Starring: John Hannah

Format: BBCAmerica (cable TV) - 2-hour (movie) format **Check program listings (or website) for air dates/times.

Genre: Mystery/drama

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

It's probably not fair to complain about this series since the entire compliment of shows for the first season hasn't been aired yet, but I do have an early opinion...

I don't like it.

I have tried to watch the opening episode. I've tried twice. I tried to watch the second and third episodes. Only one attempt each on those, so far.

I think I might like this show better if they cut the length to one hour, they made John Hannah stop talking to the camera, they got him some decent co-stars who could act, and they made Edinburgh a little less dark and gloomy. Yes, I know it's dark and gloomy in Edinburgh. I know it's dreary and rains every single day of the year. I live in Seattle. I get it. I get the atmosphere, already. Move on to something else, please!

One of the problems I'm having with this show and the way it is filmed is that it's trying to be a "noir" style police story with a decent cop from the "old school" being pressured to modernize. Had it been filmed as a period piece, set in say the fifties, I might buy the premise. Unfortunately, I've grown weary of the heavy drinking cop, who has a soft spot for the down-and-out prostitutes with a heart of gold who end up dead by the end of the first show. Especially when it (the noir styling) isn't done very well. There is nothing fresh, inventive or unique here. And the secondary characters, especially the other cops seem to be outlandishly quirky.

Don't get me wrong, I love John Hannah in every other role I've ever seen him in, but I hate him in this role. And it's not his fault. He can't make things better because, in my opinion, he was severely miscast for this role. I might have believed someone like Sean Connery but John Hannah just doesn't fit, for me.

I've heard that the books by Ian Rankin are better but I can't vouch for that. I haven't read any of them yet. After trying to watch the television version, I haven't been in any hurry to go out and buy the books.

Somewhere someone must like the show. Or at least probably, someone somewhere likes the show. I haven't met them. Maybe they are seeing something in it that I am missing. I may give it one more chance, but I'm in no hurry to watch it.

Another opinion is posted here.

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