TV Review: No Offence Series 3 Episode 1

The third series of Paul Abbott’s No Offence returns to Channel 4 in brilliantly unsentimental form

“What the f*** just happened?”

No Offence makes a welcome return to our television screens but with a quirk of timing, finds itself occupying some of the same space as Bodyguard. Who knows whether Paul Abbott and Jed Mercurio met in a pub to compare storylines and in any case, when they’re both done as compellingly as this, it really doesn’t matter.

We return to Friday Street police station and the big concern for the Manchester Met is currently local politics, a mayoral race potentially being derailed by the efforts of a far right pressure group. And during a hustings event, things go terribly, tragically wrong in a way that seems set to shape the emotional palette for the entire series to come.

No spoilers here, but it is undoubtedly a huge loss for the team, and the show. But such high stakes bring with them potentially high rewards and the way in which guilt and grief is assimilated and metabolised by all concerned looks set to pay dividends. Viv Deering remains the role of a lifetime for Joanna Scanlan and once again she’s not disappointing.

The only slight disappointment I got from this opening episode was the sense that none of the arch-villains look like they’ll be able to match Rakie Ayola’s stunning work from the last series. But Phil Dunster’s babyfaced Chief Inspector looks like he’ll be a fun internal antagonist and the supporting cast to come includes the marvellous Nigel Lindsay so everyone’s a winner!

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