IN PLAIN SIGHT

2ENTERTAIN Out Now

Crime Scene - - POST MORTEM - By KEVIN HAR­LEY

The old-school dy­namic be­tween cop and crim­i­nal still has legs when it comes to crime drama. Con­tin­u­ing TV’S re­cent form in pe­riod se­rial killers – Rillington Place, Dark An­gel – ITV casts a crack duo in its psy­cho-study of how a de­tec­tive grad­u­ally nailed ’50s Scot­tish spiv Peter Manuel, a cop‑taunt­ing mur­derer.

Ter­rific as Manuel, Line Of Duty’s Martin Comp­ston pin­points the Bryl­creem’d beast of Birken­shaw’s van­ity, a weak­ness that would prove cru­cial – in plain sight – to his even­tual cap­ture. De­tec­tive Wil­liam Mun­cie’s dogged­ness is equally well cap­tured by Dou­glas Hen­shall ( Shet­land), all beady eyes and soft-spo­ken steel.

Al­though three episodes isn’t enough to con­vey Mun­cie’s long-haul pa­tience, ev­ery nico­tine-har­rowed in­te­rior feels lived-in, and di­rec­tor John Strick­land’s dis­creet de­tails bring the story to life: while Manuel’s let­ters ooze smarm, a comic found by a child vic­tim’s bed­side is heartrend­ing. Some of the sym­bol­ism (a bro­ken fam­ily photo, say) is over­stated, but there’s no re­course to ex­ces­sive vi­o­lence or histri­on­ics for the series cli­max. As Comp­ston and Hen­shall face off across a table, this keenly fo­cused pro­ce­dural gen­er­ates all the cat-and-mouse ten­sion it needs.

Dogged de­tec­tive Mun­cie (Dou­glas Hen­shall) on the case.

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