Criminal: UK – Netflix – Two Seasons

Seven sumptuous episodes of Criminal UK deliver a totally unique take on detective drama whereby all of the investigation has been completed and viewers are launched with immediacy into an interrogation room scenario with a key suspect from each crime. The premise as the narrative moves on: do the viewers think they are guilty or wrongly accused?

Viewers are slowly introduced to the story surrounding each crime in a method akin to carefully bringing a high quality camera from complete blur into razor sharp focus as each interview encounter unravels. Amongst the atrocities that are being explored across both seasons include the murder of a teenage girl, the poisoning of a spouse, a truck driver accused of human trafficking and the morality of online vigilante’s creating honey traps to catch paedophiles.

The cast reads like a who’s who of the British acting scene with appearances from the likes of David Tennant, Kit Harrington and Katherine Kelly, each playing their role to perfection as the police and antagonists spar verbally amidst a pile of evidence and counter evidence until each episode reaches a crescendo and the big reveal.

None of the episodes are linked and are all ‘untitled’ however I’d highly recommend episode one of season 1 and episode three of season 2 if you want to dip your toe and see if its for you!

A further layer of brilliance is added to this show by the fact simultaneously French, German and Spanish iterations have been released, all with completely different crimes, completely different interpretations of ‘law’ and completely differing police methods.

The whole series feels more like an event than a TV drama and I’d highly recommend exploring all four countries version purely for variety but I’ll do separate reviews for each!

Rating: 8.5/10

Viewed: September 2020

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