Radio 4, June 19
In a London divided along the Thames, London Bridge is the only crossing from civilisation into anarchy – but those that cross don’t always want to do so…
Nick Perry’s play sets up his dystopian situation and examines its many ramifications, using the format of a police procedural. As the play progresses, you get a clear sense of what happened, if not why, with little details constantly being dropped in (gunboats on the Thames, telexes back in use) that add colour to the story.
It’s centred around Commander John Preston’s debriefing/interrogation after the body of a teenager is found in North London jurisdiction’s part of the Thames. It’s the same age as Preston’s own disappeared son would now be – but could it be him? And what secrets could Preston uncover as he investigates – and what scabs in his own life will he be picking at?
Like Billions, London Bridge has the potential to go a lot further, either as a TV series or a movie, since it feels as if Perry is only scratching the surface of the world he’s created – even the very final scene introduces a new concept which makes you wonder exactly what’s involved.
Verdict: Strong characters in an intriguing environment – more please! 9/10
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