Dougray Scott stars as a flawed detective solving the case of an abducted child in a new drama by Trainspotting's Irvine Welsh.

TV has thrown up a lot of missing children dramas: The Missing, Broadchurch, Happy Valley, Baptiste, Stranger Things, Top of the Lake, The Cry to name a few.

They’re all compelling in their own way and while we love a good detective story, what becomes the point of difference?

In the case of Crime, written by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting, Filth), it’s potentially the historic setting of Edinburgh.

Detective Inspector Ray Lennox (Dougray Scott) is already battling his own personal demons when a 13 year old girl goes missing on her way to school.

With his partner retiring (aren’t they always?) he is paired with DS Amanda Drummond (Joanna Vanderham) to solve the crime. She’s one of the few women in a senior role in this very boysy club, in a tokenistic move by Chief Superintendent Bob Toal (Ken Stott) which leads to a hard time by abrasive DI Dougie Gillman (Jamie Sives).

Ray is also a recovering alcoholic, subjected to bouts of anger, pangs of anxiety and outbursts. He’s also convinced the schoolgirl has been abducted by a serial killer ‘Mr Confectioner.’ Ray’s on a mission to prove his hunch is right, keeping his temperament in check, all at the same time as dating corporate riser Trudi (Angela Griffin).

Along the way expect a flurry of possible suspects and red herrings -one of which is too stereotypical in its gay depiction- all set against a bleak, chilly backdrop of working-class Edinburgh. The setting is arguably a character within itself -extra points to the location manager and cinematographer for making the most.

Dougray Scott, who has himself been in the headlines around Batwoman, is solid as the wearied, determined and trench-coated Lennox. He’s also one of several cast with a thick accent here (does Britbox have subtitles?). Joanna Vanderham is restrained as DS Amanda Drummond, with sobering advice and just the right touch of turning up the heat as required.

There’s not a lot of levity in this most serious tale, unlike Ragdoll which includes dark humour amid its criminal elements. But Irvine Welsh has crafted his story like a tug of war where the redemption of its flawed hero is in a constant battle to solve an immediate crisis.

Hopefully both will win out by the time the final credits roll.

Crime screens Thursday on BritBox.

One Response

  1. Average. Acting is good, script so so. Had to have subtitles on as Scottish accent very thick. Meanders a bit. The reveal of killer, does not shock, more like disappointment. Struggling to finish now, but will see it through.

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