Gripped by Will power
Tom Riley as damaged detective Will Wagstaffe
It stars Monroe actor Tom Riley as DI Will Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the unsolved murder of his parents when he was a teenager.
OK, there’s nothing new about the stereotype of a damaged detective burying themselves in work to escape their own problems, whether it’s Jane Tennison and the booze, Luther and his love life, or Strike and his war injuries. For Will, it’s knowing that whoever killed his parents was never caught.
Now he only has his sister Juliette (played by Press’s Charlotte Riley) and nephew Harry, with whom he has a complicated relationship even though he adores him.
Will’s very black and white when it comes to work, an approach which clearly winds up some of his more old-school copper colleagues no end, but which also gets results.
As we said, nothing new about the premise, but it’s to the writer’s and cast’s credit that this doesn’t feel cliched or repetitive.
Instead Will, or Staffe, appears fully formed and believable, and we’re thrown right into his gritty world from the off. And they’re not pulling any punches, as his first case is dealing with the murder and torture of suspected paedophiles.
So yes, it’s dark by name and even darker by nature. Both in the way it looks on screen – so dim and moody you might be reaching for the brightness button on your remote – and in its subject matter.
These are gruesome murders, in a bit of a Se7en style, and certainly not for the squeamish or sensitive.
The first two parts were originally shown as a pilot on ITV Encore in 2016, then a series was commissioned and four brand new episodes will follow.
And we’re pretty gripped by it already.