Scott and Bailey is a drama I’d never seen before, but I get that the two leads – Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones), now an acting Detective Inspector, and Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) – have a working history together, given that it’s run for four series previously, and as this first episode begins, Bailey has been away from Manchester for a year, living down in that there London.
While popping back, an initially seemingly one-off murder of a man called Michael Edgerton leads to the case actually being not a single murder at all, but the one of a number from a serial killer, and footage of this one ended up on a website on the ‘darknet’ (I hate that term – it’s a lazy media catch-all without describing it in detail).
Due to austerity cuts, they have no DCI, so Bailey steps in as an acting Detective Inspector. And since she was dressed casually, and told by Dodson that when attending an important meeting, “Don’t come dressed like Little Mix”, somehow she borrows a blue suit from Lesley Sharp… who’s about a foot shorter than her. This is the most absurd physical likeness since Face/Off!!
Because it’s an important case, the cops are told that all leave is cancelled and they’ll be expected to work overtime. That wouldn’t happen in the real world, but then as this case is taking part over a three-episode special, they won’t be working too long on it – just three hours 😉
Elsewhere in the case, Janet’s daughter, Tasie (Harriet Waters), has got boyfriend trouble with nobs on; and new recruit DC Anna Ram (the lovely Jing Lusi) tries to make jokes but they fall flat and she gets portrayed as a bit of a klutz. That wouldn’t happen in real life, would it? Oh, then again, it *IS* Greater Manchester Police, and I wouldn’t trust any of them to wipe their own arses with both hands.
The murders are carried out in a rather dark and bizarre way, the detail of which I’ll leave you to learn. It isn’t exactly Line of Duty, but it makes for a reasonable hour. That said, ITV have got a current cracking cop drama in Marcella.
The rest of the series did improve, and I could’ve gone another three-part series of this, but it was canned by ITV after bringing it back.
Scott and Bailey starts tonight at 9pm and airs every Wednesday on ITV at 9pm. Series 5 is available pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on May 2nd, but if you miss the episode, you can catch it later on the ITV Hub. And, in fact, it’s also one of their dramas where the first episode is being previewed online, so you don’t even have to wait until then. Also, click on the packshot for the full-size version.
Series 5 Score: 7/10
Director: Alex Kalymnios
Producer: Michaela Eccleston
Writer: Lee Warburton (series based on an idea by Suranne Jones and Sally Lindsay)
Executive Producers: Nichola Shindler and Suranne Jones
Music: Ben Foster
ADI Rachel Bailey: Suranne Jones
DC Janet Scott: Lesley Sharp
DC Anna Ram: Jing Lusi
Scary Mary Jackson: Judy Holt
Wendy: Katie Clarkson-Hill
Desk Sergeant: Marcus Adolphy
Maurice Ridley: Louis Healy
Maurice’s Mum: Lynsey McLaren
DSI Julie Dodson: Pippa Haywood
DC Pete Readynough: Tony Mooney
DC Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell: David Prosho
DC Lee Broadhurst: Delroy Brown
Steve Dench: Richard Riddell
Arresting Officer: James Wood
Joanne Dench: Lizzie Stavrou
Dorothy Parsons: Judith Barker
SOCO Worker: Bill Bradshaw
Steve’s Lawyer: Rina Mahoney
Tasie Scott: Harriet Waters
Alison Newley: Sally Lindsay
SCAS Neil Simpson: Gregg Chillin
Callum Newley: Ewan Phillips
Holly Newley: Olivia Leslie
Carrie Medford: Jemma Thompson
Rosie Medford: Chloe Lea
Jenna Mawson: Nisa Cole
Kenny Medford: Anthony Flanagan
DI Hollister: Suzette Llewellyn
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.