TV Review: Five Days (Series 2)

Series 2 of Five Days shifts the ground a little too unsuccessfully in going for the anthology vibe

“Terrible thing about your job, makes you suspicious of everyone”

After a successful first series, Five Days did a slightly odd thing in spinning off a new series (Hunter) for its lead detectives and then latterly creating a second series with an unrelated story, using the same format but moving to an anthology set-up with an entirely new cast. It seems a touch weird, having just watched them all relatively close to each other but hey ho, it’s full of actors I like once again.

Writer Gwyneth Hughes did land on a novel concept here and once again, we slide into a drama involving a major crime case on five different non-consecutive days. This time, a local train stops when a young Muslim woman jumps from a bridge in front of it and is killed. A baby is found in a nearby train station toilet. The off-duty police officer who is onboard suspects the two are connected but her boss isn’t too sure.

What follows as we subsequently visit Day 2, Day 8, Day 37 and Day 102 is a sprawling interleaving of issues and stories that include adoption, dementia, terrorism, gangs, drugs and illicit trips to Scarborough. It’s a lot and I’m not sure this series manages to really explore them in the necessary depth, so cluttered is the narrative and the castlist, although a little work is done to reduce the latter in a shocking manner….

Suranne Jones and David Morrissey simmer with barely controlled chemistry to make it entirely watchable. Her young officer Laurie juggling her career ambition with caring for her mum (a chirpy Anne Reid), his more experienced detective Mal failing in that attempt to balance work and family. Nina Sosanya’s social worker and Derek Riddell’s prospective adoptive parent are good in their B-plot but you can’t help but want more from them.

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