Engrossing drama about a wife whose undercover cop husband is murdered, with a knockout performance from Sheridan Smith
★★★★½ ITV, day, date, time
THE TROUBLE with police procedurals is all the procedure.
Too many questions, too much note-taking, too much ‘Where were you on the night of the 14th?’
Black Work doesn’t bore us with all that. When our heroine, Jo, thinks some rowers might have seen the murderers of her undercover cop husband, the next scene cuts to her handing over a video to the police that she’s obtained from the rowers and viewed herself. We’re not put through the tedium of watching her go to the rowing club, asking questions, watching it, putting two and two together etc etc.
All of which allows writer/creator Matt Charman the time to concentrate on the human drama, in the process conjuring a riveting and emotional story.
Sheridan Smith as Jo Gillespie
Sheridan Smith gives another compelling performance as Jo Gillespie following her other recent star turns for ITV as Cilla and Mrs Biggs. Jo, also a police officer, feels cut off from her distant husband, Ryan. When Ryan is murdered in a derelict warehouse on what is supposed to be his day off, Jo is besieged by questions.
She is told Ryan was working undercover, which is news to Jo. She is told she shouldn’t mention his death to their daughter and Ryan’s son by a previous partner, because secrecy is paramount as a series of arrests are about to be made.