The Level shows that every cop has got a snout or three, who’ll give them the information they require when they need a tip-off, but Nancy Devlin’s (Karla Crome) bitten off more than she can chew, with haulier Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister). Her association leads to a mysterious text: “Frank’s girl. I’m coming for you”, and a murder investigation where Nancy knows more than she’s letting on. She’s a maverick cop! A renegade! And she’s got a complicated home life with a mother in a care home, and a grumpy Scots Dad! And her love life’s a bit of a mess, too!
Yes, there’s a fair number of cliches in this drama, plus some well-worn traits, such as when someone’s scared that they think they’re being followed.. but that can’t happen, surely? Well, it’s a drama so of course it can, and it is, but you can spot that coming a mile off.
The Level looks better than Paranoid, but then, the testcard looks better than Paranoid.
Overall, though, The Level‘s first episode is a slow-burner. At first, it didn’t really grab me, but bit by bit, it does take hold. Plus, there’s a great new find in Karla Crome. Okay, so she’s been in a few things, but I’ve only seen her as a supporting character, Kayla, in You, Me and the Apocalypse, and she proves herself as a competent lead.
Episode 1 Score: 6/10
Director: Andy Goddard
Producer: Jane Dauncey
Writer: Gaby Chiappe and Alexander Perrin
Music: Jack C Arnold
Nancy Devlin: Karla Crome
Michelle Newman: Lindsey Coulson
Hayley Svrcek: Laura Haddock
Frank Le Saux: Philip Glenister
Kevin O’Dowd: Rob James-Collier
Gunner Martin: Noel Clarke
Cherie Le Saux: Amanda Burton
Shay Nash: Joe Absolom
Duncan Elliot: Geoff Bell
Tate Le Saux: Cian Binchy
Darryl Quinn: Lorne MacFadyen
Julie: Ruth Madeley
Gayle Vincent: Jane Hazlegrove
Sharad Nayar: Ashley Kumar
Delia Bradley: Kelly Harrison
Gil Devlin: Gary Lewis
Teresa Devlin: Suzanne Packer
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.