Dark Heart is a new six-part drama which, right off the bat, gives us a situation where an alleged paedophile is sprayed in face with pepper spray, he then wakes up strapped down, all leading to an immensely-gruesome opener…
Before long, there’s another similar attack in terms of the allegations, but the process which follows is completely different, so is this one perpetrator or several? Either way, it’s all rather awkward in the police station where, in a briefing led by DI Will Wagstaffe (Tom Riley), they’re discussing the case and one cop doesn’t want to give a hoot about this particular murder because of what the victims are alleged to have done.
Elsewhere, Will really doesn’t trust his sister’s (Press‘ Charlotte Riley – no relation) better half, Paolo, for reasons we’re not told about.
The previews I see don’t have subtitles and there’s a bit of mumbling, here, which can’t be resolved even by watching such parts more than once. Only by reading the original premise did I learn how he “fights crime tirelessly – his way to deal with the murder of his parents”
Well, apart from the fact that that makes him sound like Batman, he just seemed a general misery-guts.
The only part of this that was interesting was all the grisly business, but even that can’t sustain it, because it feels like it’s trying to fill a gap left by the ending of The Bridge, and all the harsh elements within, although these first two episodes are the 2016 pilot which aired on the now-defunct pay service ITV Encore, which I didn’t see at the time.
Finally, Will is another cop who bullies lawyers et al into helping him with his cases, threatening them with arrests, etc, if they don’t comply; and he wants to do things ‘off the books’, so it’s one old trope after another.
How this pilot ever got off the ground and into a series, I can’t explain. Perhaps he should investigate that??!
Dark Heart beings on Wednesday at 9pm, and is airing twice a week, on Wednesday and Thursdays. After each episode is broadcast, they’ll be on the ITV Hub. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episodes 1 and 2: 4/10
Director: Colin Teague
Producer: Chris Clough
Writers: Chris Lang, Ben Harris
Novel: Adam Creed
Music: Dan Jones
Will Wagstaffe: Tom Riley
Juliette Wagstaffe: Charlotte Riley
Sylvie: Miranda Raison
Josie Chancellor: Anjli Mohindra
Paulo: Edward Akrout
Rob Mullan: Jason Maza
Ray Monk: Alex Carter
Dr. Luke Paul: Gregg Chillin
Kat: Natalia Kostrzewa
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.