After a blinding run of luck – which includes ending up in bed with a stunning young lady – DI Harry Clayton wakes up with an ancient bracelet fixed round his wrist. It brings him great luck, but a lot of people want it. And there are even more people who’ll be glad to see something bad happen to Harry Clayton…
This ten-part series has apparently been Sky’s biggest original drama, and I can see why it’s pulled in and retained an audience. Unlike something like Fortitude, where you really had to invest in the characters to get through the dourness of the set-up, this is very much a light, frothy entertainment. At times it feels like a superficial “outsider’s view” of London, with the “London Police” based out of offices that must cost a small fortune, given how much room each officer is given to work in, and a regard for police procedure that must be politely described as minimal much of the time. It’s helped immeasurably by a star turn from James Nesbitt as Harry Clayton, occasionally seeming a little disengaged with the material, but on the whole providing the requisite disbelief and then acceptance of the situation, and a doggedness to get to the guy behind not just his problems, but all of London’s (yes, it’s that sort of series).
The show is credited to former Marvel head honcho Stan Lee, but it’s co-created by Neil Biswas, whose episodes are the best at slamming the plot forwards. The pacing isn’t always quite right – just occasionally along the way there’s a feel that the series is treading water, or conversely that there’s one too many plates spinning – and it’s no bad thing that the series has a second year, as there’s still one hell of a lot to wrap up. The show has some really strong episodes – Stephen Gallagher’s ep 7 has to introduce a number of new elements which lead to the climax but works as a standalone –although you’ll wonder why Harry’s DS, Suri, does stick with him! Certain conceits seem to get lost along the way (if Harry uses his bracelet for luck, then something commensurately bad happens… until we get to a point where that would need to be to someone vital to the plot), but with any luck, that will be rectified early in the second year.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a serious police/crime thriller, then this isn’t for you; if, however, you want an escapist show that will provide a pleasant diversion for 45 minutes at a time, check it out. 7/10