TV Review: The Tower 2 – Death Message

Despite seeming a self-contained story, ITV crime drama The Tower returns with The Tower 2 – Death Message

“Your whole case is built on lies”

The Tower felt like a relatively self-contained story to me, so I was a little surprised to find out that a second series was in the offing. Turns out that there’s actually a trilogy of books in the series that it is adapted from – Kate London’s Metropolitan trilogy – and the third series has already been commissioned so we have that to look forward to.

The Tower 2 – Death Message follows on pretty much straight away from the first series, the fallout from DS Sarah Collins’ investigation into the deaths of a police officer and a young girl who fell from the roof of a tower block and the strange behaviour and disappearance of the main witness – Constable Lizzie Adama – still very much fresh in the characters’ minds.

Having ruffled the feathers of the brass with her intimations of police corruption, Gemma Whelan’s Collins get seconded into a cold case investigation in Homicide Command, ostensibly to quieten her down. Her persistence surprises everyone and no-one as she works up new leads and suspects but when a shocking new case comes on the books, she finds herself working with Tahirah Shah’s Adama for the first time on a brutally huge new operation.

It isn’t life-changingly good stuff but I have to say I found it very watchable indeed. Whelan is a great series lead and the brusqueness of her character is inspired, whether giving no fucks to the colleagues she pisses off, the potential girlfriends she frightens off or the family she barely speaks to. The balance in Patrick Harbinson’s writing is just right, allowing Shah’s Adam her own time to shine as well as a reckless rookie cop determined to do things her way.

Tamzin Outhwaite and Niamh Cusack both excel as grieving mothers, Jack Shalloo is horribly good as a cop of the old school and if you might think Emmett J Scanlan’s Inspector Shaw and Jimmy Akingbola’s DC Bradshaw could have been given more to do, the set-up for the next series suggests they will be at the heart of things. Plus, there’s a meaty supporting role for the wonderful Rosalie Craig which will break your heart.

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