Search Results for: marcella 2

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…]

Crime dramas 2018 preview

Here is our annual rundown of some of the top crime series coming up. It seems there are more quality series around than ever…

The Trial of Christine Keeler, BBC1

Christine Keeler, who died earlier this month aged 75, was a the centre of one of the 20th century’s greatest British scandals, the Profumo affair. Writer Amanda Coe gives a taste of the event by describing it as ‘the Salem Witch Trial meets OJ Simpson – a perfect storm of gender, class, race and power that resonates into the world we’re living in today’. Keeler was a young woman who had an affair with government minister John Profumo. He lied about it to the House of Commons and had to resign. The fallout rocked the 1960s establishment and had tragic consequences…

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/10/2017 - Programme Name: A Very English Scandal - TX: 01/10/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: First look picture of Hugh Grant playing Jeremy Thorpe in BBC One's A Very English Scandal Jeremy Thorpe (HUGH GRANT) - (C) Blueprint Television Ltd - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

Downfall: Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe

A Very English Scandal, BBC1

Hugh Grant, Ben Wishaw

Another scandal that shook Britain, this time in the 1970s. Hugh Grant, returning to British television for the first time since the early 1990s, plays the disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe. In 1979 he was tried but acquitted of conspiring to murder his ex-lover Norman Scott, played by Ben Whishaw. Terrific cast includes Patricia Hodge, Monica Dolan and Michelle Dotrice. This three-parter is written by Bafta-winner and former Doctor Who overlord Russell T Davies. It’s directed by Stephen Frears, whose credits include Philomena and The Queen.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/10/2017 - Programme Name: A Very English Scandal - TX: 01/10/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: First look picture of Ben Whishaw playing Norman Scott in BBC One's A Very English Scandal Norman Scott (BEN WHISHAW) - (C) Blueprint Television Ltd - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott in BBC1’s A Very English Scandal

Hatton Garden, ITV

Timothy Spall, Kenneth Cranham

We almost saw this before Christmas, but it was abruptly pulled from schedules and will now be shown in 2018. It is, of course, about the spectacular London burglary pulled off by a group of, as the press labelled them, ‘diamond geezers’. It has a terrific cast and is written by Jeff Pope and Terry Windsor. Should be a cut above.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Mindhunter 2, Netflix

Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv

For me, the best crime drama of 2017 has been Netflix’s Mindhunter. Set in 1979, it is a gripping look at the challenges of setting up the FBI’s criminal profiling unit. It was superior to most TV whodunits, being an intriguing take on why-do-they-do-it. Serial killers are the subject, and the most chilling performance was that of Cameron Britton. He played the real-life killer Ed Kemper. Check out this featurette… and don’t miss the show.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Narcos 4, Netflix

Michael Peña, Diego Luna

Michael Pena joins Narcos

Narcos newcomer: Michael Pena

Michael Peña (Crash, American Hustle) and Diego Luna (Rogue One, Y Tu Mamá También) star in the upcoming fourth season. This time the action shifts to Mexico. It is slated to premiere later in 2018. Preview here.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Trauma, ITV

Adrian Lester, John Simm

Set in the trauma department of a London hospital, this is a three-parter. Fifteen-year-old Alex Reynolds dies under the care of high-achieving consultant Jon Stephens. Heartbroken, Alex’s father, Dan, believes Jon is responsible for Alex’s death. As he strives for justice, he begins to unpick the fabric of Jon’s life. Written by Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster), who says, ‘Trauma is a story about two fathers with very different lives, locked in conflict. I hope the series will be moving, terrifying and timely… If we increasingly mistrust institutions and experts, what happens when we desperately need them?’

Anticipation factor ★★★★

MAMMOTH SCREEN FOR ITV NEXT OF KIN on ITV1 Pictured: JACK DAVENPORT as Guy Harcourt and ARCHIE PANJABI as Mona Shirani Episode 1 - The contemporary drama follows whip-smart doctor Mona Shirani ( Archie Panjabi) who lives in London with political lobbyist husband Guy Harcourt (Jack Davenport). Family life is shattered when Mona’s brother is killed whilst working for a medical charity abroad. As the death brings buried secrets to light, Mona’s family finds itself under suspicion, each drawn deep into a tangle of betrayal and conspiracy as they try to protect their loved ones and careers. Mona finds herself facing the ultimate dilemma: how far would you go to keep your family safe? 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

Trouble ahead: Jack Davenport as Guy Harcourt and Archie Panjabi as Mona Shirani

Next of Kin, ITV

Archie Panjabi, Jack Davenport

Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, The Fall), and Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, Smash), star in this fast-paced family thriller, starting on Monday 8 January. The contemporary drama follows doctor Mona Harcourt (Panjabi). She lives in London with political lobbyist husband Guy (Davenport). When a bomb goes off in London on the same day her brother, Kareem, is abducted and murdered in Pakistan, Mona’s charmed life is shaken to its core.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Dark Heart, ITV

Tom Riley

Series 2 of this six-part police drama is set for Spring 2018, with Tom Riley as DI Will Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the murder of his parents. ITV head of drama Polly Hill says: ‘We’re thrilled Tom Riley has agreed to return as Will Wagstaffe in Dark Heart. As the central character, he has immersed himself in police work to seek some form of closure for what has happened in his past. It’s a gritty, emotionally driven thriller from [screenwriter] Chris Lang.’

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Riviera 2, Sky Atlantic

Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles, Lena Olin, Roxane Duran and Dimitri Leonidas will be back for a new run of Sky’s glossy French-set crime drama. Based on an idea by former U2 manager Paul McGuinness, it was mostly style over substance. But it clearly did well enough for Sky to lavish another big budget on a second outing.

Anticipation factor ★★★

Clean Break, ITV

Sheridan Smith

Currently being filmed in and around London, this looks particularly interesting. Sheridan Smith plays Sam, a cleaner at financial stockbrokers in the City, one of an invisible army enduring the suffocating grind of a zero-hours contract. She’s also a mum with a gambling addiction. When she hears of a confidential financial deal, she has a chance to turn her life around – but also veer into a dark and illegal world.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Liar 2, ITV

Joanne Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd

2 BROTHERS PICTURES For Itv LIAR EPISODE 1 Pictured: JOANNE FROGGATT as Laura Nielson. Photographer JOSS BARRATT 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

Piecing together what happened – Laura in Liar 1

I thought series one was weighed down by implausibilities, but ITV think it was the greatest thing going, so it’s set to return in 2019. The crazy end certainly annoyed a lot of viewers. Be interesting to see how Andrew Earlham (Gruffudd) is resurrected… or perhaps not.

Anticipation factor ★★★

Cheat, ITV

Starts production in 2018, it’s described as ‘an emotionally affecting four-part series’. It’s about a dangerous relationship between a professor, Leah, and her student, Rose. What begins as a seemingly open and shut case of academic deception, spirals out of control…

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Top Boy, Netflix

Ashley Walters, Kane Robinson

Migrating from C4 to Netflix, this gritty drama includes new storylines that see Dushane (Ashley Walters) returning from exile to his home in London to reclaim his throne in the lucrative drug market. He teams up with Sully (Kane Robinson), his partner, and sometime rival, who is also returning after his own form of exile – prison – comes to an end. Awaiting them both is Jamie, the young and ruthless gang leader whose ambitions leave no room for Dushane and Sully.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Gangs of London (working title), Sky Atlantic

Set for 2019, this London-set drama will be about a capital ‘torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs in control’. When the head of a criminal organisation is assassinated, the sudden power vacuum his death creates threatens the peace between the city’s web of gangs.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Bulletproof, Sky 1

Noel Clarke, Ashley Walters

Clarke and Walters star as cops from differing backgrounds who are also best mates. Aiming for humour, action and emotion, the show centres on the relationships between fathers and sons and is about friendship, conspiracies and ghosts from the past.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Lucky Man 3, ITV

James Nesbitt, Sienna Guillory

Based on an idea from world-renowned comic book writer Stan Lee, this had the good fortune to win over a million viewers. In this third chapter, DI Harry Clayton is in Hong Kong, looking for answers about his ‘lucky’ charm. He comes up against some nasty underworld characters who have their eyes on more than just his bracelet. Joining James Nesbitt are show favourites Amara Karan, returning as DS Suri Chohan, Sienna Guillory as Eve and Stephen Hagan as Rich Clayton.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Manhunt, ITV

Martin Clunes

ITV has a strong record of creating sensitive dramas from true events. This one looks like it be engrossing, though the casting of Martin Clunes looks suspect. Written by Ed Whitmore (who wrote the chilling, intriguing Rillington Place), it’s based upon the memoirs of former London detective DCI Colin Sutton, who tracked down serial killer Levi Bellfield. Manhunt is the story of how the murder of French n ational Amelie Delagrange, on Twickenham Green in August 2004, was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler as she travelled home from school in 2002.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Marcella 2, ITV

Anna Friel, Jamie Bamber

Series one divided viewers in 2016. Written once again by Hans Rosenfeldt, who did the brilliant The Bridge, it is unlikely to be cosy or run-of-the-mill. The story begins with the discovery of a body inside a wall. The corpse is surrounded by toys and soft animals and a school blazer. A devastated Marcella soon works out that the body is that of schoolboy Leo Priestley, who was abducted a few years beforehand and a friend of Marcella’s son, Edward. Anna Friel said, ‘I’m thrilled to be reprising the role of Marcella and want to thank ITV for recommissioning this powerful London based noir drama. The reaction from everyone has been amazing.’

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Endeavour 6, ITV

Shaun Evans, Roger Allam

Filming has begun on the fifth series of ITV’s hugely successful detective drama, Endeavour. Six feature-length films of the Inspector Morse prequel series are to be produced for transmission next year, starring Shaun Evans as the recently promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

 

White Dragon, ITV

This eight-parter was filmed during the autumn on location in Asia. From writers and producers Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing), it follows Professor Jonah Mulray, whose life is turned upside-down when his wife, Megan, is killed in a car-crash in Hong Kong. Casting news to be announced.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Unforgotten 3, ITV

Nicola Walker, Sanjeev Bhaskar

This has had some terrific press reviews and will be looked forward to by many viewers. Once again, DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan will be unravelling the truth behind historic murders.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

New Crime Series 2017

Here is our annual preview of new crime series and thrillers coming up. Most will be on next year, but some will feature in the autumn of 2016, including…

Programme Name: Rillington Place - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **FIRST LOOK** John Christie (TIM ROTH) - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC

Notting Kill: notorious serial murderer John Christie (Tim Roth)

Rillington Place, BBC1, Tuesday, 29 November, 9pm

Tim Roth, Samantha Morton, Nico Mirallegro

The Beeb revisits one of the most chilling true crimes in British criminal history. The multiple murders of ex-copper John Christie in Notting Hill in the 1940s and 50s – and the hanging of innocent man Timothy Evans on Christie’s testimony – was a case that haunted the justice system and one that provokes controversy still. It will star Tim Roth as the creepy killer and Samantha Morton as his wife (and one of his victims, of which there were probably eight in all). Writers Ed Whitmore and Tracey Malone say: ‘This is a story you just can’t look away from: an unlikely serial killer who orchestrated a devastating miscarriage of justice. It has drawn us in at every turn and has attracted an incredibly exciting level of talent who are as committed as we are to bringing it to life.’

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Rillington Place Ethel Christie (SAMANTHA MORTON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC

Wife: Ethel Christie (Samantha Morton)

Innocent, ITV

Hermione Norris, Lee Ingleby

Four-part drama telling the story of David Collier (Lee Ingleby) who is living a nightmare. Convicted of murdering his wife Tara, David has served seven years in prison. He’s lost everything he held dear: his wife, his two children and even the house he owned. He’s always protested his innocence and faces the rest of his life behind bars. Convinced of his guilt, Tara’s childless sister Alice (Hemione Norris) and her husband Rob (Adrian Rowlins) are now parents to David’s children. His situation couldn’t be more desperate. Then David’s case comes up on appeal…

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Fortitude - Series 02 First look images from series two of Sky Atlantic’s arctic thriller, Fortitude, from the set in Iceland. The Sky original drama, co-produced by Pivot, stars Dennis Quaid, Sofie Gråbøl and Richard Dormer.

Chilling out: Dennis Quaid in Fortitude 2

Fortitude 2, Sky Atlantic

Dennis Quaid, Sofie Gråbøl, Sienna Guillory, Parminder Nagra, Michelle Fairley, Ken Stott

Hollywood star Dennis Quaid turns up in the ‘cosy, twisted world of’ Fortitude in the Arctic Circle for another tense mystery. There is little on the story right now, but the setting is spectacular and so is the cast.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Fortitude - Series 02 First look images from series two of Sky Atlantic’s arctic thriller, Fortitude, from the set in Iceland. The Sky original drama, co-produced by Pivot, stars Dennis Quaid, Sofie Gråbøl and Richard Dormer.

Ice day for a murder – Fortitude 2‘s stunning setting

Kiss Me First, C4 and Netflix

Cast: details to be announced

An adaptation of Lottie Moggach’s best-selling young adult novel of the same name, telling the story of Leila, a lonely 17-year-old girl who is addicted to a fictional online gaming site called Agora. While in Agora, Leila meets Tess, a cool and confident party girl who harbours a dark secret…

Anticipation factor ★★★★

From Warner Bros Lethal Weapon on ITV Pictured: Roger Murtaugh [Damon Wayans] and Martin Riggs [Clayne Crawford]. This photograph is (C) Warner Bros and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. 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

Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) and Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford)

Lethal Weapon, ITV

Clayne Crawford, Damon Wayans

Spin-off from the hit movie franchise, we join Riggs and Murtaugh as they confront the criminals of Los Angeles. Family man and by-the-book LAPD Detective Roger Murtaugh (Wayans) is back to work after a near fatal heart attack – and his doctor has told him he needs to keep his stress levels under control. Easier said than done given that he’s been paired with ex-Navy SEAL-turned-detective Martin Riggs (Crawford), who has moved to California for a new start at the LAPD.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Loch Ness

Siobhan Finneran, John Sessions

No, it’s not about the hunt for a mysterious dinosaur, but rather the efforts to catch a serial killer plaguing the beautiful, haunting shores of Scotland’s most iconic Loch. Happy Valley‘s Siobhan Finneran teams up with John Sessions for this six-parter featuring detective Annie Cathro as she tries to cope with her first murder case. Written by Stephen Brady (Fortitude, Vera, Silent Witness).

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Riviera, Sky Atlantic

Wish you were here? Julia Stiles in Riviera

Riviera, Sky Atlantic

Julia Stiles

This South of France-set thriller really does look like a gripper. It’s a 10-parter based on an idea by former U2 manager Paul McGuinness, directed by Neil Jordan and co-written by Booker Prize-winner John Banville. Georgina (Julia Stiles) is newly married to billionaire Constantine Clios, when he is killed in a yacht explosion. She is shocked to discover the fortune that maintained his immaculate, tasteful lifestyle is tainted with dishonesty, double-dealing, crime – and murder. Julia Stiles, star of the Bourne movies, said: ‘What attracted me to Riviera is the setting, a romantic and glamorous world where not everything is as it seems, and the opportunity to explore a character who is also not as she appears. Georgina is the classic anti-hero, ultimately a good person, but compromised by the corruption around her.’

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Maigret 2, ITV

Rowan Atkinson, Shaun Dingwall, Lucy Cohu

This really felt like a failed attempt to bring the much-loved Parisian detective to the small screen when the first instalment went out last Easter, but ITV looked at consolidated viewing figures of 7.2 million and hit the green light. There will be two new mysteries, Night at the Crossroads – which just started filming this week – and Maigret in Montmartre. Well, author Georges Simenon wrote 75 Maigret novels, so the channel has plenty of attempts to inject its adaptations with some passion and edge.

Anticipation factor ★★★

In Plain Sight, ITV

Douglas Henshall, Martin Compston

True-crime three-parter recounting the rather scary Scottish serial killer Peter Manuel and the attempt to snare him during the 1950s. What was chilling about Manuel, who was actually born in New York to Scottish parents, was that he callously committed a range of horrible crimes, including property and sexual crimes, then he killed those whom he robbed or raped. His spree claimed eight lives in the close-knit communities of South Lanarkshire.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Prime Suspect – 1973, ITV

Stefanie Martini, Sam Reid, Blake Harrison, Alun Armstrong

A prequel to the hugely popular and influential ITV series Prime Suspect, this is adapted from a novel by the show’s creator Lynda La Plante. Stefanie Martini, who may be familiar from Doctor Thorne, will play the young Jane Tennison. The six-parter has completed filming in London, and will explore what made Tennison such a formidable and complex character.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

penned by acclaimed screenwriter Rowan Joffe. Tin Star follows Jim Worth (Tim Roth), an ex-pat British police officer who becomes obsessed with revenge when his small town in the Rockies is overrun by workers from a massive new oil refinery - and the wave of drugs, prostitution and organised crime that follows them. Riding the crime wave is a mysterious gang of killers who murder a member of Jim’s family, in a botched assassination attempt on Jim’s own life. We follow Jim as he deals with his tremendous guilt and attempts to uncover who is responsible.

Dust-up in Canada – Tim Roth in Sky Atlantic’s revenge thriller Tin Star

Tin Star, Sky Atlantic

Tim Roth, Christina Hendricks

Tim Roth – again – teams up with Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks for this contemporary take on the Western genre, set in the Canadian Rockies. Tin Star tells the story of Jim Worth, an ex-Metropolitan police detective who has moved with his family to the Rocky Mountains to start a new life as a local police chief in an idyllic rural community. When his small town is overrun by migrant workers from a massive new oil refinery – the wave of drugs, prostitution and organised crime that follows them threatens to sweep away everything in its wake.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks star in this Sky Atlantic revenge thriller penned by acclaimed screenwriter Rowan Joffe. Tin Star follows Jim Worth (Tim Roth), an ex-pat British police officer who becomes obsessed with revenge when his small town in the Rockies is overrun by workers from a massive new oil refinery - and the wave of drugs, prostitution and organised crime that follows them. Riding the crime wave is a mysterious gang of killers who murder a member of Jim’s family, in a botched assassination attempt on Jim’s own life. We follow Jim as he deals with his tremendous guilt and attempts to uncover who is responsible.

Christina Hendricks in Tin Star

[Read more…]

Marcella on DVD

Marcella DVDIT’S BEEN CALLED infuriating and too dark, but dull it certainly is not. Marcella has been ITV’s attempt to refashion Nordic noir on these shores by getting the creator of the hugely popular The Bridge, Hans Rosenfeldt, to conjure up this Nordic-cum-Brit thriller. Anna Friel has certainly been compelling as the detective prone to blackouts, and this week’s episode had critics spluttering over a child’s death in the story.

Following the former Murder Squad detective Marcella Backland as she is propelled back to work following a 10-year career break has been an intricate and pretty deep at times. On the face of it the investigation concerns a serial murder case where the modus operandi of the killer bears a striking resemblance to an unsolved case Marcella was previously involved in, but there is plenty more to it, with Marcella’s husband being a bit dodgy (as well as unfaithful), sex worker muggers on the loose and various corporate shenanigans.

Personally, I can’t make up my mind about it (my original review is here). It is a bit daft and over the top at times, and certainly mystifying. I suspect we need to get to the end of it to see if it’s a load of pants or actually pretty decent.

Anyway, if the various storylines have had you baffled, you can scrutinise the drama again at your leisure or just see what all the fuss has been about as a first-time viewer when the DVD is released on 20 June. The boxset will be priced at £26.99 (cert 15, though this is to be confirmed).

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Marcella, ITV, Anna Friel

BUCCANEER MEDIA FOR ITV MARCELLA Pictured: ANNA FRIEL as Marcella. This image is the copyright of ITV and must only be used in relation to MARCELLA.

Losing control? Anna Friel as Marcella

Dark and intricate thriller from the writer of The Bridge

★★★ ITV, Monday, 4 April, 9pm

HEROINES are often called ‘feisty’. Marcella Backland is not feisty, she is out of control.

She shoves her unfaithful husband down the stairs, she’s volatile, has blackouts, and when we first meet her she is in a bath and caked in mud and blood. How did she get there? That’s what this brooding eight-parter is going to tell us.

Writer Hans Rosenfeldt, who gave us the superb The Bridge, has here conjured up a heroine who is the opposite of Saga Noren in that Swedish-Danish production. The emotionless rule-following blonde has been replaced by a heartbroken, rule-breaking brunette.

Marcella on ITV with Anna Friel episode one

Gripping: Anna Friel as Marcella

Anna Friel as Marcella

Marcella, played wonderfully by Anna Friel, is a woman on a tightrope. It’s hard to even tell if she is a goodie or baddie.

Rosenfeldt has been brought in by ITV to inject some Nordic noir in between the fluff of Midsomer and Lewis. So Marcella is a forbidding heroine and many of the scenes are filmed on rainy London nightscapes. She’s not an anti-hero in the league of Walter White or Dexter, but she’s not cuddly either.

It also has in common with The Bridge multi-strands of stories woven together. This is how Rosenfeldt describes the drama he and his team wanted to make: ‘A thriller, yes. But there are many ways to tell a story. We settled for multi-plot. A lot of characters, not all of them immediately connected to the main story or main characters, but eventually ending up there; that’s what I like to do. That’s what I’m good at. Creating and solving a mystery with as many hooks, twists and red herrings as possible. So that’s what we did.’

BUCCANEER MEDIA FOR ITV MARCELLA Pictured: NICHOLAS PINNOCK as Jason Summers, SINEAD CUSACK as Sylvie Gibson and PATRICK BALADI as Stephen Holmes. This image is the copyright of ITV and must only be used in relation to MARCELLA.

High-powered: Nicholas Pinnock as Jason, Sindead Cusack as Sylvie and Patrick Baladi as Stephen

Sinead Cusack and Laura Carmichael

The threads involve Marcella’s marriage breakdown after 15 years, her return to work as a detective when the Grove Park Killer seems to have reappeared after an 11-year break, a sex worker with a sideline in mugging, and a property firm run by a nasty CEO, Sylvie Gibson (played by Sinead Cusack in Cruella De Vil mode).

Nicholas Pinnock is Jason, Marcella’s now ex-husband, and Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith in Downton Abbey) is Maddy, a student researching domestic abuse who is on the radar of a potential suspect for the Grove Park murders. Maeve Dermody is Grace, Sylvie’s high-flying businesswoman daughter.

Marcella is elevated above just being a compelling whodunit by also having an intriguing set of characters and terrific atmosphere.

Marcella on ITV Hub

Marcella trailer, with Anna Friel

HERE’S the trailer for ITV’s new thriller Marcella, which is currently on view in cinemas. It sounds like a good one, starring Anna Friel and written by Hans Rosenfeldt, who also wrote The Bridge. Set in London with a Metropolitan Police detective at its heart, Marcella is noir thriller told with Rosenfeldt’s unflinchingly Nordic style. Over eight episodes the audience will be led through a narrative maze where any character could be a witness, victim or suspect. Marcella will get involved in a serial murder case where the modus operandi of the killer bares a striking resemblance to an unsolved spate of killings from a decade ago. Also starring Jamie Bamber, Laura Carmichael, Harry Lloyd and Nicholas Pinnock.

BUCCANEER MEDIA FOR ITV MARCELLA Images taken at the read through in London. Pictured: JAMIE BAMBER as DI Tim Williamson.

Jamie Bamber as DI Tim Williamson in rehearsal with Laura Carmichael as Maddy Stevenson

2016’s New TV crime series

HERE’S our annual selection of the best new crime series and thrillers heading to a screen near you in 2016…

ITV's Marcella, with Anna Friel

Anna Friel at a read-through for Marcella

Marcella

ITV, 2016
Anna Friel, Laura Carmichael, Nicola Pinnock, Ian Puleston-Davies, Nina Sosanya, Ray Panthaki, Jamie Bamber, Patrick Baladi, Harry Lloyd
THIS ORIGINAL, multi-stranded eight-parter is, intriguingly, written by the man who created BBC4’s The Bridge, Hans Rosenfeldt, his first series exclusively created for the UK. ITV rather unoriginally describe it as ‘Scandinavian noir on the streets of Britain’, but given Rosenfeldt’s ability to conjure up distinctive, fresh characters and off-kilter mysteries, this could be a bit special. The story is about a detective returning to the Met’s Murder Squad after a 12-year career break. Marcella is in her late 30s and had previously given up her fast-tracked role to marry and devote her life to starting a family.  With the abrupt end to her marriage to Jason, and isolated from her daughter at boarding school, Marcella returns to work. By coincidence a spate of recent killings have occurred that bear the hallmarks of unsolved murders committed over a decade ago. Marcella is immediately assigned to the case she first worked on in 2003…
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★

 

Sherlock, BBC1, Dr John Watson (MARTIN FREEMAN), Sherlock Holmes (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH) - (C) Hartswood Films - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Stepping back in time: Watson (Martin Freeman) and Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Sherlock – The Abominable Bride

BBC1, 1 January 2016
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Natasha O’Keeffe

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (No. 1) - Picture Shows: The Bride (NATASHA OKEEFFE) - (C) Hartswood Films - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Bridezilla? Natasha O’Keeffe as the Bride

IT WOULD appear that Steven Moffat, boss of Doctor Who and Sherlock, has got his shows mixed up because his modern take on Sherlock Holmes has done a bit of time travelling himself and slipped – via the TARDIS? – back into the Victorian period. This is after he and co-writer Mark Gatiss have gone to all the trouble of updating everyone’s favourite consulting sleuth. That’s right, it’s all steam trains, hansom cabs, top hats and frock coats. There even seems to be a ghostly Christmas Carol flavour to the tale. Inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Moffat and Gatiss have conjured a mystery about a character called Thomas Ricoletti. This chap is a little surprised to see his wife dressed in her old wedding gown. Why? Because, just a few hours before, she took her own life… Mrs Ricoletti’s ghost now appears to be prowling the streets with an unslakeable thirst for revenge. It all sounds a little madcap, but if past form is anything to go by, this New Year’s Day special should be popping with wit and intrigue.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★

 

The Five

Sky 1, 2016
Tom Cullen, O-T Fagbenle, Lee Ingleby, Sarah Solemani
THIS HAS to be near the top of our list on the basis that it is written by one of the world’s best thriller authors, Harlan Coben. It’s a 10-part thriller about the consequences of a terrible childhood incident for a group of friends. The series is Harlan Coben’s first original series for television. BAFTA-winner Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, Clocking Off) has been working alongside Harlan as lead writer on the drama.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★

 

Dark Angel

ITV, 2016
Joanne Froggatt, Alun Armstrong, Jonas Armstrong, Laura Morgan, Sam Hoare, Emma Fielding, Penny Layden
DARK ANGEL also looks intriguing. It is based on the true story of Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton, played by Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt. We meet Mary Ann as a loving wife and mother, newly returned to her native North East of England. But faced with poverty and an ailing husband, we see how ruthlessly determined she is to pursue a better life… Mary Ann is a serial killer, a poisoner whose methods leave no visible scars, allowing her tally of victims to mount unsuspected by a Victorian society unable to conceive a woman capable of such terrible crimes. She insinuates herself into unsuspecting families, marrying and creating new families of her own – before killing them, taking their money and moving on. Through adultery, bigamy, fraud and murder, Mary Ann betters herself socially and financially. But the more she kills, the greater the risk that her crimes will finally be exposed.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★

 

Maigret, ITV

ITV, 2016
Rowan Atkinson

ITV has commenced filming Maigret Sets A Trap one of two stand-alone dramatic films featuring the legendary French fictional detective Jules Maigret, played by Rowan Atkinson. This image is the copyright of ITV and must be used in relation to Maigret. Photographer John Rogers.

Pipe dream? Rowan Atkinson takes on Jules Maigret

THE LEGENDARY French fictional detective Jules Maigret, is to be played by Rowan Atkinson in two standalone films. Set in the 1950s Paris, the first of the two x 120min films, Maigret Sets a Trap and Maigret’s Dead Man, went into production in September 2015. It has been written by Stewart Harcourt (Love & Marriage, Treasure Island, Marple). The big question is, will Rowan Atkinson pull off a decent portrayal of the detective, whose devotees have as strong opinions over the character as do those of Sherlock Holmes or Poirot. With his laconic manner, heavy coat and trademark pipe, the formidable Jules Maigret first appeared in print in 1931. Georges Simenon, who wrote 75 Maigret novels, is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, selling around a billion books worldwide to date. So, there will be plenty of mileage in a series if ITV and Atkinson get this right. Maigret Sets a Trap is adapted from the Simenon novel Maigret tend un piège. The second film, Maigret’s Dead Man, is based on Maigret et son mort. Renowned actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, who is best known for portraying iconic characters such as Johnny English, Blackadder and Mr Bean, said: ‘I have been a devourer of the Maigret novels for many years and I’m very much looking forward to playing such an intriguing character, at work in Paris during a fascinating period in its history.’
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★

 

McMafia

BBC1, 2016
Cast to be announced
BBC1 IS TURNING non-fiction author Misha Glenny’s 2008 bestseller McMafia into an epic drama series set in the international world of organised crime. Reports say it is a tale set within a Russian family living in exile in London that throws open the doors of the complex world of organised crime, created and written by award-winning screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini (Drive, The Wings of the Dove, Snow White and the Huntsman,) and James Watkins (The Woman in Black, Eden Lake, Bastille Day). Author Misha Glenny says: ‘I am a huge fan of The Godfather, The Sopranos and, more recently Narcos. Hoss and James’s brilliant reworking of McMafia takes this tradition onto a global canvas by revealing the immense possibilities open to an ambitious Russian crime family in an interconnected world.’ This seems to be part of a trend for the telling of epic, broad-ranging and intelligent crime stories following on from Netflix’s Narcos and Sky Atlantic’s The Last Panthers, both of which set the bar high for such series.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★

 

Scott & Bailey

ITV, 2016
Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp, Sally Lindsay
THIS TERRIFIC drama has won a loyal following and will be keenly anticipated. ITV has commissioned a three-part special series this time featuring a single crime story. The format will allow the story to unfold with scale and ambition as Scott & Bailey tackle one of the darkest cases they have ever had to face – and that’s saying something as some of their previous investigations have been particularly chilling. Both Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp return to the roles of super cool Scott and her hotheaded partner DS Bailey, the crime-fighting partnership forged over four previous series following the drama’s successful critical and ratings launch in 2011. Rachel (Suranne Jones) returns from her Vice secondment fired up and full of new ideas. She’s gained valuable experience and wants to make her mark as she returns to Syndicate 9’s Murder Squad. She is exactly who Janet (Lesley Sharp) and the team need to move forward with a terrifying and sinister Internet crime investigation of epic scale and unrelenting horror…
Anticipation factor: ★★★★

 

Tennison

ITV, 2016
Cast to be announced
SHE’S BACK! Tennison, the prequel to Prime Suspect, has been commissioned by ITV, who describe it as ‘much anticipated’. It’s probably less a case of ‘much anticipated’ and more like fingers crossed, because these prequels/sequels/reboots can be terrible. Much will depend on the casting (Helen Mirren, of course, will not be playing her younger self) and how inspired acclaimed writer Lynda La Plante is in reimagining her superb creation. Despite her terrific track record (Widows, Trial and Retribution etc), she’s not infallible. The recent Above Suspicion was implausible and fell flat with audiences. The new 6 x 60-minute series will portray the young Jane Tennison at the beginning her career, revealing why she became such a complex and formidable character in the Metropolitan Police. It’s Hackney in the 1970s, and women police constables are being uneasily ‘integrated’ into the force. We’re introduced to 22-year-old Jane, a probationary officer in a world where high-ranking police officers were notoriously chauvinistic, and the rules and regulations often bent. The drama will broadcast in 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Prime Suspect series screening in 1991. Seven series followed and the character of Tennison became well known and loved around the world.
Anticipation factor: ★★★

Endeavour 3, ITV, Roger Allam and Shaun Evans

Ready for the Summer of Love? Thursday (Roger Allam) and Endeavour (Shaun Evans)

Endeavour III

ITV, Sunday, 3 January, 8pm
Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Jack Laskey, Sean Rigby, Anton Lesser, James Bradshaw, Abigail Thaw
THE Inspector Morse prequel will comprise 4 x 120-minute films and will once again be written by Lewis and Endeavour creator and Inspector Morse writer Russell Lewis. Author Colin Dexter, whose first Morse story was published in 1975, continues his association with the drama, acting as a consultant. Falsely accused Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) was last seen isolated and alone languishing in prison, framed for the murder of Chief Constable Rupert Standish. Endeavour is one of the more intelligent crime dramas around, taking a considered look at its 1960s setting, rather than just using it for nostalgia. Set in 1967, three months after Donald Campbell’s ill-fated attempt to break the 300-mile speed barrier on water, the first of the new stories follows the murder of bus conductress Jeannie Hearne on the night she visited the local fairground. It’s the Summer of Love, but for Endeavour it will be a life-changing period, ‘perhaps the end of the beginning.’
Anticipation factor: ★★★

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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

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