In The Long Run is a new comedy from Idris Elba which, in contrast to most new offerings on TV these days, and particularly those where all episodes are available to stream from day one, each episode lasts a mere 20 minutes or so.
I’ve only seen the first two episodes so far, and the year is 1983 and Walter’s (Idris Elba) mother is sending his annoying nephew, Valentine (Jimmy Akingbola), from Sierra Leone to live with him in London. Some things have improved in moving home, while other things can’t compete, so Africa has ‘better electricity’ and their drink of choice down the pub is a mixture of Guinness and spirits which is dubbed a “Naughty Bastard”.
Hence, there’s elements of ‘fish out of water’ territory in this comedy, as well as a fair bit of interaction with neighbour Bagpipes (Bill Bailey). Why is he called Bagpipes? That was never explained. However, with tracks blaring out quite often – including The Beat’s Mirror in the Bathroom and The Police’s Roxanne – sadly, this frequently feels like a lot more thought has gone into the choices of music rather than the fairly lazy script and OTT accents.
In addition, and despite being the writer and creator, Mr Elba is nowhere to be seen for the majority of these episodes, as the focus is mostly on Valentine and Bagpipes. Even if you allowed for a sub-par opener to set the scene, episode two doesn’t really go anywhere, and I’m not sure where it thinks it’s *meant* to go.
In The Long Run begins on Sky 1 at 10pm on Thursday March 29th, but on the same day, all six episodes will be available to view. It is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episode 1: 5/10
Episode 2: 4/10
Series Directors: Declan Lowney and Cecile Emeke
Producer: Charlie Hanson
Creator: Idris Elba
Writers: Grace Ofori-Attah, Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis, Stuart Lane and Idris Elba
Valentine: Jimmy Akingbola
Agnes: Madeline Appiah
Bagpipes: Bill Bailey
Walter: Idris Elba
Kirsty: Kellie Shirley
Baz: Peter Coe
Kobna: Sammy Kamara
Dean: Mattie Boys
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.