Law & Order: UK, ITV1

Did we like it?
Apart from the iconic two-note musical sting between scenes and the glossy opening titles, this failed to replicate the formula that has made Law & Order the longest-running police drama on American television.

What was good about it?

• The only members of the ensemble cast who delieverd what was needed were the youngsters Jamie Bamber as DS Matt Devlin and Freema Agyeman as young prosecutor/junior detective Alesha Phillip.
• Patrick Malahide managed to be thoughoughly horrible as a defence lawyer. “Silence is your friend,” he reminded his thuggish client.
• The iconic two-note musical sting.

What was bad about it?
• Delivering lines that seem to have come from a random-cliché-generator (with its exposition setting on maximum) was never going to be easy, but we were disappointed by the performances of Bradley Walsh (didn’t come close to pulling off the hardened cop act even in a raincoat), Harriet Walter (borrowed her awful accent from EastEnders) and Ben Daniels (yet another horribly smooth TV prosecutor). Bill Paterson didn;t have enough airtime for us to decide either way on his portrayal of the CPS director (although he didn;t seem to match the ‘formidable’ billing given to him by ITV’s publicity department).
• The plot about a baby kiled by gases from a tampered-with heating system was very humdrum for a series opener. The average storyline in The Bill is more interesting.
• The action was supposed to be set in King’s Cross but only one scene was actually filmed there.


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