To call this drama original would be stretching it somewhat. Ever heard of a crack unit of crime-fighters who work 'in the shadows'? Yes, we've heard it all before too, several times, and with varying success.
Taking its title, rather improbably, from Jean Paul Sartre (by way of Malcolm X) the team works outside the law, as a squad of fixers who can get the right thing done when the baddie seems to either have a cast iron alibi, or a good enough legal team who can keep him out of the clutches of the law.
Two episodes in, and it's very formulaic. Helen Barlow (Gina McKee) briefs Jack Quinn (Warren Brown) on a miscarriage of justice, and asks him to sort it out (a bit like in Charlie's Angels). Jack goes back to the team, and they decide how they are going to proceed, each using their special skills (a bit like in Pimp My Ride). The plan progresses with a few slip ups until the crook has been tricked into incriminating himself, and is caught (a bit like in Scooby Doo).
It's perfectly watchable, within these constraints, but maybe the most interesting thing is that IMDB says that it's filmed in Birmingham, given the number of shots of classic London landmarks like The Gherkin. The director's shown real skill and imagination in weaving these in - if only there was the same s&i shown in the script.
I'm not sure how confident the BBC is in this. It's been scheduled against Downton, when the Spooks slot on Monday evening would have been a better idea, so maybe the writing's on the wall for it already.
One final point: we want more John Henshaw! Give him more to do - IMDB says he's only in two series of this - and craft a series (drama or comedy) around him. He's the next David Jason and the next Bryan Cranston rolled into one. Why can no one else see this?
|John Henshaw - the next David Jason *and* the next Bryan Cranston|