Image courtesy of Netflix UK
From the star-studded British cast in Netflix’s Criminal: United Kingdom (from George Kay and Jim Field Smith) I expected hard- hitting crimes and intense acting style and this show did not disappoint. The United Kingdom series is comprised of three episodes that take place solely in the interrogation room at a police station and feature separate interviews about totally unrelated crimes. In the first episode, the team question Dr. Edgar Fallon (David Tennant) on his murdered step-daughter, in the second episode we see Stacey Doyle (Hayley Atwell) being quizzed on the induced coma state of her brother-in-law while episode three brings a mystery involving a missing van potentially full of migrants.
The emotional impact of the crimes is heightened by the sincere and highly effective acting from David Tennant and Hayley Atwell who stole the show. Lee Ingleby has worked on crime dramas before like ‘Luther’ so this made him a perfect candidate for this clever drama. He shone out with his authoritative but also timid portrayal of Detective Tony Myerscough, who took the reigns on the interrogation in episode one and he continued to shine throughout the series.
But what made this series particularly work so well for me was the underlying friendships and the relationships between this close-knit department coming to the forefront throughout the series. We see the interactions between the team every time they exit the interrogation room, and this brings us into the room with them and engages us further. Whilst the interrogation takes place, we see shots of the rest of the team showing their interactions and the comments they make which help to bring the audience up to speed if something is complicated to follow. A relationship that builds throughout the series is the tension between Detective Tony Myerscough (Lee Ingleby) and Natalie Hobbs (Katherine Kelly). It quickly becomes apparent that Tony has feelings for his boss, and he debates asking her for a drink. So, when this finally happens in the final scene of the series, the audience rejoice to see Tony asking Natalie the question. Even though the audience can’t hear the interaction because they were in the interrogation room and the sound had been muted, it was a triumph for Tony and personally, feelings of pride for him came to the forefront of my mind. This made what could have been a quite clinical and hard to follow series into a highly engaging insight onto professional relationships.
Being an avid fan of David Tennant but not knowing much about the series itself, I was intrigued to watch this series and give my verdict. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised because what could’ve been a clinical interrogation room, become a drama on relationships and human morals and values. The crimes were also hard-hitting and real and the acting superb. I would recommend watching this series to be engrossed from the start of each episode from the reveal of the crime and continue to be engaged by the ever- decreasing time on the clock.