In the first series Lennie James kept us guessing. Series two saw us love and hate Keeley Hawes. In series three we were shocked when Daniel Mays died almost immediately! Now it’s movie star Thandie Newton’s turn to face off against TV’s most intense detectives. Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar reprise their roles as AC12, kicking crooked copper arse once again. This time they’re up against Roz Huntley, a (corrupt?) DCI in the middle of a career-defining case. With the pressure on it won’t be long before her investigative methods are called into question.
Joining the cast this year, alongside Newton, are Lee Ingleby, Royce Pierreson and Jason Watkins; it’s good to know Jed Mercurio’s masterpiece is still attracting some of Britain’s most-impressive acting talent. If you aren’t caught up then look away now (in fact, head to BBC iPlayer where – I believe – the third series is available to view for a just short while longer). If you are caught up then you’ll know that the background baddie since series one – Cottan, a corrupt cop of limitless reach and influence, code-name The Caddy – is no more. Matthew “Dot” Cottan sacrificed himself to save Kate Fleming’s life from his own handler’s bullet, using his dying breath to put a crack in a shadowy establishment paedophile ring. But with The Caddy out of the picture should we assume that the squeaky-clean team at AC12 will be going after the bigger fish of the filthy paedo-pond? If so, I wonder how that will link in to the case Roz will be dealing with.
Time will tell and luckily we don’t have long to wait. Line Of Duty series 4 begins on BBC One at 9pm on March 26th. For my money Line Of Duty is up there with State Of Play as some of the finest television drama ever made. I welcome its return with great enthusiasm and, if I’m honest, a little nervousness. Make sure you watch and we’ll speak again soon.
For a long time, since Russell T Davies introduced his alternate-universe “Cybusmen” to the show, Doctor Who fans have been asking for the return of the true, Mondasian Cybermen from this universe. Neil Gaiman’s dissapointing Nightmare In Silver brought them back in series 7 but they were seen by many as just streamlined Cybusmen; faceless, soulless automata with no real character, just an army of robots.
Well, the finale of series 10 will see the return of the very first itteration of the enemy. Complete with cloth faces and clunky life-support aparatus, the Cyberman are back. I can’t wait to see what they’ll be up to. Not long now! Doctor Who returns to BBC 1 in April.
Everyone’s favourite miserable coastal town cop show returned last night and it’s as gripping as we’re used to. The cast (old and new) are on sparkling form and it looks like we’re promised a heartbreaking, dramatic and twisty-turny case to puzzle and poke over for the next few weeks. It’s nice to have Broadchurch back.
What needs to be remembered, of course, is that Broadchruch is not a gritty and realistic drama, really. It’s a sort of harrowing novel-on-screen. The chapters are distinct and organised in such a way as to drag the drama out without a dip in thrills. Already we’ve been given a hint at who may be the first suspect, with one character seemingly having a piece of evidence in their possession.
“This isn’t Trumpton, I don’t know everyone!” snaps Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman) midway through last night’s opener. You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, however. Series One’s unfortunate family – the Latimers – are still here: Mark Latimer has apparently co-authored an interview book about the murder of his son; the local newspaper editor has asked the questions and the local vicar is now trying to soothe Mark’s regrets about the project. Beth Latimer is working as a crisis support worker, is fairly new to the role (it seems) and has been assigned to the case of this series’ victim Trish (the brilliant Julie Hesmondhalgh), who has been raped.
The apparent prime suspect in the sexual assault case that is this series’ focus is the husband of the victim’s best friend. Trish and her friend Cath (Sarah Parish) work for Lenny Henry’s uppity and impatient (or is he just acting suspiciously?!) farm foods store manager. Olivia Coleman’s character’s husband was the murderer in series one and now her fifteen-year-old son is selling porn at school; expect him to become a suspect in some way in a future episode. David Tennant’s character’s teenage daughter is out with a group of friends who will, I presume, leave her alone at some point to walk home in the dark. Will she too become a victim of Broadchurch’s (soon-to-be) serial sexual assailant?
While the subject matter is being handled – already – with great sensitivity and care, I wonder if the twists and turns ahead will shake a few people up. I foresee a few inconsistencies in Trish’s account of her assault – maybe enough to put a cat among the pigeons at the police station – which may change the headlines from “Broadchurch handles sexual assault storyline with sensitivity” to “Broadchurch cop doesn’t believe rape victim!!” Maybe I’m wrong, but it’ll be just the kind of leftfield curveball Broadchurch is known for (Danny Latimer’s murderer was found Not Guilty at the climax of series two and was effectively exiled from Broadchurch by a coalition of all the characters we’d met so far).
If the series can keep up its slightly-unreal, bizarrely-formulaic yet utterly, utterly enthralling form then we’re in for a treat. And with a cast like this, it’ll be worth the watch, even if the plot flops. I trust in the show. Bring me more!