The series focused on various murders in the fictional suburban English town of Middleford. The crimes are solved by two female police detectives, Inspector Kate Ashurst and Sergeant Emma Scribbins, aka "Ash and Scribbs".
An eighteen-year-old struggling to integrate into a hearing world following cochlear implantation witnesses the murder of a police officer. The subsequent investigation unravels a net of police corruption.
I had absolutely zero interest in seeing this when it first started. Not another cop show, I thought. Just what the world needs. But I was persuaded to try it by my mother who lent me the first episode on video. And I glad I made the effort to see it. Because this is actually one of the best cop series of recent years. Okay, so it's not "Between the Lines" but that was a series of such brilliance that it would be a miracle if the BBC managed to produce a series like that again, especially given the current obsession with reality shows.
Don Gilet, an actor I've been unfamiliar with hitherto, makes Nicky Cole an engaging and sympathetic hero and the inevitable racism he faces is not ladled on with a trowel as I feared it might. You know it's there but it's not always an issue. Contrary to some of the comments made by others on here, although Cole is perhaps too good to be true, he isn't infallible. He makes mistakes and doesn't always manage to wrap up the story neatly in 60 minutes. Something which makes a refreshing change. The plots hold the attention and the grandfather/son dynamic adds an interesting dimension as well.
It's certainly not perfect by any means though (why is Cole's rank just plain Detective? Surely that's an Americanism. It should be something like Detective Sergeant or Detective Inspector or something. And why the reference to John Doe and Jane Doe instead of IC1 or IC3 or something - another Americanism). Most unforgivable of all though is the waste of Dervla Kerwan. I assume that the intention, as others here have already said, is that Cole and Dervla Kerwan's character are supposed to get together at some point in the future, thus providing some good old UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension). But it isn't working people. Kerwan is a good actress but the role is grievously underwritten and the net result is that you don't care about the character at all (Kerwan should sue her agent for persuading her to take such a nothing part - it does absolutely nothing for her). Personally, I'd like to see Cole get it together with Sgt Brookes (Emma Cleasby). For a supposed supporting role, it seems that Cleasby gets more screen time than Kerwan (either that or she manages to make a bigger impact with what she has been given). Certainly, the few scenes between her and Don Gilet sizzle with the sort of UST that I suspect the producers were hoping would happen with Kerwan's character. This is the relationship I would like to see developed further in the next series (if there is one).
So if there is going to be a series 2 (and I hope there will be), then here's my advice to the BBC. Save your money, get rid of the Kerwan character (who's name I can't even remember, which gives you an idea of the little impact it has made on me) and promote Brookes to be the main female character before Emma Cleasby gets snapped up by Hollywood like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Minnie Driver before her. Because on the strength of the talent she shows here, trust me people, one day it's gonna happen.
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