It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

Great crime and psychological dramas on UK screens …

We have had a recent glut of these.  Here’s a quick round-up:

ITV1 A Mother’s Son – a two-parter last weekend

This was a pleasant surprise that exceeded my expectations.  Set in Suffolk, a missing teenage girl is found murdered.  In a household bringing together two sets of two teenagers following the marriage of their parents, the mother is disturbed when seeing some suspicious behaviour in her son.  It makes for tense viewing as we follow her through her moral dilemmas to discover whether he was involved in some way.  One to keep the hankies close to hand.  With Hermione Norris, Martin Clunes, Paul McGann and Alexander Arnold.  The DVD release date is 17 September.  Or catch up on ITV player where there are 23 days left.

BBC1 Accused – a second four part series which ended last week

Another one focusing on moral dilemmas and the writing is superb – led by Jimmy McGovern.  Accused is a stand out for its format:  we know that someone is in the dock, we then find out how they came to be there and what the outcome will be.  Each episode is a single story and delivers some outstanding acting performances.  Across the second series we have Anna Maxwell Martin, John Bishop, Robert Sheehan, Ann-Marie Duff, Olivia Colman, (the ever versatile) Stephen Graham, Sean Bean and Michael Maloney.  Hankies also recommended here.  There is a DVD coming, although it’s not yet out.  You’ll have to be quick if you want to catch the last two episodes on BBC iplayer.

ITV1 The Last Weekend – a two-parter which ended last weekend

Widely thought to be a Rupert Penry-Jones vehicle, it’s Shaun Evans who steals the show here.  Faithful to the Blake Morrison novel, Evans plays unreliable narrator Ian who guides us through a very stressful bank holiday weekend when old friends come together again.  These are friendships with deep fissures and the weekend simply opens and deepens the wounds.  The big questions are ‘Is anyone trustworthy?’ and ‘How will this end?’  Genevieve O’Reilly and Claire Keelan play the other halves caught in the crossfire of a very competitive friendship between the men.  8 days left if you want to catch it from part one on ITV player.  Although there is a DVD available.

Warren Brown as John Paul Rocksavage, showing the strains of the day.

BBC1 Good Cop – episode 3 of 4 airs on 17 September

Another one with moral dilemmas at its heart, Warren Brown is putting in a stunning performance as the good cop of the title.  Set in Liverpool, we see the routine of the cop’s day as well as having a thundering main story to follow.  Stephen Graham is totally convincing as a psychopath in episode one, where we also have an unbearable and far too real violent scene during proceedings.  But it’s Brown’s good cop who crosses the line in this and you have to wonder how on earth this one will end.  Catch up with the first two episodes on BBC iplayer.  The series continues on Thursday night at 9pm.

ITV1 The Bletchley Circle – a three-parter that started last Thursday

Let’s hear it for the girls!  Yes, a TV series with four female leads and quite a bit of women power.  Having discovered their talents and put them to good use during WWII, four women who had worked at Bletchley find that post-war life is rife with sexism.  Then Anna Maxwell Martin’s Susan sees a pattern emerging in the case of some women murdered across London and brings the ladies together again.  It’s a stretch on the credibility front but it’s hugely enjoyable.   Rachael Sterling, Julie Graham and Sophie Rundle make up the rest of this fabulous foursome.    26 days left to catch up with episode one on ITV player.


5 comments on “Great crime and psychological dramas on UK screens …

  1. PaulDBrazill
    September 10, 2012

    I’ll have to try and get to see them. Especially Accused.

    • crimeficreader
      September 10, 2012

      Accused is a class act rather like the BBC’s Criminal Justice series, Paul. Don’t miss Good Cop either as I suspect you may like that one too.

  2. Moira
    September 10, 2012

    I really enjoyed the Bletchley Circle and looking forward to the second part. Great parts for great actresses, and unlikely but fun scenario. I hope it’s going to be a series.

    • crimeficreader
      September 10, 2012

      It will be interesting to see how this one pans out. I saw someone on twitter suggest it may come back for a second series in the Sunday evening slot and I think they may well be right there.

  3. gordonharries
    September 13, 2012

    I really miss Criminal Justice, the first series was especially good. (I’m not convinced that ‘Silk’ which was developed to replace it is that great)

    Good Cop is excellent. I was very unsure about it at first, but it just gets deeper and darker. Like a spreading stain.

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This entry was posted on September 10, 2012 by in Crime Drama, Television and tagged , , , , , , .
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