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Moses Jones [DVD]
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All three episodes of the BBC crime drama mini-series set in London's Ugandan community. Shaun Parkes stars as Scotland Yard detective Moses Jones, who - along with his young assistant Dan Twentyman (Matt Smith) - is assigned to investigate after a mutilated body is found in the Thames that appears to be the product of a witchcraft killing.
“Well acted and wittily written, and so exciting you can't wait for the second episode.” --IndependentBBC TV’s atmospheric and vibrant crime thriller. A bizarrely mutilated body, a wave of violence and a wall of silence from a frightened immigrant community – a disturbing case for a desperate detective. "… the seething underbelly of London's Ugandan community, a world of crime, clubs and struggle that pulses to the beat of the best soundtrack you'll hear on TV this year." --Metro When the badly mutilated body of a man is pulled out of the Thames, cynical Scotland Yard detective Moses Jones is taken off an udercover case and put to work with naive, hopeful Detective Sergeant Dan Twentyman. It's soon clear this is no ordinary murder investigation, becoming for Moses the most important case of his career and a bewildering journey of self discovery. Unsure if they are dealing with a ritual murder, organised crime or the work of a serial killer, the detectives dig further – uncovering random beatings, a torched brothel, a former Commnwealth boxing champ, and the Afrigo Club, where kingpin Afrobeat band leader Solomon and his celebrated band, 'The Mutilators', play five nights a week to their homesick bretheren. As the violence escalates, Moses' investigation becomes a frightening quest to track down his man before the community implodes... and the killer strikes again.
Top customer reviews
However these do not destroy the overall enjoyment but rather are just annoying.
The plot has a black detective being assigned to a case of ritual murder inside the African community in London. His bosses feel it needs someone with an African background and so Jones is sent to investigate alongside his somewhat racist sidekick. The plot revolves around a former dictator trying to re-establish himself and using force to gain some power among the African expats.
There are one or two stereotypes and the wheels come off a little with the far fetched ending but Shaun Parkes is convincing and very watchable in his role as the detective whose talents are less important to his bosses than his family background. He is tired of the continual barrage of institutionalized bigotry but remains calm and manages to rise above it with some wit and charm. Matt Smith is a great sidekick with his clueless and ham fisted way of dealing with people given some relief by his humour.
There are some good plot twists and solid support acting.
While not the BBC's greatest effort this is very watchable and it's quiet appearance is a little surprising given the rarity of a strong black lead in a police drama,( or any drama really ), set inside a black community. That Parke's role has been so well written is a refreshing change from the near exclusive sidelining of black actors to either comedy, support roles or the 'disposable one' in disaster plots.
Not the strongest of starts then but strong enough and certainly an opener to raise hopes of more to come and the introduction of a series that will improve and gather a larger following as it progresses.
Parkes makes a charming lead with his powerful central performance that holds together a diverse cast that includes an insipid performance from Smith (the new Doctor Who), Walker, Varma, Akuwudike, newcomers Mosaku and Abili, and veteran Waterman.
Episode one layers on the intrigue as Parkes and Smith become uneasy bedfellows as they commence their investigation and make their first contacts with the charming Walker, the gorgeous Mosaku and the menacing Abili who seems to stand above it all. You're a sick man, Moses Jones.
Episode two sets Parkes and Smith at each others throats as the frustration builds until Mosaku and Varma point them in the direction of the slimy Waterman and subsequently pay for their indiscretion. Even bad guys need music.
Episode three builds up to an explosive conclusion as Parkes and Mosaku become close, Abili goes over the edge, and all reveal more personal links to the case the previously suspected. We need armed backup, now!
The creators use the gritty back alleys of immigrant London as the setting for a dark and violent drama series with nauseating scenes of violence that are not for the feint of heart that dissects it's main character with all the subtlety of Soloman's baseball bat and comes to a confused and somewhat rushed conclusion.
To make peace, first you must make war.
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