D.I. Ray

Appointed to solve a "Cultural Specific Homicide", DI Rachita Ray is ready to do more than tick a box.

It’s clear from the very first scene of D.I. Ray that DI Rachita Ray (Parminder Nagra) faces racism, whether casual or worse, in her daily life.

The Birmingham copper has long been hoping to move from the city’s Response Unit to Serious Crime, but after a successful intervention with a knife-wielding assailant, she is promoted to Homicide.

Entrenched with a new team she finds herself heading up a newly-categorised “Cultural Specific Homicide” involving the death of a Indian-Brit. Hesitant that she has been brought in “to tick a box” her desire to see justice takes precedence and she leads a mixed team of detectives, some rusted on, others with diversity.

Also assisting is PS Tony Khatri (Maanuv Thiara) whose ties to the community help break down barriers, especially when it comes to investigating a family who run a prestige car business. But when members of the family are arrested, Ray is accused of “doing their dirty work” and betraying her own.

Her superior DCI Kerry Henderson (Gemma Whelan) wants the case solved swiftly…. isn’t our hero always at odds with their boss? Yep.

“Everyone wants this to be textbook but it’s not,” Ray insists.

Meanwhile, Ray is private about her personal life with hunky colleague DCI Martyn Hunter (Jamie Bamber) is tiring of keeping their relationship undercover. He may be in for a long wait the way Ray operates.

Parminder Nagra underplays her role at every turn which is reassuring if a little dull. In the one episode available for preview, the plot didn’t offer quite enough twists and turns that one might come to expect from producer Jed Mercurio.

But writer / creator Maya Sondhi brings a sense of authenticity to a side of policing that has been visited by shows such as Unforgotten, but not many more.

D.I. Ray screens 9:40pm Thursday on SBS.

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