Informer Series 1 – The DVDfever Review – Paddy Considine

Informer
Informer is a series where, upon seeing the title, I can never think of anything other than the 1992 rap by Snow of the same name, but now I’ve also reminded you of that, on with this new drama.

As Emily (Jessica Raine) deals with her lost phone issues in a cafe, a gunman bursts in and causes a ruckus. Cop Gabe Waters (Paddy ConsidineJourneyman) is in court discussing it, and also referring to his informer… who we have not yet met. At that point, time goes back a year where the titular individual, Raza (Nabhaan Rizwan), is introduced.

Gabe already has a number of informers, but this series is all about it being the first who has been recruited while he’s partnered up with rookie Holly Morten, played by Bel Powley who was so good in the brilliant movie Detour, which was one of my favourites from 2017.

Given that the drama is all about the police, I didn’t think it likely that Holly would be impersonating a representative of a school, and quite frankly, whatever Sadia Shar’s (Sunetra Sarker) situation, it’s unlikely she’d just let someone in without insisting on seeing some ID… but I know this is TV, and it’s not the only time they behave a little ‘off the books’.



Also, as it’s TV, the police department we follow don’t work out of a normal office with overhead lighting, but they clearly live in the basement or some sort of underground cavern that hasn’t been cleaned in 100 years. Elsewhere, there’s a ‘meeting that didn’t happen’ on a boat on the Thames which just comes across as completely ridiculous, and comes across even more fanciful than Spooks.

The scripting also seems rather all over the place, so quite often, it feels like it goes too far off at a tangent, and I’m hoping it comes together more. It also felt a bit rushed sometimes, so I almost missed the reason why when Raza picked out one of the immigrants at random, in order for him to stay in the UK, it didn’t make a whole heap of sense at first, but upon re-watching it, I see the plan was for Gabe to point out that if Raza became an informer, then he could pull some strings, hence giving an illegal immigrant a chance to be a UK citizen.

Kudos to the creators, however, for making this one of those series where the ‘next time’ clip is split across the entire end credits, so not enough time for those anal-itching irritant “continuity announcers” to shout at the top of their voice when they state the obvious.

So, not a wholly successful start to a series, but I’ll watch a few more to see if it improves. There are six in total and they’re all available on the BBC iPlayer right now. Also, if you watch them all that way, then there will be NO-ONE shouting during those credits.

And watch all of the rest, I did… and here are some non-spoilery thoughts.

Episode 2 was slightly better, while Episode 3 just treads water. There’s just not a huge amount of informing going on. At this point, I’m just watching for Bel Powley.

Episode 4 delves more into investigating terrorist cells, but I originally thought that Informer would be dealing more with domestic issues, while terrorists are something we’ve seen time and time again with the likes of Jack Ryan and 24. In fact, the barman in episode 3 is also one of the regular characters in Jack Ryan, but note that that is NOT a spoiler for either show.

Episode 5 throws a curveball which makes things a bit more interesting, but most of that episode is fairly similar in structure to what’s gone before. This leads into the finale, which also has some curveballs, but doing so does make me wish we had more of those.

There’s an ongoing connection in that most episodes start with a section of the court hearing which was at the start of the opener, but also at the heart of the series is Paddy Considine attempting to play the hardman, embittered cop, but he doesn’t really pull that off.

I am glad that I was able to watch the whole series back to back, but if there’s a second series announced, I’m not sure I’ll want to be informed…

Informer continues next Tuesday on BBC1 at 9pm, and the entire boxset is available now on the BBC iPlayer.

The series is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD.


Informer – Series Trailer – BBC One


Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Episode 2 Score: 6/10
Episode 3 Score: 5/10
Episode 4 Score: 6/10
Episode 5 Score: 7/10
Episode 6 Score: 7/10

Director: Jonny Campbell
Producer: Julian Stevens
Writer: Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani
Music: Ilan Eshkeri

Cast:
Gabe Waters: Paddy Considine
Raza Shar: Nabhaan Rizwan
Holly Morten: Bel Powley
Officer Cooper: Fehinti Balogun
Rose Asante: Sharon D Clarke
Nasir Shar: Reiss Jeram
Sal Brahimi: Arinzé Kene
Dadir Hassan: Roger Jean Nsengiyumva
Emily Waters: Jessica Raine
Lady Justice Spencer: Elizabeth Rider
Sadia Shar: Sunetra Sarker
Hanif Shar: Paul Tylak
Officer Worrall: Robert Whitelock
Imran Aziz: Arsher Ali


Previously on DVDfever:

October 15th:

Informer is a brand BBC1 drama starring Nabhaan Rizwan, Paddy Considine and Bel Powley.

A night out with his girlfriend goes badly wrong when Raza Shar (Nabhaan Rizwan) is arrested and identified as a potential informant for London’s Counter Terrorism Special Unit (CTSU).

Detective Sergeant Gabe Waters (Paddy Considine – Journeyman) is partnered with new recruit DC Holly Morten (Bel Powley – Detour) and introduces her to the world of informants. Ambitious and uninhibited, Holly pushes boundaries to get Raza on board. Gabe’s key contact, Yousef, has information that links to a prolific terrorist – Ahmed El Adoua.

El Adoua was responsible for a major attack in Rotterdam, and CTSU fears he might have been in London planning a similar attack. When Yousef goes missing, the pressure is on for the CTSU team to find out more.

I’m really looking forward to this and it’s wonderful that they’ve got Bel Powley for this as Detour was one of my favourite movies of last year.

Informer starts tomorrow night on BBC1 at 9pm, and then the full boxset will be available on BBC iPlayer.

Check out the trailer below.

Director: Jonny Campbell
Producer: Julian Stevens
Writers/Creators: Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani

Cast:
Gabe Waters: Paddy Considine
Holly Morten: Bel Powley
Raza Shar: Nabhaan Rizwan
Imran Aziz: Arsher Ali
Rose Asante: Sharon D Clarke
Charlotte Humphreys: Nell Hudson
Dadir Hassan: Roger Jean Nsengiyumva
Sadia Shar: Sunetra Sarker
Geoffrey Boyce: Stanley Townsend
Hanif Shar: Paul Tylak
Emily Waters: Jessica Raine
Wesley Ndoyo: Eric Abrefa
Cafe 66 Manager: Melanie Wilder
Lady Justice Spencer: Elizabeth Rider
Paralegal Assistant: Hussina Raja
Fiona: Charlotte Harwood


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