TV Crime Log: Fall, Babylon, Ripper

The FallThe first series of The Fall, Allan Cubitt’s serial killer drama, received brickbats and praise in equal measure for its violent – and, some complained, misogynist – story of a detective’s hunt for a multiple murderer.

Not that the BBC is worrying unduly. The Fall was BBC 2’s most-watched drama in umpteen years – and the series ended with the cat-and-mouse hunt between Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson and killer Paul Spector on the verge of getting personal.

So now Gillian ‘Haversham’ Anderson is back in the blouse for the second series, with Jamie ‘Fifty Shades’ Dornan again appearing as her nemesis — and him from Merlin is joining the cast. We are promised a more obsessional pursuit.

The new series of six episodes starts on BBC2 at 9pm, on Thursday night.

BabylonSo there’s that. But, you may want to turn over straight afterwards to watch Babylon on Channel 4 at 10pm.

With the our police forces under increased scrutiny, writers increasingly focus on the pressures they face to be seen to be solving crime –- later in the week, I’ll be reviewing a procedural that does just that -– and Sam ‘Peep’ Armstrong and Jess ‘Show’ Bain’s new series follows the Met’s PR department going into overdrive as officers struggle to respond to a variety of dangerous incidents.

Described as a ‘cop show without detectives,’ director Danny Boyle’s comedy-drama pilot was successfully broadcast last year and has been commissioned for an eight-part series.

Brit Marling is the new PR manager Liz Garvey who had to deal with Police Commissioner James Nesbitt and tiptoe through the conflicts and bueacracy in the Met.

Ripper StreetTime was when being a copper was a more simple affair. You could just wade in with your size twelves and a pair of knuckledusters and not worry that some hack is going to plaster your boat all over the front pages. The gentlemen of Ripper Street, for example, have no such worries.

After a shaky start –- it, too, was accused of the overuse of violence against women -– Ripper Street settled down into a smart and gripping period drama, set in the troubled aftermath of Saucy Jack’s violent spree, and it’s back for a third series.

But wait, you protest as you flick through your leather-bound copy of the Radio Times, I don’t see it, anywhere in the schedules!

That’s because Ripper Street — with its under under-performing viewing figures and costly period sets — was canned by the BBC, to great uproar in certain circles, and then miraculously resurrected in a deal with Amazon Instant Video. That means an episode will be available to watch online –- if you’re an AIO customer, of course –- every week up until Christmas.

You can see the first episode featuring Inspector Edmund Reid and company from Friday, and the series will be available to watch on old-fashioned network telly next year, I believe.


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