reviewed by Eric Ellis
Crime- Season 1
Created by: Irvine Welsh, Dean Cavanagh
Run Date: 2021
When it comes to Irvine Welsh’s mini-series, Crime, those with access to Britbox are in for a viewing surprise when it comes to the all-around quality of this six-part series.
Crime is a gritty and dark police procedural with a compelling story to tell and which is told through excellent writing, dialog, and acting by the actors, with the main plot focusing on the abduction and murder of a young girl. Additional existing plotlines within the series add layers to the involved characters in the program, even if not vital to the main story.
The initial investigation is led by investigator DI Ray Lennox (Dougray Scott). The investigation is further complicated by serious personal issues and past demons haunting Lennox. When Lennox expresses belief parallels to the current murder investigation exist with a series of previous murders committed by a killer nicknamed “Mr. Confectioner”, his co-workers and supervisors, already weary, grow even outwardly hostile to his continued fixation on a killer already in prison.
Though the six-part series does need to come with a warning of it being a program dealing with uncomfortable subject matter, the creators deal with disturbing content with the seriousness it deserves.
Along with Scott as the lead character, supporting actors include Joanna Vanderham as Detective Amanda Drummond, Jamie Sives as Detective Dougie Gillman, Angela Griffin as Trudi, the girlfriend to Lennox, and an always reliable Ken Stott as police administrator Bob Toal.
While the series takes place in modern times, the atmosphere of the program makes the series almost feel as if it could also be taking place in the 1970s, especially with the inclusion of the Det. Gillman character. Gillman, an almost-mullet-coiffed detective, comes along with an attitude, appearance and behavior straight out of the 1970s that typically would not be present in 2021, but adds depth and interest to the program.
As the series moves on, Scott’s manic and wide ranging emotional portrayal of Lennox is done so well it is almost as if the stress from the investigation and his personal troubles are adding years to his appearance right before our eyes.
Another thing the creators and actors of Crime do well is to create intense, edge-of-the-seat interrogation scenes as compelling and thrilling any well done action scene. Spoken words cut like a knife and land like blows to the face.
The humor within Crime is also remarkably accurate when it comes to the humor found in policing. Some viewers may find such humor distasteful, or even offensive, however, it is the type of humor that does exist within policing and can be both biting and raw.
Viewers of programs such as 2017’s Prime Suspect: Tennison, The Red Riding Trilogy and Netflix’s fictional police interrogation program Criminal, should also enjoy Crime.
Crime is highly recommended and will most likely be well mentioned during award season and receive many mentions for excellence as more people view the series.
Crime is currently being streamed on Britbox.