Criminal UK

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.

State of the Union

State of the Union Review

by D. Adonis

**** 4 Stars

O’Dowd and Pike’s performance remarkably balances out Nick Hornby’s sharp and fluid dialogue.

‘State of the Union’ consists of bite-sized episodes following a couple’s weekly meet-ups at the pub before their marital counselling session. The show resembles a comedy sketch rather than the typical half hour, laugh track sitcom. O’Dowd perfectly describes the show as ‘Woody Allen vignettes’, because of its reference heavy, introspective and witty dialogue, much like an Allen film.

The show starts with ‘Marathon’, which introduces us to the married couple: Louise (Rosamund Pike), a gerontologist and Tom (Chris O’Dowd), a former music critic. Their conversation starts out awkward, and from the beginning there is an underlying tension about the issues surrounding their marriage which would seamlessly unfold by the end of the episode.

‘Marathon’ establishes the central conflict: both of them are willing to fight for their marriage, but differ in the course of action they want to take: Louise is persistent in going through with counselling to diagnose their ‘marital disease’, while Tom opposes the idea, as he thinks that their marriage didn’t really need ‘poking around in’.

O’Dowd and Pike’s performance remarkably balances out Nick Hornby’s sharp and fluid dialogue. Their portrayals add lots of meaning to their characters: Pike’s perfect posture and calm delivery emphasises Louise’s emotional maturity, which contrasts O’Dowd’s lack of composure and passive aggressiveness which characterises Tom as the sulky man-child.

With the seamless direction, neat script and great performances, ‘Marathon’ promises the viewers a light and refreshing comedy about the marathon that is Tom and Louise’s marriage.

State of the Union is currently available on the BBC iPlayer is rated 12.

Welcome to The Sixth Form Reviewer

Welcome to The Sixth Form Reviewer!

Here you will find the latest reviews for Films and TV Shows so that you can decide what you want to spend your free time watching.

Our expert teams of reviewers are all Sixth Form Students at the Astrea Sixth Form St Neots. They study either A-Level English Literature, English Language and Literature or Film Studies.

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