As a prison riot erupts into violence, Red comes face to face with the ring leader: the man who once held him hostage and nearly drove him mad. But what they don't know is a killer's amongst them, preying on their weaknesses.
Det. Supt. Michael Walker, teamed with DI North and DCI Connor, follow each case from crime committed, through the pursuit of justice, to the law courts where the efforts of the force will be tested - sometimes to breaking point.
A series of brutal sex murders disturbingly similar to the pattern of Superintendent Jane Tennison's first major case leads to the awful suggestion that she may have caught the wrong man the first time.
While there are better mystery/detective shows in my opinion, 'Messiah' is incredibly well done and ceaselessly compelling. It is near blameless and definitely should have lasted longer.
It is stylishly and beautifully filmed with a lot of atmosphere, while the locations are also used to great effect. The music is suitably ominous while never being too obvious.
'Messiah' is very intelligently written, it is never stilted or clichéd and constantly keeps the mystery elements alive. The stories are gripping throughout with lots of twists and turns and genuinely surprising solutions. The only motive I didn't completely buy was in the first series, which felt implausible and underdeveloped, it didn't seem like a good enough reason to murder all those people in such a gruesome manner.
That is my only criticism of 'Messiah' really, as well as more could have done with Frances Grey's character as well. There are some clever and very gruesome murders that never are gratuitous (especially in the first series) but are not for weak stomachs, mine is getting stronger but even it was quite disturbed by those in the first two episodes. The characters are interesting, and the series is constantly well directed and ensures that the episodes never feel rushed or plodding.
Ken Stott is exceptional as the main character, and it is some of the best acting he's ever done. He is terrifically supported by Neil Dudgeon (who has never been better), Michelle Forbes, Frances Grey, Edward Woodward and especially a sinister Jamie Draven, in fact everybody is good.
In summary, incredibly compelling. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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