ITV: DCI Banks – Playing with Fire (Second Part)

Miranda (Tamzin Merchant), her car having been confirmed as at the scene of the crime (the first fire), is taken in for questioning.  She manages to come across as a proper psychopath and this raises more questions about her relationship with her much older husband, Patrick (John Bowe).  Meanwhile, DS Annie Cabbot (Andrea Lowe), continues to enjoy her new relationship with art expert, and potential expert witness, Mark Keane (John Light), thus compromising the investigation should it come to court.  Where Patrick ‘considers a complaint’ about Banks’s (Stephen Tompkinson) behaviour from episode one, we know that ‘considers’ just hangs as a threat to try to stop him in his tracks.  But Patrick, the wealthy GP, just doesn’t seem ‘right’ whatever angle you come from.  The investigation then focuses on the forged art side after the second arson attack and third death…

It really is worth sticking with this one and not only to enjoy the superb line ‘I’m a material boy’ when it comes.  We have quite a few twists to complete the cycle here: some predictable to the crime veterans, some definitely not.  And in this second part we get a full measure of Banks’s seasoned and considered determination for justice which brings him to life – finally and in memorable fashion.  John Bowe is superb as a man of many sides and delivers a performance almost as uncomfortable and compelling as he did in the first Prime Suspect.

DCI Banks on the TV is maturing nicely and I remain surprised but appreciative.  I look forward to the next story and believe I may just be … hooked.  Tompkinson never seems comfortable in a suit, but as he grows with the role, so does the character grow on screen.  This is shaping up well for ‘detective telly’ so don’t miss it.