Matt Fitton picks up the pieces from the end of the second season of Counter-Measures for this opener, whose revamped theme tune heralds some changes within the unit. Last time around, it was Chunky Gilmore whose place was under threat; this time it’s Sir Toby, who can’t quite fathom how the Whitehall game is currently being played. No matter what he says or does, it seems as if he’s about to be railroaded into resignation or worse.
The team are suffering too, as Templeton shows that it’s very easy to have authority without power. Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of working for someone like Templeton at some point in our careers and Philip Pope gets exactly the right note of bluster, paranoia and effective impotence as Gilmore, Rachel and Alison do precisely what they want.
Karen Gledhill gets the most to do in this, not just during her investigations into the odd events in gangland, but also at Sir Toby’s trial (OK, it’s not a trial really, but that’s what it feels like). Hopefully this will continue through the set, and we’ll also get some similar fleshing out for Gilmore and Rachel.
Ben Bishop gets more opportunities than the average guest star as Kenny, and there’s a nice cameo at the end by two East End gentlemen of ill repute (although there was a golden chance to cross over with the Project Twilight enforcers then).
Verdict: A strong start in which I suspect there are more than a few clues to the future direction of the series. 8/10