Sequel series to "The Man in Room 17" ; having resigned from the "Room 17" department Oldenshaw rejoined his former partner Dimmock at the Peel Research Fellowship at All Saints College, ...
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Sequel series to "The Man in Room 17" ; having resigned from the "Room 17" department Oldenshaw rejoined his former partner Dimmock at the Peel Research Fellowship at All Saints College, Cambridge under orders from the Home Office to investigate the changing nature of crime within a set time period. Joining them in their work were programmer Mrs Hollinsczech and servant Thomas Anthem, while their chief adversary was gangster Alec Spindoe.Written by
Literate, stylised, ambitious series from Robin Chapman in which criminologists Richard Vernon (older, suave, upper class, conservative, public school) and Michael Aldridge (younger, choleric, upwardly mobile, radical, Northern boy made good) spar with each other about theories of crime and society, while interfering at a distance with real-world criminal activity. Their philosophical musings and SCR witticisms in Cambridge are juxtaposed with the crooked action in the mean streets of England's industrial cities. Their ideas about transgression, money, conformity etc. contrast with the way these concepts play out in real-world criminal situations. They never meet their opponents, but somehow have a budget to use the police to study and interfere with the crooks' activities.
The conceit is amusing, but the implementation doesn't really work. The dons are more often irritating than dazzling, and they never really achieve anything in their investigations. Their theories don't illuminate the crooks' schemes or plans, and too many of the ideas go nowhere. It needed either to become even more intellectual and refined, or alternatively to go further in the direction of traditional thick ear, like Chapman's own (still quite stylised) Big Breadwinner Hog. This is pitched at an intermediate level, that all too often leaves the viewer thinking "what was all that for?"
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