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on 17 January 2015
This is an excellent 7 hour BBC mini-series about police corruption, drug trafficking and human frailty. Pitch dark, and no important character is without fault or sins.

The performances are terrific. Chiwetel Ejiofor does very solid work as a detective returning to the job after having a bullet lodged in his brain when his partner is killed in a shooting. His memory has been damaged, so he can't remember that night, or if he and his partner were doing cop work, or were playing ball with the other side. It's a complex character, a man tortured by literally not knowing himself, not knowing his own secrets. Christopher Eccleston also does great work with an unusual and complicated role. If Ejiofor is a good guy, who may have been a bad one, then Eccelston is a bad guy with the soul of a good one. He just wants to get out with one last big score to help his sick wife, without hurting anyone. Stephen Rea is a lot of fun, if a bit one note as an ice cold super-baddie, and Rafe Spall creates a terrific, very different kind of scary bad guy -- one who is so odd, almost goofy, and quirky that it's hard to know when he's kidding, or when he'll suddenly go off in a big way. All the smaller roles are filled with top notch actors, making this a thriller that relies far more on complex behavior than shoot-outs for narrative drive and tension.

There are a few frustrating plot cheats along the way, but less than most stories in this genre (the fact that it's generally so damn good, makes the few wonky moments stand out more.). Director-writer-producer Hugo Blick has a great eye for color and noirish framing, and a feel for messy morality that serves him very well here -- and even better in his more recent mini- series "The Honorable Woman." If you liked that, there's a good chance you'll like this, and vice-versa.
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on 15 June 2017
Excellent
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on 22 August 2016
More twists and turns than i can remember. Underrated.
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on 4 August 2017
One of the best TV drama series ever. Brilliantly acted by a great ensemble cast.
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on 12 January 2012
This BBC 7-parter had been sitting around unviewed since way back last year. Finally gave it a spin at the weekend - well that was it, pretty well impossible just to watch one part with the next one sitting there waiting for you! Gripping, each episode leaves you wanting the next one, as I write this it's 5 down, 2 to go. Brilliant performances from everyone, particularly the young Spall (with a great David Walliams impression), Ecclestone and the spooky Mr Not-so-nice guy from Stephen Rea, and Anthony Sher.
Possibly a bit heavy on the violence for some, but a must see - watch this and be thankful we've still got a BBC to produce this sort of quality programme - there's so much more to TV than Midsommer Murders!!
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on 8 May 2017
The dialogue is frustratingly peculiar. Everyone is a smart arse, knowing and unreal.
It is as if they are acting at acting. The close up scene shots are dwelled on, but add absolutely nothing.
The emotional content is melodramatic, I could feel no attachment to any character, it felt like a series of cliched shots had been stiched together.
The characters talked with stilted, phoney wisdom, producing a feeling of wanting to slap them and tell them to get on with it.
As another reviewer has written, it is wooden and indulgent.
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on 13 December 2017
Don’t bother with this it is dire! From the onset it put my teeth on edge I expected more from the quality of actors including Leslie Sharp.
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on 30 October 2011
Hard to fault this fine thriller. Excellent acting all round and I was great fan of the Spall role. Good twists and turns and some fine characters created. I feel the story could have run to more episodes rather than having to, at times, quickly explain what was going on. Rather like The Killing it needs 20 or so episodes.This is the sort of drama that must be explored..well thought out, produced and performed.
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on 27 August 2011
I came to this straight after watching my spiral 3 dvd and to be honest found the first episode a bit flat..

.. but by the end of 2 I was hooked,the way the story unfolds,the way we are suddenly taken in a different direction and at the end of the journey it all made sense,mind you have to think about it..

The few minuses for me was 1) the sound quality of the interior scenes every clacking footstep , every scrape of a chair ,echoey voices .. sort of thing you associate with a cash strapped "B" movie 2)the minimalist music score that sounded like it was destined for one of those cheapo "50 tune" door alarms that all sound the same 3) The guy who played Gabriel's immediate boss ,totally lacking in any onscreen prescence and therefore believability (if that is a word !)

However ! the rest of the cast were at the very least excellent with a special mention to Mr Gatehouse brilliantly written and realised..There were also some very smart visuals,little cameo's really,the final motorbike ride for example..
To anyone that thinks Scot and Bailey is the ultimate in crime drama I wouldn't bother,anyone for quality clever crime drama this is a must see....it will be a very shady journey but well worth getting onboard
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on 8 January 2012
BBC has been renowned for its gripping dramas that deal with uncomfortable subjects like corruption, greed, betrayal, and all at high places (not just in the lives of cliched crooks and shady tycoons). This series, which had me glued till the end, is an illustrious addition to that oeuvre. The acting is 5-star, so is the taut handling and the very-very dark & forbidding look at the personal demons that can haunt people: good or bad, dark or fair. However, after the conclusion of the series, I felt that in its attempt to be "realistic" (a loaded word, I am afraid) the finale kept too many people like me feeling cheated, as we found that the two characters whom we had been rooting for all along, would not come up triumphant. Besides, in the finale, the so-called-twists were entirely predictable. From the gun-to-the-mouth to the deviating laser, there was nothing that we had not seen. Jonah Gabriel and Joseph Bede were the two characters that had made many of us see it till the end, and I think that the way they were dealt with was unfair. But life is UNFAIR, isn't it? So, dropping of one star for this feeling of being under-handed, apart from it this is as good as it gets. Recommended.
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