Waking The Dead, BBC1

Did we like it?
We love a bit of mortal danger and there was a lot of it around in the latest chapter in the life of TV’s craziest cold case detectives.

What was good about it?
• The cast of characters provided the story with a very rich range of ingredients: underage prostitute with thin bare legs and a fag, a badly-charred body (going by the name of 27B), a swarthy pimp, a normal middle-class family with a sackload of secrets, lap dancers, feral youths and, best of all, a bunch of international terrorists representing the Irish National Liberation Army, the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front and Basque separatists Eta (we’re hoping they’ll be joined by sinister agents from the Cornish Liberation Organisation, Tooting Popular Front and Frinton Pensioners Against The Level Crossing Renovation).
• About half an episode mercifully passed before we had to suffer Trevor Eve’s Boyd going loopy. We prayed he’d stay stable throughout, but, oh no, he has to start shouting like an overwrought madman or start adopting rigid mournful positions that are so annoying that we want to throw a bucket of cold water over him, even if it does disturb his gravity-defying hair.
• A very convincing scene at the railway station where a mother tackled a bag-snatcher who had robbed her daughter, tossing him on to the tracks before, very kindly, carrying out life saving first aid. The have-a-go heroine turned out to be Lore Carson (Beatriz Batarda), a bit of a baddie, not least for forcing her two daughters to bed down in an unsalubrious Kings Cross hotel/hovel.
• Grace trotting out her expertise on snuff movies as if she settles down to watch one every evening after catching up on the soaps
• We love it when lots of scientific words and medical terms are said very, very quickly.
• We love Eve Lockhart (Tara Fitzgerald) with her sexy, butch voice.
• A very impressive cry of “Zut alors!”

What was bad about it?

• Boyd is such an idiot, losing his cool like a spoilt child all the time. If he wasn’t in it, Waking The Dead would be brilliant. With him, it can be a pain. And we could certainly do without the return of his missing son providing even more excuses for his grumpiness – and more scenes of patient Grace trying to calm the old sod down.
• The reliance on TV news clips to spread the story. Would an Irish TV station really bother with a have-you-seen-this-woman piece about an incident in suburban London?
• The gratuitous flashbacks to the woman chained up and screaming in a container dumped by sinister railway sidings where hookers and runaways roam.
• “If you mess me about I’ll cut your balls off and put them in a blender.” Not the most original of threats.

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2 thoughts on “Waking The Dead, BBC1

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