Professor T stars Ben Miller as Cambridge University Criminology Professor Jasper Tempest, and is a series which has already aired on Britbox, but is now coming to ITV.
The opener begins with a woman attacked in a horrible toilet, so this is already ticking drama cliche boxes. Then again, ITV love a murder mystery to later clog up the after noon schedules on ITV3.
Soon after, as Professor T begins a lecture, his briefcase is stolen right in front of him, and he seems unpeturbed… why? Well, that’s set up for the lecture, so unrelated, but there’s still a baddie out on the loose!
After the lecture, he’s approached by former student, DS Lisa Donckers (Emma Naomi) who needs his help, and thinks the attack is related to a case from five years earlier.
Miller’s titular character is a very standoffish and unlikeable individual, and that really does irritate me. If I can’t get behind the characters, it gives the programme a tough row to hoe. I’m not swayed by any of the other cardboard cut-outs, either.
To that end, the plot is similarly recycled, since Lisa has had a fling with a colleague. He’s looking for Round 2, while she’s climbed out of the boxing ring, because she’s a modern woman and no time for male baggage. Elsewhere, Tempest harks back to the days of the house in which he lived as a child, as his mother, Adelaide (Frances de la Tour), is wanting to sell the family home. Given that Ben Miller is 55, he should really have got a grip on his life by now.
There’s a moment when a potential suspect does a runner from the Keystone Cops, but I’d bet my house on them being innocent. Was I right? Am I out on the street as a result?
Even when it came to finding and dealing with the culprit, it all seemed wrapped up remarkably quickly, given that they’ve been on the loose for half a decade.
Professor T is a remake of a 2019 German drama. Another remake, then. I’ve not seen the original version, but I’ve no particular desire to, either. Either way, I expect ITV have relocated this one to Cambridge, since Inspector Morse ran for a long time with the picturesque Oxford as its background.
About the only moment of interest was Frances De La Tour popping up as Tempest’s mother, which was quite amusing, but the rest was a box-ticking exercise of extreme tediousness showing us nothing we’ve not seen before, and the epitome of TV drama laziness. No wonder it’s being broadcast on a Sunday evening.
Everyone involved should be given their marching orders for crapping this one out, and expecting the viewers to feast on it.
Episode 1: 1/10
Director: Dries Vos
Producers: Robin Kerremans, Dimitri Verbeeck
Writers: Matt Baker, Malin-Sarah Gozin
Music: Hannes De Maeyer
Professor T: Ben Miller
Lisa Donckers: Emma Naomi
Dan Winters: Barney White
Adelaide Tempest: Frances de la Tour
Ingrid Snares: Sarah Woodward
Christina Brand: Juliet Aubrey
Paul Rabbit: Andy Gathergood
The Dean: Douglas Reith
Kafka: Billy Cooke
Martin Bentley: Martin Swabey
Herman Donckers: Ben Onwukwe
Young Jasper Tempest: Rupert Turnbull
Dina Rush: Barbara Verbergt
Father Tempest: Keith Dunphy
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.