Dark Heart, ITV Encore

From ITV Studios Dark Heart on ITV Encore Pictured: The Killer. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc 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 For further information please contact: james.hilder@itv.com

Brutal – The Killer in Dark Heart

Twisting two-hour tale of revenge murders that seems designed to launch a new cop series

★★★ ITV Encore, week of 5 November (day to be announced)

THE START is grisly, featuring the kind of slow murder that London probably hasn’t seen since the Middle Ages.

It’s the first of a series of horror killings, all featuring suspected paedophiles as the victims. However, if you can get past the grim murder spree, Dark Hart is a diverting tale with good lead characters.

Investigator: Staffe (Tom Riley)

Investigator: Staffe (Tom Riley)

Detective Inspector William Wagstaffe (Tom Riley), is the focus. He is haunted by the murder of his parents during a family holiday in Spain when he was 16 years old. The killers are still at large and ‘Staffe’ is unable to let go until he finds them.

The women in Staffe’s life

By day, Staffe has to keep his cynical officers focused on tracking down a killer who most feel is doing a good job. These include DC Josie Chancellor (Anjli Mohindra), DS Dave Pulford (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) and DS Rick Johnson (Tom Brooke).

By night he has an on-off relationship with Sylvie (Miranda Raison) and a close but fractious time with his sister, Juliette (Charlotte Riley).

 Juliette [Charlotte Riley]. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc 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

Sister – Juliette (Charlotte Riley)

Based on a novel by Adam Creed, the set-up is interesting, but as depicted on screen never really convinces. Staffe’s troubled soul somehow fails to chime with the on-going story, which is heavily concerned with moody interiors and time-lapse sequences.

It’s not in the same league as Happy Valley or even the currently unfolding Paranoid and The Level.

Still, the investigation – once the horror show is put aside – is surprising and holds your interest. The end packs a wallop and Staffe is left in a place where it seems likely he may be brought back for more adventures.

The Fall 3, Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 20/09/2016 - Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 20th SEPTEMBER 2016** DSI Stella Gibson (GILLIAN ANDERSON) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Helen Sloan

Curtain call – DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)

It’s all blood and guts as The Fall returns – but will it return to form?

★★★½ BBC2, Thursday, 29 September, 9pm

ANYONE IN TRAINING to join the medical staff of an ER department should watch this opening episode. It must be the most detailed depiction of operating on gunshot victims ever seen in a primetime drama.

The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 20th SEPTEMBER 2016** BEHIND THE SCENES Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Helen Sloan

Get well soon – Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

From CPR to blood units to delving right into Paul Spector’s insides, few aspects of the procedure are spared. Half of the first episode is absorbed in blow-by-blow accounts of medical teams dealing with Spector and his injured victim Rose Stagg. Casualty is kids TV in comparison to this and new face Dr Joe O’Donnell (actor Richard Coyle) is virtually star of the show.

In terms of the drama, you wonder what the point of all this gore is. At the disappointing end of series two, we wondered why Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson had rushed to woman-killer Paul Spector’s side rather than that of the colleague she had recently slept with, the also injured DS Tom Anderson.

And would the much abused victim Rose survive her ordeal at his hands? Has Anderson made it?

Gillian Anderson is as icy as ever as Stella

These cliffhangers are forgotten for a while. In what is a rather strange return, The Fall instead focuses on Spector’s travails in the operating theatre. The medical emphasis seems to be pointing out the irony of the all the effort that would go into saving a vile murderer. As one of the medical teams at Belfast General Hospital says, ‘No expense spared.’

The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 20th SEPTEMBER 2016** BEHIND THE SCENES Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd -The Fall Photographer: Helen Sloan

Rebel with a cause – Katie Benedetto (Aisling Franciosi)

Eventually, we get some relief from sutures and spleens. Gibson is confronted about her apparent devotion to Spector and we find out about Rose and Tom’s long-term prospects. The pressure is also turned up on Stella as the police honchos suspect she is out of control.

Katie (Aisling Franciosi) is still the troublesome teen, ostracising family and friends in her desperation to rush to her imaginary lover’s bedside.

Happily Gillian Anderson is still on great form as the Ice Queen, inscrutable, talking in whispers. She has a lot more to do than Jamie Dornan as Spector, who gets to move a finger. And John Lynch looks as constipated as ever as Stella’s boss and ex-lover Jim Burns.

Will The Fall become The Fail?

I think The Fall lost so much viewer goodwill at the end of series two that many think it will never be anything other than The Fail. Writer Allan Cubitt had got inside the sick mind of a psychopath and set up the hunted-hunted theme brilliantly in series one. He also picked up several awards along the way, including a British Screenwriters’ Award.

Then there was that ending to conclude series two, which seemed to make nonsense of Stella as a character. I’ve heard of people close to the show also predicting that it’s going to be rubbish. However, that might be premature. I suspect Cubitt was setting up a cliffhanger with that finale and will backtrack by getting Stella in the groove once again.

And it wouldn’t be The Fall if if didn’t also chill us. Devotees will soon realise as episode one closes that the nurse attending Spector (new cast member Aisling Bea) is just his dark-haired type…

 Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: *Embargoed until 00.01 20th September 2016* DREAM SEQUENCE Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Helen Sloan

Dream sequence – Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

Paranoid, ITV, Robert Glenister, Indira Varma, Lesley Sharp

RED PRODUCTIONS FOR ITV PARANOID EPISODE 1 Pictured: INDIRA VARMA as Nina Suresh and NEIL STUKE as Michael Niles. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc 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 motives: but do the police have anything to be paranoid about?

A shocking murder kicks off a tense conspiracy thriller

★★★★ ITV, Thursday, 29 September, 9pm

TV IS SO OBSESSED with crime drama that it’s hard for any new series to stand out from the mass of cops-and-killer yarns. Paranoid does stand out. It initially has the hallmarks of a traditional whodunit – but then pulls off the trick of veering into darker territory.

It starts with the shocking murder of a mother in a playground. You know the formula – star detectives in plastic suits turn up and make cynical comments to the forensics team.

And when CCTV fingers Jacob Appleby, a suspect suffering from psychopathic schizophrenia, it all looks straightforward. However, events turn more ominous.

RED PRODUCTIONS FOR ITV PARANOID EPISODE 1 Pictured: INDIRA VARMA as Nina Suresh and DINO FETSCHER as Alec Wayfield. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc 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

Too close for comfort?Indira Varma as Nina Suresh and Dino Fetscher as Alec Wayfield

Robert Glenister as Bobby Day

One of the detectives, Bobby Day (an affecting turn from Robert Glenister), thinks someone is watching the police. And when messages turn up at the police station for Day, it is clear there is more to the murder of mum Angela Benton, a GP, than meets the eye.

One of the messages – ‘You have no idea what you’re up against’ – is a clear warning.

What makes this mystery engrossing is the interesting characters writer Bill Gallagher has created. His credits include Lark Rise to Candleford and The Paradise, so Paranoid seems an interesting shift of gear for him.

The police characters certainly have their own demons. Bobby Day is suffering from panic attacks, which he tries to hide from his colleagues. [Read more…]

The Level, ITV, Karla Crome

KARLA crome (Nancy Devlin) and LAURA HADDOCK (Hayley) For further information contact Patrick Smith patrick.smith@itv.com 0207 157 3044 ©ITV This photograph is the ©ITV 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 For further information please contact: PATRICK SMITH

Peer pressure: Karla Crome (Nancy Devlin) and Laura Haddock (Hayley)

A rising female detective with an emotional attachment to a gangster is pitched into a world of danger

★★★ ITV, Friday, 30 September, 9pm

THE SCRIPT for this new ITV thriller was several years in gestation. It was time well spent because writers Gaby Chiappe and Alexander Perrin have come up with a taut gripper that has emotional punch.

HILLBILLY TV FOR ITV THE LEVEL on Picture shows: KARLA CROME (Nancy Devlin), ROBERT JAMES-COLLIER (Kevin O'Dowd), LINDSEY COULSON (Michelle Newman) and NOEL CLARK (Gunner Martin) For further information contact Patrick Smith patrick.smith@itv.com 0207 157 3044 ©ITV This photograph is the ©ITV 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 For further information please contact: PATRICK SMITH

Karla Crome, Robert James-Collier, Lindsey Coulson and Noel Clarke

Karla Crome plays Nancy Devlin, a detective with a difference. She is inextricably linked to gangster Frank Le Saux – an affecting turn from Philip Glenister. Le Saux was a father figure to Nancy during her turbulent childhood. Meanwhile, his daughter, Hayley (Laura Haddock), became her best friend.

This compromising relationship has survived her rise to distinction as a detective sergeant. When we first meet Nancy she is being paraded before colleagues after saving her boss, Kevin O’Dowd (Downton‘s Robert James-Collier), from a lethal attack.

Nancy’s tracked by a killer

However, Nancy is also in the habit of giving Frank a wink if he ever comes under investigation.

When Frank then contacts her because he is in trouble, Nancy’s career is suddenly under threat, to say nothing of her life. As she struggles to avoid being implicated in a murder investigation, she is also being tracked by a killer.

HILLBILLY TV FOR ITV THE LEVEL on Picture shows: LAURA HADDOCK as Hayley For further information contact Patrick Smith patrick.smith@itv.com 0207 157 3044 ©ITV This photograph is the ©ITV 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 For further information please contact: PATRICK SMITH

Laura Haddock as Hayley

The Level, which refers to an area of Brighton – where the six-part series is set – and the idea of being on the level, is a very effective thriller. It is fast and tense without implausibly stretching the story.

We’ve seen Karla Crome in series such as the excellent Prisoners’ Wives and Misfit. She has no trouble holding the limelight here. Laura Haddock, usually seen in big-budget nonsense like Da Vinci’s Demons, is spot on as the ballsy badgirl who was once close to Nancy. [Read more…]

The Fall 3 – Are you ready?

Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ICONIC   Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) , DSI Stella Gibson (GILLIAN ANDERSON) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Des Willie

Battle of wits: Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)

The battle between Detective Superintendent Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) is about to reach a conclusion in Allan Cubitt’s psychological drama. While series one had its controversial moments, it was still compelling. Unfortunately, season two ended on a bum note of ridiculousness, with Gibson seeming to fall for Spector. Hope that wasn’t The Fall the writer had in mind. Still, anticipation levels will be high in the hope that the thriller can recapture its form. It’s certainly got a terrific cast.

Sherlock series 4

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 13:00:00 on 31/08/2016 - Programme Name: Sherlock - TX: n/a - Episode: Sherlock - early release Sept (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Sherlock Holmes (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH), Dr John Watson (MARTIN FREEMAN) - (C) Hartswood Films - Photographer: Todd Antony

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman)

Here’s the first official picture from forthcoming series 4, featuring Sherlock and John. The plot will feature John and wife Mary (Amanda Abbington) preparing for parenthood. Oh, and there’s the little matter of villains Moriarty (Andrew Scott) and new face Culverton Smith (Toby Jones), described by writer Steven Moffat as ‘the darkest villain we’ve had’. Here, by the way, is the official BBC Sherlock page.

The Watchman with Stephen Graham

Channel 4's The Watchman

All eyes – Stephen Graham is Carl, the Watchman

A nail-biting evening spent in the lonely company of Stephen Graham’s CCTV operator

★★★½ C4, Wednesday, 24 August, 9pm

THIS IS A modern take on the 1954 Hitchcock classic Rear Window. Here, however, CCTV is our protagonist’s window on the world.

Carl’s a decent bloke, strong moral outlook, feeling fine about another all-night shift on his own manning the neighbourhood CCTV network.

Ironically, actor Stephen Graham virtually puts in a solo shift as Carl, so few scenes does he share with anyone else.

Stephen Graham The Watchman

All eyes – Carl at work

Writer Dave Nath

Seen recently in The Secret Agent, here Graham plays a more vulnerable character. Carl has a complicated home life, trying over the phone to placate his 16-year-old daughter in her strop with mum, while keeping an eye on a gang of young thugs on the local estate.

He also feels rather impotent in his role as guardian, repeatedly getting the brush-off from the police dispatcher when he tries to get officers to intervene as drugs are being dealt. Not enough manpower he’s told, by the dispatcher who clearly is contemptuous of him.

Writer/director Dave Nath found in his research that this is a common occurrence for CCTV operators. He visited CCTV nerve centres and says, ‘I visited one in particular, to look at the layout and how they worked. I started telling them about some of the storylines in the film. That sense of calling the police about stuff, and the police not being able to respond, was a daily occurrence. Also, the sense that shifts are increasingly one-man shifts. I find that worrying, placing one person in that position. It means your placing a hell of a lot of responsibility on that one person.’ [Read more…]

One of Us, BBC thriller

Programme Name: One of Us - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Claire Elliot (JOANNA VANDERHAM), Moira Douglas (JULIE GRAHAM), Louise Elliot (JULIET STEVENSON), Bill Douglas (JOHN LYNCH), Rob Elliot (JOE DEMPSIE), Jamie Douglas (CRISTIAN ORTEGA), Anna (GEORGINA CAMPBELL), Alastair (GARY LEWIS) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Phil Fisk

Barnstorming – Claire (Joanna Vanderham), Moira (Julie Graham), Louise (Juliet Stevenson), Bill (John Lynch), Rob (Joe Dempsie), Jamie (Cristian Ortega), Anna (Georgina Campbell), Alastair (Gary Lewis)

Secrets spill out when a murderer turns up on the doorstep of his victims’ families

★★★½ BBC1, Tuesday, 23 August, 9pm

FANS OF THE NETFLIX series Bloodline, about the corrupt and dysfunctional Rayburn family, will recognise One of Us as a blood relation.

Programme Name: One of Us - TX: 23/08/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Grace Douglas (KATE BRACKEN), Adam Elliot (JEREMY NEUMARK JONES)) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Hal Shinne

Victims – Grace Douglas (Kate Bracken) and Adam Elliot (Jeremy Neumark Jones)

This BBC production is another thriller ruled by family secrets and animosities. Here the catalyst for opening the can of emotional worms is a shocking double murder.

Through charming family home movies we see that Adam Elliot and Grace Douglas grew from toddler pals to childhood sweethearts and wedded couple. We’re wrenched into the present when the newlyweds are murdered at their flat in Edinburgh.

Killer on their doorstep

Where Bloodline has wayward brother Danny returning home to upset everybody, in One of Us the premise is more bizarre – and chilling. Adam and Grace’s apparent killer, a knife-wielding drug addict, steals a car and heads to the Scottish Highland village of Braeston, where Adam and Grace’s families live.

The stranger is knocked out as he crashes his Lexus during a terrible storm. When the Douglases and Elliots realise who he is – and that he’s wanted by police – they put him, injured and unconscious, in a barn.

 But what should they do with him? Turn him over to the cops, or let him die?

Joanna Vanderham, Ade Edmondson, Juliet Stevenson

One of Us - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Claire Elliot (JOANNA VANDERHAM) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Photography Phil Fisk, Design work Matt Burlem

Lone voice – Claire (Joanna Vanderham)

One of Us has a terrific cast and the remote setting is beautiful but haunting. Joanna Vanderham plays the Elliots’ adult daughter who is against taking the law into their own hands. Joe Dempsie is her far more morally compromised brother, Rob.

Juliet Stevenson is an emotional powerhouse as the mother, Louise. She’s on the edge of a breakdown with grief, but is not against some retribution.

Meanwhile, John Lynch and Julie Graham play the uptight Douglases, who are pretty down on their loner son, Jamie.

And at a distance there is Adrian Edmondson as Louise’s ex-husband, who walked out on the family. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: