair, not least from Tara’s sister, Alice, played by Hermione Norris. David’s two children, who’ve been brought up by Alice, are also in turmoil. His daughter in particular is fearful.

Lee Ingleby as David

On the steps of the court, David vows to unmask the real killer. Most people think this is a ruse, however, and he is shunned by old mates and his family.

All except his brother, Phil (Daniel Ryan), who has campaigned tirelessly to free David. Now David has to rely on Phil’s charity as he tries to rebuild his life and regain custody of the children.

INNOCENT PRODUCTIONS FOR ITV INOOCENT EPISODE 2 Pictured: DANIEL RYAN as Phil. Photographer Steffan Hill This photograph is (C) iTV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com

Loyal – Daniel Ryan as Phil

I was not a fan of Lee Ingleby in series such as George Gently. But here he is a revelation as a man on the edge.

He is convincingly desperate, frantic and slightly out of control. When he went to jail, his house was forfeit to his in-laws. They feel threatened by him on several levels now and Hermione Norris’s Alice mirrors his desperation.

Intrigue among the detectives

An intriguing subplot involves the police. David’s release is a blow to Detective Inspector Will Beech (Nigel Lindsay), whose original investigation is now viewed as a failure.

DI Cathy Hudson (Angel Coulby) is asked to look at the case again. However, it turns out she is in a relationship with Beech.

INNOCENT PRODUCTIONS FOR ITV INOOCENT EPISODE 1 Pictured: ANGEL COULBY as D.I Cathy Hudson. Photographer Steffan Hill This photograph is (C) iTV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com

Case re-opened – Angel Coulby as DI Cathy Hudson

This brings up the juicy prospect of what she will uncover, and how it will affect her bond with Beech.

There are revelations before the end of episode one. It will be hard for most viewers not to check out the rest of this four-parter, which follows on consecutive nights.

Innocent ITV trailer

The Bridge 4 with Sofia Helin

Programme Name: The Bridge - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Saga Norén (SOFIA HELIN) - (C) Filmlance International AB, Nimbus Film - Photographer: Jens Juncker

In a dark place – Saga Noren (Sofia Helin)

Final series of The Bridge finds Saga in a tight spot – namely, prison

★★★★

BBC2, Friday, 11 May, 9pm

BACK IN 2011, when CrimeTimePreview was launched and The Killing was thrilling British viewers, Scandi-noir was a niche hit. 

As the final series of The Bridge gets going, foreign-language dark crime is now popular enough to shift from BBC4 to BBC2. And it’s good to see the return of Saga Noren, who rivals Sarah Lund as the most charismatic of Nordic protagonists.

Actor Sofia Helin’s emotionally withdrawn detective is at her most vulnerable as the story begins. She is in prison, accused of murdering her manipulative mother. Surrounded by hostility and without her comforting routines, she is distressed.

Henrik wants Saga’s help

Her partner, Henrik Sabroe (Thure Lindhardt), visits her occasionally, but she doesn’t always want to see him. He, meanwhile, is still tortured by the disappearance of his daughters (the body of his wife was, of course, discovered in the last series).

The Bridge - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Saga Norén (SOFIA HELIN), Henrik Sabroe (THURE LINDHARDT) - (C) Filmlance International AB, Nimbus Film - Photographer: Jens Juncker

Final outing – Saga and Henrik

Henrik is also investigating a gruesome murder. The body of the head of the Danish Immigration Board has been found – where else? – near the bridge linking Denmark and Sweden.

Hans Rosenfeldt, who also wrote ITV’s underwhelming Marcella, is among the creative team once again here. Because he likes a high-concept criminal conspiracy, the murder has to be weird and disturbing. This time the victim has been buried up to her neck and stoned.

Macabre murder

Has the crime got anything to do with activists who are outraged by Immigration officers celebrating the deportation of an Iranian homosexual? Henrik, who is in love with Saga, would like her help with the case, even though she is inside awaiting an appeal. She tells him she is no longer a cop.

Will she get out? How will their unusual and difficult relationship develop if she does? And can they unravel this macabre crime?

Saga has been brilliant company for viewers since 2011. The series missed the warmth that Kim Bodnia’s character Martin brought to it before his abrupt departure at the end of series 2.

But for a character who could not show her emotions, Saga has always elicited a big-hearted wave of devotion from fans of dark Danish mysteries.

See our Killer 50 – The Bridge

The Bridge on the BBC

Ordeal by Innocence BBC1

Programme Name: Ordeal By Innocence - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Arthur Calgary (LUKE TREADAWAY), Rachel Argyll (ANNA CHANCELLOR), Leo Argyll (BILL NIGHY), Kirsten Lindstrom (MORVEN CHRISTIE) - (C) Mammoth Screen/ACL - Photographer: James Fisher/Joss Barratt

Shadowy figures – Arthur Calgary (Luke Treadaway), Rachel (Anna Chancellor), Leo (Bill Nighy), Kirsten Lindstrom (Morven Christie)

Lavish production for Agatha Christie’s dark mystery 

★★★½

BBC1, Easter Sunday, 1 April, 9pm

AGATHA CHRISTIE was the queen of intimate murder. Relationships that are too close for comfort and disturbing family secrets often lurk in her whodunits.

These elements always add up to killing that is up close and personal. Ordeal by Innocence is a classic of the genre.

This production was originally pulled from the Christmas schedule. An allegation of historic sexual assault against its then star Ed Westwick, which he has denied, caused the Beeb to withdraw the three-parter.

Ordeal by Innocence Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson), Supporting Artists - (C) Mammoth Screen/ACL - Photographer: James Fisher

Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson)

Christian Cook as Mickey

In stepped actor Christian Cooke to reshoot Westwick’s scenes, and here is the result. Cooke plays Mickey, one of the adopted children of dragon mother Rachel Argyll, who is murdered before the opening credits. It’s a key role and he portrays the damaged son well.

The story sweeps us along with little dialogue at first. It’s pacy, beautifully shot and gripping.

In addition to the tense relationships, Ordeal by Innocence has those other classic Christie ingredients – the big country house and homicidal motives galore.

Anna Chancellor as Rachel

Mickey and his step siblings – Mary, Tina, Jack and Hester – have had the misfortune to be raised by adoptive mum Rachel (Anna Chancellor). She is cold and manipulative.

Now grown, the children – plus housekeeper Kirsten – all seem ready to brain Rachel. Delinquent Jack (Anthony Boyle) is fingered for the crime, dying later in prison.

Eighteen months after the crime, a stranger appears at the family estate. Dr Arthur Calgary (Luke Treadaway) claims he gave Jack a lift in his car at the time Rachel was being killed. His assertion that Jack was innocent is not believed, though he still manages to unsettle the family.

Ordeal By Innocence - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Mickey Argyll (CHRISTIAN COOKE), Kirsten Lindstrom (MORVEN CHRISTIE) - (C) Mammoth Screen/ACL - Photographer: Joss Barratt

Mickey Argyll (Christian Cooke), Kirsten (Morven Christie)

As patriarch Leo Argyll prepares to marry his secretary – to the disapproval of Mary (Eleanor Tomlinson in fine bitchy form) – the tension builds brilliantly…

Ordeal by Innocence is a superior Christie adaption. It has a terrific cast and the characters have enough skeletons in various cupboards to keep things rattling along superbly.

13 Commandments

13 Commandments

Bloody message – the detectives on the hunt for ‘Moses’

A sinister series of biblically themed crimes challenges Belgian detectives in this dark thriller

★★★½

Channel 4, Sunday, starts 18 March, 10pm

FIVE OR SIX years ago it was the Nordic explosion in crime TV. Today the growing buzz is around Belgian series.

13 Commandments is a violent 13-parter about a moralistic killer basing his crimes on the 10 commandments. It begins with a grisly throat-slitting murder – which could put off some viewers – but after that lurid start, it becomes quite compelling.

There are conventional features, such as the budding police relationship between isolated old-timer Peter Devriendt (played by Dirk van Dijck) and his new unwanted young partner, Vicky Degraeve (Marie Vinck).

Odd-couple cops

She has been traumatised by her time with special forces. He lives alone and has a distant relationship with his daughter.

The character development is slow but convincing. After a while it seems logical that the two misfits should click.

While there was a bleakness amid the chill settings of Scandi classics such as The Bridge and The Killing, 13 Commandments offers unpredictability. Here, the twist is that the killer’s crimes make him a media sensation. Vicky and Peter’s job in hunting him becomes all the more difficult and dangerous.

Belgian crime wave

Other Belgian series to look out for under the Walter Presents umbrella include Rough Justice and Professor T. If the distinctive features of Belgium’s crime shows are mood and quirkiness, these two typify each style respectively. Rough Justice follows damaged Superintendent Liese Meerhout, while Professor T is about an eccentric professor with a sideline as police adviser.

And look out for the second series of Belgian hit Salamander, coming soon to BBC4.

In the meantime, watch as the criminal who calls himself Moses tries to restore a moral order to the world. It’s a dark and at times cinematic journey…

Save Me, Sky Atlantic, Lennie James, Suranne Jones

Save Me, Sky Atlantic

Stephen Graham, Lennie James and Suranne Jones

An estranged father feels compelled to join the hunt for his missing daughter in this London-set thriller

★★★★ Sky Atlantic, Wednesday, 28 February, 9pm

NELSON ‘NELLY’ ROWE is a chancer, barfly and bit of a rogue. However, he’s shaken out of his comfort zone when he is accused of abducting his estranged 13-year-old daughter, Jody.

The reason he doesn’t see Jody is because she is the result of a summer fling years ago. Her mother, Claire, has not forgotten Nelly, however. She is convinced he has snatched her girl.

Reunited – Suranne Jones as Claire McGory and Lennie James as ‘Nelly’ Rowe

Nelly suddenly realises what he has missed by ignoring Jody. Arrested and horrified to be considered a kidnapper, he resolves to find out where she is.

Suranne Jones and Stephen Graham

This six-parter is nicely written by its star, Lennie James, here a long way from The Walking Dead. The setting is a south London council estate, where life revolves around the local boozer.

The top-notch case includes Suranne Jones as Claire, and Stephen Graham as ‘Melon’, the friend with a secret. Jason Flemyng plays Tam, Nelly’s cross-dressing ally, and Susan Lynch is Stace, landlady of the Palm Tree pub.

A twist to the story is the new man in Claire’s life, Barry (actor Barry Ward). Jody’s adoptive father warns Nelly off, but he appears to have serious problems of his own with some unsavoury characters.

Lennie James as Nellie

It’s a refreshing change to see a drama that is not about lovely middle-class types. These are ordinary folk at the lower end of the social scale, but the characters are well realised and pose intriguing questions.

Spooked – Stephen Graham as Fabio ‘Melon’ Melanzana

What has happened to Jody? Has she fallen victim to a paedophile on the estate? Or is Barry in some way involved?

Lennie James has a good appreciation of this group of characters, most of all Nelly. Fifteen years before Nelly would have ruled the Palm Tree and been a big hit with ladies.

He’s a badly faded local face now. Seeing whether he will be able to finally redeem himself should make Save Me a gripping series.

Marcella 2, ITV, with Anna Friel

BUCCANEER MEDIA FOR ITV MARCELLA EPISODE 1 Pictured: ANNA FRIEL as Marcella. This photograph is (C) RANKIN and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com

Dark times – Anna Friel as Marcella

She’s confused, we’re confused – Marcella is back on a new case

★★½ ITV, Monday, 19 February, 9pm

IT BEGINS WITH our heroine standing on a roof edge. Then someone finds an ear in a wall – as you do.

Next, a mummified corpse is found bricked up in a cavity. Marcella takes one look and says, ‘I know who that is.’

All this is accompanied by a pounding soundtrack. This jumble of unhinged non sequiturs and annoying aural climaxes is, I suspect, supposed to be intriguing. To keep us guessing, glued to our armchairs.

For many, the actual effect will probably be to make trigger fingers hover over the remote’s off-button.

Marcella’s fugue states

The storytelling is annoying, throwing out jagged moments to keep the audience off-balance. The characters are largely flat because of the pyrotechnics with plot-teasers.

ANNA FRIEL as Marcella, RAY PANTHAKI as Rav and JACK DOOLAN as Mark. This photograph is (C) iTV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com

Investigators – Anna Friel as Marcella, Ray Panthaki as Rav and Jack Doolan as Mark

The first outing for Marcella was called ‘infuriating’ in some quarters, but this site enjoyed its off-kilter drive. In fact, most people who voted in our poll liked it and found it gripping.

If you remember, Detective Sergeant Marcella Backland suffers these fugue states and can’t recall all that happens. This led to suspicions that she may have committed the crime she was investigating without knowing it.

Jamie Bamber

Now she is back for another eight episodes and is still out of control. When she blindly attacks someone, her estranged husband says she should get help.

‘I don’t know how,’ she moans. To which most viewers may think, how about visiting the doctor?

Instead, she goes rampaging around in a fury, snapping at the man she sleeps with, played by Jamie Bamber, weirdly confronting her ex, lying to colleagues. She is a grim protagonist.

Another criticism last time was that it was such a dark drama. This time, we get a child apparently being abducted, a paedophile, a youth strapped to a table in a dingy flat being experimented on…

[Read more…]

Babylon Berlin graphic novel

WE’VE SEEN IT on Sky Atlantic and it’s just launched on Netflix in the US. Soon a new blast of the period crimer Babylon Berlin will return – as a graphic novel.

The 16-part series met with acclaim when European audiences caught it last autumn. It’s a pacy and intriguing recreation of hedonistic 1920s and 30s Weimar Germany. It was also the most expensive Euro-TV production ever, costing a reported $47 million.

Set in Berlin, 1929, the story follows detective Gereon Rath. He gets pulled into a web of drugs, sex, political intrigue and murder.

The transition to the graphic world works a treat. Writer/artist Arne Jysch captures the noir mood and danger of this volatile period. The artwork has a vintage, but cinematic, feel to it.

Publisher is Titan Comics. Details: Hardcover, B&W, 216pp, $24.99 US/$33.99 CAN/£21.99 UK
On sale: February 27, 2018 ISBN: 9781785866357

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