The lead is DCI Gabriel Markham, portrayed by Fortitude‘s Richard Dormer, sports a badly-burned face from an earlier case, the details of which we’ll learn as the episode proceeds, but it starts bizarrely as he goes to the grave of an Edith Gray, searches with knowledge for a prescription bottle inside the gravel upon it, buys beer at the petrol station and then time whizzes back 10 hours 28 minutes…
I’ll come to that in a moment, but on the bog-standard side, Rellik is a gruff detective with a chequered past, who argues with his boss, Det Supt Benton (Ray Stevenson – Thor 1-3, Dexter, Kill The Irishman), including how he wants in on the case he’s dealing with, Benton threatens to pull him off it, leading to our hero grumbling, “You know why you won’t”…
Meanwhile, Elaine (Jodi Balfour) is his partner in work and in life… well, a fuckbuddy… and they’re not the only ones in the office.
However, where it differs is the format of the drama, where we see time rewinding (hence ‘killer’ is ‘Rellik’), so the day doesn’t play out in chronoligcal order. It jumps back and forth in time, so it’s telling the story a bit like Christopher Nolan’s Memento. At first, you won’t really know what ties into where, but if you stick with the episode, you’ll get it. This is a fascinating concept and feels more like something you’d expect from Nordic Noir rather than a BBC1 prime-time drama.
Going back to Dormer’s Fortitude, and that was also an oddity. For the first season, I loved to hate it, as it was still watchable. However, I ditched it halfway through season 2 as it jumped the shark and was just completely terrible.
Overall, the episode of Rellik is good, but it’s all a little difficult to fully grasp at first. I’ll stick with it, though, as it definitely has promise and also also establishes good elements of Rellik’s colleagues, plus some tertiary characters such as Patterson Joseph as psychiatrist Isaac Taylor, who has OCD overload, but whose full story clearly has yet to be told.
Rellik continues next Monday at 9pm on BBC1, and is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release on October 23rd. If you missed it, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission, and click on the DVD packshot for the full-size version.
Series Directors: Sam Miller and Hans Herbots
Producer: Chris Clough
Series Writers: Harry Williams and Jack Williams
DCI Gabriel Markham: Richard Dormer
DI Elaine Shepard: Jodi Balfour
Steven Mills: Michael Shaeffer
DI Mike Sutherland: Kieran Bew
DC Asim Fry: Reece Ritchie
DS Jenny Roberts: Faye Castelow
DC Sam Myers: Joseph Macnab
Beth Mills: Georgina Rich
Ali Mills: Poppy Polivnick
DC Andrea Reed: Mimi Ndiweni
DI Martin Brook: Michael Wildman
Det Supt Edward Benton: Ray Stevenson
Patrick Barber: Paul Rhys
Isaac Taylor: Patterson Joseph
Hannah Markham: Shannon Tarbet
Lisa Markham: Lark Winther
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.