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British crime investigation series based around aristocratic, Oxford-educated Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and his working-class assistant Sergeant Barbara Havers (Sharon Small).
As she deals with an unexpected pregnancy, D.I. Helen Weeks must return to the hometown she loathes to help her childhood best friend, who finds herself at the centre of a media frenzy following the abduction of two teenage girls.
The new BBC drama 'Quirke' takes us into postwar Ireland - seedy, drunken, dominated by the twin evils of the church and the wealthy and corrupt. It's a somewhat clichéd view, made palatable by the series' muted tone, although at times in the first episode I struggled to follow the softly spoken dialogue and relatively (for a murder drama) understated plot. Unlike many such series, there's an overall narrative as well as individual stories; the fact that Quirke's niece has a separate, personal connection to all three murders reduces the overall plausibility. The cast is an impressive one, but the scripts don't really call on them to do anything extraordinary; the detail with which their characters' feelings are observed is often weaker than its symbolic depiction (endless booze and cigarettes). To me, 'Quirke' fell between two stools: too low-key and gloomy to be fun family entertainment, but not truly deep either.
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