07 January 2011

I don't believe this woman is a DI: a review of 'Above Suspicion: Deadly Intent'

Lynda La Plante is a rather prolific novel and television writer. Best known for Prime Suspect and more recently Trial and Retribution, her latest TV adaptations involve one of the less believable police officers in contemporary TV crime fiction.

DI Anna Travis.

I've never read the books, so I can't honestly comment on that portrayal, and I'm no expert on acting, but Kelly Reilly seems, in my humble and possibly incorrect opionion, miscast in this role, is playing it badly or has awful material. Reilly, born in 1977 according to IMDB, plays this role as if DI Travis was a teenager thrust into a suit and tight blouse, handed a warrant card and told to clean up the streets of London. She holds herself and dresses that way (as the Digitial Spy discussion points out, the make up doesn't help either). It's really rather jarring. I am supposed to believe that this woman is a seasoned detective in SCD1 (the murder squad of the Metropolitan Police Service), who is in a position to lead an entire investigation on her own. I can't do it. I just can't do it. Travis is just far too immature and unprofessional.

Leaving aside what looks like an attempt (all too common in TV) to use pretty to boost ratings and not bothering about the characterisation, let's move onto the rest of this.

The plot of Deadly Intent involves a renowned drug dealer getting plastic surgery in Mexico then coming to London and killing a few people with Fentanyl. It's a good plot and the ending was a nice twist even if not entirely convincing, particularly in the age of the European Arrest Warrant (that plane would have to put down somewhere in Europe). The dealer does a particularly audacious move that has to be seen to be believed.

There's a rather decent turn from Julian Sands and much of the rest of the cast, including Shaun Dingwall. Not an expert in the direction side of things, so I'll refrain from comment about that.

I'm going to give this 3/5. Seriously, there's a problem with the lead character that needs dealing with.

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