Collateral: The Complete Series – The DVDfever Review – John Simm, Carey Mulligan

Collateral is a new four-part drama which begins with one situation, but then moves on quite neatly bringing in a slew of other characters, which is a little dizzying but still highly engaging.

After pizza delivery guy Abdul (The State‘s Sam Otto) is picked at the last minute to take out some food to single mother Karen (Billie Piper), resulting in an incident he’ll wish hadn’t happened, DI Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) comes sniffing round to the shop to quiz manager Laurie Stone (Hayley Squires) why she sent him instead of Mikey (Dunkirk‘s Brian Vernel), changing over at the last minute?

Adding in John Simm, whose shadow cabinet MP David Mars is dating a TV journalist played by Kim Medcalf, who Eastenders viewers may remember took over from the role of Sam Mitchell after Daniella Westbrook had a falling out with her nose.

Plus, there’s Nicola Walker from The Last Train as vicar Jane Oliver, Kae Alexander as her younger lover, Linh; Man Down‘s Jeany Spark, and Nick Mohammed, as forensic cop Fuzz Gupta, who was in one of my favourite sketch shows of all time, Sorry I've Got No Head , so I keep expecting James Bachman and Marcus Brigstocke to come bounding up to him, shouting “Little man!!”

Adding in a tale about illegal immigrants and I really enjoyed this, although with so many characters, it does take time to digest, and I really look forward to the remaining episodes to see how things tie in together. For reasons that will become clear, Simm and Piper shared a scene, so The Master and Rose Tyler are onscreen together again, 11 years after Doctor Who, and there was a neat one-take shot for almost 4 minutes as Kip goes to check out the crime scene.

Given that Collateral is a four-part story taking place over four days, I would’ve loved this to have been shown over four consecutive days rather than weeks, but such is the nature of linear Tv. Another option would’ve been to put it on Iplayer in full after episode 1 had aired, as that is happening from time to time.

I like how episode 2 nicely dripfed and advanced the plot, whilst bringing the many characters into it without feeling overwhelmed with them, and it makes me eager to see how things turn out, but I had one reservation: how come the cops take credit card slips and money in as evidence, without giving a receipt, and not even counting the latter?! That was a bit daft and took away from things a little.

At the end of the third episode, I can see the pieces of the jigsaw coming together, even as a few more characters are introduced, but I do wonder how things will be concluded in just one episode, since the way things are going at this point, I could go another three episodes of this. Sometimes, it feels like the jigsaw pieces are placed at random places, so you have to remember where they’re placed – since their relevance will be shown later as you can feel them slot into place, and I’m really enjoying how that’s done.

When it came to the finale, all I’ll say it (since it’s still in BBC iPlayer at the time of writing this) that not everyone finds happiness or the closure they wanted, but it was still a great ending. Now, perhaps we could have more series of this? Some cast members could return (eg. John Simm), with Carey Mulligan investigating once again. Naturally, both of these actors are insanely busy, but one thing that often helps is that series like this only last a few episodes, which makes it easier for them to commit, as opposed to filming a 6- or 8-parter.

Collateral is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on March 12th. After broadcast, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission, and click on the packshot for the full-size version.

Collateral – Trailer – BBC One

Overall Score: 8/10

Director: SJ Clarkson
Producer: Elizabeth Binns
Writer: David Hare

DI Kip Glaspie: Carey Mulligan
David Mars: John Simm
Jane Oliver: Nicola Walker
Karen Mars: Billie Piper
DS Nathan Bilk: Nathaniel Martello-White
Sandrine Shaw: Jeany Spark
Laurie Stone: Hayley Squires
DSU Jack Haley: Ben Miles
Deborah Clifford: Saskia Reeves
Fatima Asif: Ahd Kamel
Mikey Gowans: Brian Vernel
Linh Xuan Huy: Kae Alexander
Abdullah Asif: Sam Otto
Elfie Mars: Molly Simm
Gerald: Tom Turner
DC Rakhee Shah: Vineeta Rishi
Suki Vincent: Kim Medcalf
Robert Walsh: Mark Umbers
DC Euan Johnson: Rob Jarvis
Fuzz Gupta: Nick Mohammed
Mona Asif: July Namir
Shelley: Raghad Chaar
Genevieve: Alais Lawson
Connor: Tony Way
Alice Stone: Nicola Duffett
Gun Store Armourer: Tony McCullough