Crime is the latest ITV drama – this one premiering on Britbox, however – with a rather bland and generic title.
Cop Eddie ‘Ginger’ Rogers (Gordon Kennedy) – yep, they created a nickname for a character who’ll barely be in it – is about to retire and move to Florida, so lead cop, DI Ray Lennox (Dougray Scott), is assigned a new partner in the form of DS Amanda Drummond (Joanna Vanderham)… and guess what? They don’t exactly get on!
Meanwhile, a schoolgirl called Britney, has been kidnapped, before the police are called to a potential death, or suicide, where a young couple have been strangled (unless it was autoerotic asphyxiation), and there’s an A4 pad with “3720” written on it. However, it wasn’t clear whether that’s something they’ll return to in the plot of forthcoming episodes.
Back to the main plot, however, and the investigation involves checking the scene of the abduction to determine – early on in the situation – what the girl was looking at, just off to the side, before she was taken in a van.
But what’s clear is the unclear aspect in that cop Ray is angry about what’s happened due to his as-yet-undisclosed traumatic past.
This is followed by fairly standard procedure of going to the mother’s house to interview her, plus suspecing the local nonce who’s on the sex offender’s list, while Ray thinks it’s the same criminal – known as Mr Confectioner – who kidnapped girls but was wasn’t convicted of all of the deaths, and is still in jail anyway, so it can’t be him… or will there be some ridiculous McGuffin thrown in that’ll point things in that individual’s direction?
Despite this coming from the pen of Irvine Welsh, the first episode – at least – is as formulaic a cop drama as you could imagine: a terrible crime has been committed, the lead is a tortured cop with a hidden past along with a new beau (Angela Griffin) – to whom he has to try and explain himself, there’s a cop with one day until retirement, there’s another cop who’s the sole member of the team that acts like Gene Hunt’s cast-off from Life On Mars (and somehow NOT being called out about it by his colleagues, as he says things which would get him in front of a disciplinary meeting the next day), and more importantly…
…there’s a viewer sat in front of this, who’ll never get back that hour he spent watching it.
Additionally, the preview I’m watching doesn’t subtitles, while strong Scots accents rather demand it.
Crime begins on Britbox on Thursday November 18th. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episode 1 Score: 2/10
Series Directors: David Blair, James Strong
Producer: David Blair
Writers: Dean Cavanagh, Irvine Welsh
Novel: Irvine Welsh
Music: Lorne Balfe
DI Ray Lennox: Dougray Scott
DS Amanda Drummond: Joanna Vanderham
Dougie Gillman: Jamie Sives
Trudi Lowe: Angela Griffin
Eddie ‘Ginger’ Rogers: Gordon Kennedy
Stuart McCorkel: Michael Abubakar
Estelle: Allison McKenzie
Sally Hart: Laura Fraser
Alex: Reuben Joseph
Louis Leblanc: Réginal Kudiwu
Gary Franklin: Bhav Joshi
Helena: Kim Chapman
Kylie: Kayla Caldwell
Bob Toal: Ken Stott
Angela Hamil: Emma Hartley-Miller
Britney Hamil: Paige Green
Stella Harrington: Fatima Jawar
Tommy Loughran: Ian Hanmore
Winterburn: Ali Watt
Gillian Glover: Sarah McCardie
Michael Garrett: Brian James Leys
Young Lennox: Benjamin Scanlan
Young Les: Kalen Doyle
Ronnie Hamil: Tam Dean Burn
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.