As it begins, PC Ryan Draper (Ashley Walters) is teamed up with rookie PC Jake Vickers (Jacob Ifan), and he has just 21 Seconds to show him the ropes as they’re partnered up before Jake’s Dad, and the cop shop’s Chief Superintendent Donut Eater Robert Vickers (Peter Sullivan) tears the former So Solid Crew member a new one. Naturally, Jake is so wet behind the ears he has trouble drying his neck.
They break into a druggie Nathan Rickman’s (Mark Quartley) house, or has he just got some sort of mental health issues? No behaviour/medical condition box goes unticked in this modern-day drama.
Oh, and Jake was formerly a PCSO. And he tells us he is gay, so that means he’s flirting with every man they come across. And when he says he’s now a cop like his Dad, Ashley tells him “Nah, he’s a politician” Have you filled your “cheesy soap/drama script-by-numbers” bullshit bingo card yet?
If not, then Cuffs also throws in a race hate storyline where a shouty white lad stabs a young black lad. And there’s a brief bit of humour when two cops accidentally use a stinger on a civilian’s car instead of a criminal’s, but inadvertently stop a paedophile who’s abducted a child from her school. And how do you know he’s a paedophile? Because he’s unshaven and unwashed. But then they let him get away. D’oh!
Oh, and when a high-risk missing person kills himself, it’s Ashley who gets chewed out by the Chief Super.
Cuffs is nothing revolutionary. It doesn’t overreach itself and still manages to give us a reasonable hour’s entertainment, so I will be back for next week’s episode. It also gets across that the police are about as much use as a fart in a bathtub, which is certainly my experience with Greater Manchester Police.
Cuffs continues on Wednesday on BBC1 at 8pm and you can watch the first episode on BBC iPlayer until November 27th, and click on the top-right picture for the full-size image. As of yet, the series hasn’t been announced for release on Blu-ray and DVD.
Episode 1 Score: 6/10
Director: Anthony Philipson
Producer: Trevor Hopkins
Screenplay: Julie Gearey
Music: Walter Mair
PC Ryan Draper: Ashley Walters
PC Jake Vickers: Jacob Ifan
Ch Supt Robert Vickers: Peter Sullivan
DS Jo Moffat: Amanda Abbington
DC Carl Hawkins: Shaun Dooley
DI Felix Kane: Paul Ready
PC Donna Prager: Eleanor Matsuura
PC Lino Moretti: Alex Carter
Naturist Husband: Paul Lacoux
Stag Guy: Nick Julian
Debbie Vickers: Clare Burt
Inspector Graham Webb: Robbie Gee
James Quirk: Tim Plester
Nathan Rickman: Mark Quartley
Shelley: Naana Agyei-Ampadu
Amit Sharma: Ragevan Vasan
Keegan Benson: Thomas Coombes
Mohammad Bangash: Phaldut Sharma
PC Misha Baig: Bhavna Limbachia
Sian Quirk: Nicola Harrison
Simon Reddington: Andrew Hawley
Corey Draper: Michael Ajao
Cinnamon: Lily Loveless
Custody Sgt Melanie Pyke: Karen Bryson
PCSO Jenny Russell: Katherine Rose Morley
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.