Pounding an action-packed beat in Brighton, Cuffs looks set to apprehend a significant 8pm audience for BBC1
★★★½ BBC1, starts Wednesday, 28 October, 8pm
ON FIRST appearances there isn’t anything startlingly new about Cuffs. In its depiction of life on the beat for coppers it recalls a line of popular dramas from Z Cars to The Bill. If Cuffs is going to be a hit, it will no doubt have to hook viewers by having terrific stories and characters within this familiar format.
With writer Julie Gearey onboard – who also brought us Prisoners’ Wives and Secret Diary of a Call Girl – it certainly looks capable of becoming a crowd-puller. While Prisoners’ Wives did not create a sensation like Broadchurch did, it was a gripping series with compelling characters and no doubt convinced the Beeb that Gearey was the woman to bring us Cuffs.
It also has an eye-catching cast, including Ashley Walters (Top Boy) Peter Sullivan (The Borgias), Amanda Abbington (Sherlock), Shaun Dooley (The Game), Paul Ready (Utopia), Eleanor Matsuura (Utopia) and Alex Carter (Hollyoaks, Emmerdale). Cuffs also introduces Jacob Ifan in his first leading television role.
Jacob Ifan and Ashley Walters
Ifan plays PC Jake Vickers, son of Chief Superintendent Robert Vickers. He is also a total rookie and it is his first day on the job under the mentorship of seasoned constable Ryan Draper (Ashley Walter). This forms the central story of the pilot episode of this eight-part series.
So, the story is instantly ripe with conflict and drama. Ryan doesn’t like the boss’s son, the boss’s son initially seems hopeless at his job, and just in case that isn’t enough, Jake is also gay, with eyes for a slick defence solicitor he spots at the nick.