No Offence is the latest Paul Abbott drama to come to Channel 4 in a blaze of publicity, with the same trailer being shown about 954 times in the past few weeks, or so it felt.
The first episode was led by the stunning Elaine Cassidy as half-Polish DC Dinah Kowalska and single mum, out on a night in town and chucking a potential boyfriend out the taxi because she didn’t want more than a quick fumble. However, shortly after reducing the numbers in the vehicle by one, she spotted a man who was wanted for attempted murder, left her belongings in the taxi – including her high heels – and gave chase. Alas, for the baddie, after running down a few streets, he tripped up and his head went splat under a a coach. It was caught on CCTV and her chances of promotion were dashed, in favour of it going to DS Joy Freers (Alexandra Roach – if you’re not familiar with her name, she was the moaning Welsh one in Utopia).
As well as featuring episode-specific points, the whole series features a story arc about a serial killer murdering Down’s Syndrome girls, leading to them searching for a girl called Cathy Calvert (Charlie May-Clark) as the third potential victim.
I love any drama set in Manchester, but No Offence felt a bit too clever for its own good. After a strong start, including a comic moment when they’re looking for Cathy, go to her house and ask where her parents are, a stoned girl replies: “Where are they? … Not Del Monte… Alicante“, alas, the more it went on, the less it was wowing me. In the end, it felt to the old cliche where Dinah offered to put Cathy up at her own house, rather than allow the girl to go into foster care.
I’ll give it another try, but even Paul Ritter (The Game, Friday Night Dinner), Joanna Scanlan (Getting On) and Colin Salmon (just about everything else on TV) couldn’t save this as they felt more like caricatures rather than well-rounded characters. I bailed on Abbott’s Shameless after three series. I would’ve liked to have stuck around for longer with this one.
No Offence continues next Tuesday on Channel 4 at 9pm.
No Offence is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on August 10th, and click on the packshot for the full-size image.
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Directors: David Kerr and Catherine Morshead
Producer: Simon Meyers
Writer/Creator: Paul Abbott
Music: Vince Pope
DC Dinah Kowalska: Elaine Cassidy
DS Joy Freers: Alexandra Roach
DI Vivienne Deering: Joanna Scanlan
Miller: Paul Ritter
Det. Supt. Darren Maclaren: Colin Salmon
DC Spike Tanner: Will Mellor
PC Tegan Thompson: Saira Choudhry
Bob Simmons: Philip McGinley
Connie Ball: Hannah Walters
Tatu: Frog Stone
Robert Wade: Paul Bown
Police Officer: Julie Clerehugh-Eaton
Tatu 2: Bianca Rudman
Dr Peep: Kate O’Flynn
Cathy Calvert: Charlie May-Clark
Ruth Cheetham: Siobhan McSweeney
PC Jonah Mitchell: Ste Johnston
PC Taz Ahmed: Neet Mohan
Raki: Naveed Choudhry
PC Stuart O’Connell: Tom Varey
Scruffy Chav: Ryan Lever
Laurie Gaskell: Risteard Cooper
Evelyn Patterson: Enid Dunn
Tessa Kowalska: Mia Blakeley
Magda Kowalska: Hanna Bieniuszewicz
Mitchell Paterson: Lee Abbate
Donna Calvert: Claudia Adshead
Mikey Wade: Rishard Beckett
Lucy Cooke: Andrea Gillies
Angela Wade: Sally Womersley
Jocelyn Wade: Janet Cork
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.