Paul Abbott's 1997 creation, he and Russell T. Davies responsible for Season 1's taut scripts.
OSC is an armed rapid response unit dealing with serial crimes. DI Dave Creegan heads the team on the ground - he literally back from the dead, scar on forehead showing where a bullet entered. As usual, Robson Green makes the most of a grim, demanding role. Nicola Walker, Shaun Dingwall, Adam Kotz play his main colleagues. The series is not a whodunnit, killers' identities rarely in doubt. Focus is more on those investigating, how they cope with so much horror. Evil cannot be touched without contamination. How long before each unravels? None of them will emerge unscathed.
Necessarily unsettling and dark (literally so, many interior scenes needing more lights). Ian McDiarmid and Tony Curran particularly disturb as two of the serial killers - unrepentant and taunting, truly chilling performances.
An uneven series. Season 1 strong. Season 2 wavering (twice officers unconvincingly falling for people involved in cases -outcome of such relationships predictable). Season 3 seems simply tagged on (but has its moments).
Ground has been prepared for "Wire in the Blood" two or so years later - Robson Green there impressive in another uncompromising role which offers more scope.
The boxed set contains the three seasons, a total of eight cases divided into fifty minute two-parters. No extras.
Recommended for those who prefer viewing that challenges. (Of additional interest are early sightings of faces destined to become familiar - one of them James Hooton, he the future Sam Dingle of "Emmerdale".)