Last year's series was superb. Written by former barrister Peter Moffat, it won the BAFTA for Best Drama Serial and Ben Whishaw was nominated for Best Actor as well as taking home the RTS award for Best Actor. The first of the five consecutive nights' programmes for 2009 started last night and I was gripped.
Matthew Macfadyen's Joe Miller, a barrister, was initially portrayed as a man we should admire and respect. Indeed, his clerk said to him 'You are a good man, Sir'. But all was not well in the Miller household.
At home, his wife Juliet (Maxine Peake) was a bundle of nervous energy approaching collapse and displaying symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. But later, when Joe arrives home, we also see him display the same type of behaviour and an ominous cloud hangs over the family. All is not what it first appears to be in this marriage and later that night, a clearly abused Juliet stabs her husband.
The cast is made up of the best of British talent. Peake and Macfadyen were excellent, wonderfully supported by Denis Lawson as DCI Faber, a man who wants to get at the truth. Steven Mackintosh as DI Sexton is note perfect as a misguided, results-driven Inspector prepared to use underhand and inhumane ways of achieving the result which he anticipates and with no room for discovery of the truth.
After only episode one, we have same course as last year: the good and bad in our criminal justice system, perfectly balanced by Moffat and likely to leave you less confident in its efficacy. Will true justice be done in this case?
I will be glued for the rest of the week.