Bancroft… Anne Bancroft… no, that’s The Graduate. This, however, begins in 1990, and the song “Killer“, by Adamski and Seal. Of course, anyone with a brain knows that 1990 was time for the Guru, but the former track is more appropriate as young Laura Fraser (Lily Sacofsky) is brown bread.
Fast-forward 27 years, and up-and-coming copper DS Katherine Stevens (Faye Marsay) is investigating this cold case which her now-boss and then-WPC, Det. Supt. Elizabeth Bancroft (Sarah Parish), had to investigate when it happened. It’s a grim discovery, and one which still haunts the titular character to this day, but how much help will she be to Stevens, especially since Bancroft is a natural grump, being passed over for promotion as her face clearly doesn’t fit?
One of the first things that struck me in this seemingly predictable cop drama was how their office is yet another building with precious little lighting, and dressed as if it’s stuck in the ’70s. Most public service buildings have, y’know, lights!
Add in Adrian Edmondson and Art Malik in ‘top cop’ roles, who do fine but don’t really push the boat out in this first episode, plus Steve Evets as the father of the murdered Laura, and without giving spoilers, there is a big thing that happens, which then quickly draws you in. It’s just a shame that not only did it take so long to get to that point in the first episode, but also it’s not a wholly original twist.
However, I will keep watching it to see how things turn out.
Bancroft begins tomorrow at 9pm, with subsequent episodes over the following three nights THIS WEEK, and then each one is later on the ITV Hub. The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episode 1: 5/10
Director: John Hayes
Producer: Phil Collinson
Writers: Kate Brooke and Ben Morris
Music: Edmund Butt
Det Supt: Elizabeth Bancroft: Sarah Parish
DS Katherine Stevens: Faye Marsay
Daanish: Ryan McKen
DS Andy Bevan: Charles Babalola
Mrs. Kamara: Shameem Ahmad
DS Jim Stuart: Neil Ashton
Athif Kamara: Amit Dhut
Charlie Haverstock: Kenneth Cranham
Cliff Walker: Adrian Edmondson
Len Dorman: Steve Evets
Young Bancroft: Samantha Jones
Anya Karim: Amara Karan
Joe Bancroft: Adam Long
Alan Taheeri: Art Malik
Zaheera Kamara: Anjli Mohindra
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.