TV Review: Wire in the Blood (Series 1)

As if there wasn’t enough new stuff to watch, I decide to watch Wire in the Blood for the first time

“Do you want a friend or a shrink?”

I was always a fan of Val McDermid’s books but not at all a fan of Robson Green (the ‘singing career’ really turned me off) and so I never watched Wire in the Blood when it aired originally. Running over six seasons in the noughties, its lurid and prurient take on the crime procedural was an ITV mainstay and on the evidence of this first series, you can kinda see why.

Covering three two-part stories all set in the fictional Yorkshire town of Bradfield, we follow the Major Incident Team of Bradfield Metropolitan Police’s CID as they try and catch an inordinate number of serial killers in the area. They’re aided, sometimes unwillingly, by clinical psychologist and serial offender profiler Dr Tony Hill and as is often par for the course, half the story is about the police’s unwillingness to accept help from outside their department.

Fortunately for Green’s Hill, Hermione Norris’ DCI Carol Jordan is firmly a believer in his skillset and together, they make an appealing duo at the heart of the show. Finding their own working relationship whilst battling the scepticism from the old guard, the CID department is entertainingly drawn but with such betrayal and shenanigans going on from the sort, it must be an HR nightmare 😂 (Alan Stocks and Mark Letheren’s DS both impressing).

There’s an impressively unsensationalised trans storyline which you can scarce believe would make it to air these days, alongside a gay one which hasn’t aged quite so well, plus paedophiles and celebrity stalking folded into the plotting which is impressively tight still, and eminently watchable. The guest cast doesn’t contain quite the level of thespy spots I was hoping for, but there’s great work from Susan Brown, Daniel Ryan and Alan Williams among others, plus an under-used Mark Bonnar.

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