Suspects, Channel 5, with Fay Ripley, Damien Molony PREVIEW

Suspects: Damien Molony, Fay Ripley and Clare-Hope Ashitey. Pics: Ch5
Damien Molony, Fay Ripley and Clare-Hope Ashitey. Pics: Ch5

Rating: ★★★ 

Ch 5: starts Wednesday, 12 February, 10pm

Story: Police investigate the reported abduction of a two-year-old girl from her home.

A NEW British drama commissioned by Channel 5? But surely Channel 5 is all reality rubbish, Aussie soaps and bought-in US cop shows?

This was my response when I saw Suspects in the channel’s highlights. ‘But Channel 5 doesn’t make dramas…’

Well, they do now. Suspects is a fresh venture into original drama, and it ain’t bad. The 10-part series is filmed documentary-style with the cast ad-libbing their roles according to a plot description.

It stars Fay Ripley (Cold Feet), Damien Molony (Being Human) and Clare-Hope Ashitey (Top Boy), and they carry the story along with believable naturalness.

Child killer working down the road

The opener is a knotty case, an investigation into the abduction of a toddler from her home. The family

Ch5 Suspects: DI Bellamy (Ripley), DS Weston (Molony) and DC Steele (Ashitey)
Suspects is filmed like a fly-on-the-wall documentary

set-up is difficult – dad and mum have separated, dad has custody of the children, including an older son – but alarm bells ring when it is discovered that a convicted child killer is working in the offie down the road.

The story moves at pace, with shifting perspectives and disclosures uncovering more and more of what happened.

Suspects is a decent drama, inexpensively made, with a plot-driven format that means we never get much insight into the characters of these London detectives – DI Bellamy (Ripley), DS Weston (Molony) and DC Steele (Ashitey). While it won’t have HBO quaking in its boots, it’s good to see Channel 5 investing in something more ambitious than Big Brother and Botched Bodies.

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