Criminal UK Review
by J. Ellmers
**** 4 Stars
Here, we get a look into other detectives’ viewpoints, and more crucially, we ourselves, are the detective.
Episode One ‘Edgar’
Actors: David Tennant. Nicholas Pinnock, Lee Ingleby, Mark Stanley, Katherine Kelly
Investigators interview Dr Edgar Fallon, who is suspected of having sexually assaulted and murdered Nicky, his 14 year old step-daughter.
From the get-go, Dr Fallon is undoubtedly a very shifty individual. His constant response of “no comment” is enough to make anybody nervous, and with time slowly running out, tension is heightened. We enter this interview around the 23 hour mark, which in itself is excruciatingly painful to imagine.
The detectives have an hour left to make Edgar, played by David Tennant, crack and confess to his accused crime; the rape and murder of his step-daughter. The first portion of the episode consists of detectives Tony and Hugo essentially talking at Dr Fallon with little to no response (“no comment” is an expected answer within roughly 3 minutes). Undeniably, the atmosphere is thick with tension, what with the horrific nature of the crime enough to make bile rise up in your throat and linger there uncomfortably, combined with how suspicious Fallon is acting throughout this section.
Eventually, with the addition of Detective Inspector Paul Ottager and his emotive techniques (pretending to have a daughter himself, for example), Fallon begins to confide in the interviewers. Tennant displays an amazing portrayal here, having Fallon seemingly break down as he recounts the scenario; Nicky’s supposed lover – a middle aged man by the alias of ‘Andrews’ – how he argued with her, physically assaulted her and stupidly left her in this stranger’s care. By this point, sympathy for Fallon has seeped its way in; he’s a grieving step-father, stricken by the loss of his daughter at the hands of a man he didn’t know and a murder he could’ve stopped. Despite this, something always feels slightly off.
The cinematics of these tense parts is dramatically heightened as the camera is taken out of the interview room and placed into the witness box on the other side of the one-way mirror. Here, we get a look into other detectives’ viewpoints, and more crucially, we ourselves, are the detective. Brilliantly, Detective Hugo’s notes (given to Tony to read out, quite theatrically as he drags it out to the final few seconds of the interview) shatter Fallon’s heartbroken facade by pointing out how the hexagonal imprint on Nicky’s plaster cast directly mirror the print on the carpet in the boot of Fallon’s Audi S3, deducting that the assault was much more fatal than he initially let on. Quickly, Fallon is charged with the rape and murder of his step-daughter, and the audience is left jaw-droppingly impressed.
Criminal UK is currently available on Netflix and was rated 15 by the BBFC.