Grimm: Review: Series 1 Episode 1

Is a brutal murder in Portland, Oregon linked to the odd visions which Detective Nick Burkhardt has started seeing?

Yet another crime procedural “with a twist” comes to our screens, but this one’s got a pretty decent pedigree: co-created by Buffy and Angel producer David Greenwalt, it mixes the fantastical and real worlds in the same way as early episodes of Angel did.

It’s always difficult to assess a fantasy show from the pilot, given how much information has to be dumped on the viewer, but Grimm does a fair job of showing rather than telling. Nick turns out to be one of the Grimms (as in the fairy tale story collectors), who hunt down fantastic creatures disguised as humans. It’s a family job, and he inherits the knack to see beneath the surface when his aunt begins to ail.

The viewer is a few jumps ahead of Nick for much of the story, particularly as the Red Riding Hood theme is rammed down the audience’s throat from the first frame of the episode. However there are some nice touches including a wolf who’s given up hunting that assists Nick (played by Prison Break’s  Silas Weir Mitchell). Inevitably, though, he’s got a partner to whom he can’t explain what’s happening, as well as at least one colleague with A Secret connected to his and a fiancee who needs to be protected from the truth.

Its use of fairytale lore puts Grimm in similar territory to the Canadian series Lost Girl, as well as the other US show from this season, Once Upon A Time, but there’s enough meat in the pilot to bring audiences back for more – and with a wealth of fairy tales to plunder, the producers shouldn’t run of stories any time soon.

Verdict: A show with a lot of potential. 

Pilot: 7/10

Paul Simpson

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