Blackout starring Christopher Eccleston, Dervla Kirwan

Hitchcockian assassination scene from Blackout. Pics:BBC

Rating: ★★★★

Channel: BBC1, starts Monday, 2 July, 9pm

Story: Corrupt council official Daniel Demoys’ life is spiralling out of control. He’s an alcoholic, his wife has had enough of his lifestyle, and he finds himself in an alleyway with the businessman who is bribing him when his life takes a violent turn.

Blackout is a bold bit of TV noir. It’s hard to look away from the car-crash life of local politician Daniel Demoys, played without vanity by Christopher Eccleston, as he descends into out-of-control alcoholism, corruption and family destruction.

It takes place in dark alleys and rainswept streets in classic pulp-fiction mode, and begins with a Hitchcockian bit of silent storytelling, a montage that sets the scene nicely, with Demoys stealing council documents that he will sell to a local businessman before turning up late for his daughter’s school dance performance – drunk.

Nightclubbing: Sylvie (MyAnna Buring) and Daniel (Christopher Eccleston)

Waking up as a potential murderer
The blackout of the title is the drunken loss of awareness Daniel suffers later that night. After a bit of corridor sex in a club with a blonde he’s met, Sylvie, he hands over the documents to Pulis in a back alley. The businessman taunts Daniel, things turn violent, and in the morning Daniel wakes from his stupor realising he may have committed murder.

Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent

His wife, Alex ( Dervla Kirwan), is sick of Daniel, his son is scared of him, he is disgusted with himself.

‘Show me a way out of this hell,’ he says, as his life takes a twist when he recklessly stops a bullet for a young man campaigning against gang violence. Director Tom Green again pays homage to the Master of Suspense by shadowing the famous assassination scene amid an array of umbrellas from Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent.

Dervla Kirwan is Alex

Bullet-stopping Daniel Demoys
Suddenly, Daniel has a heroic profile and is encouraged to run for mayor, to turn his life round and reignite his youthful dreams of making a difference to society. Will he make amends for the damage he has caused, or will his past catch up and destroy him?

Blackout is a sharp and compelling psychological thriller, with a first-class cast, including the electric Andrew Scott (Moriarty in Sherlock) as a slightly unhinged cop and menacing ex of Sylvie’s, Lyndsey Marshal as Daniel’s sister, and Ewen Bremner as his election agent. That’s in addition to a star turn from Christopher Eccleston as the sweaty, red-eyed, dishevelled Daniel.

Cast: Christopher Eccleston Daniel Demoys, Dervla Kirwan Alex Demoys, Ewen Bremner Jerry Durrans, MyAnna Buring Sylvie, Branka Katic Donna, Andrew Scott Dalien Bevan, David Hayman Henry Pulis, Rebecca Callard Ruth Pulis, Lyndsey Marshal Lucy Demoys, Olivia Cooke Meg Demoys,  Danny Sapani Detective Griffin

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  1. Sounds beaut!

  2. Woody says:

    I’ve read a lot of comments on this site comparing UK crime shows unfavorably to Scandinavian series. This one looks like it’s patterned after the standard model Scandinavian Noir series. You have the mix of crime, politics and human frailty. This series is not focused on the politician, not the detective, but otherwise, it’s a lot like “The Killing”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love this better than Vera and Lewis this the closets thing to the Scandinavian crime dramas with touch of Flashpoint.

    This is what British crime show should look like not like Eastenders and Corrie.

  4. I agree with the other comments. Very enjoyable series.

    Robin, in your “New TV Crime dramas 2012”, you’ve called this series “The Fuse.” Update perhaps?

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