Murderland Review: Painfully Slow Death
MURDERLAND: Monday 19th October, ITV, 9pm ALERT ME
The last time Robbie Coltrane starred in an ITV police drama, he was an alcoholic, womanising, gambling addict. But by god he got results.
Maybe he should go back to his old techniques because he doesn’t appear to be making much progress in Murderland.
With one episode of his new series down, he has failed to gather any hard evidence, make an arrest, or even nail down any suspects.
We have to assume that there’s a very good reason for all this; it’s just a matter of whether the audience have the patience to wait for what is shaping up to be a brutally slow-building climax.
Surprisingly, Murderland is not a newly created suburb of South London or a new name for the ill-fated village of Midsomer.
According to ITV script-writers, it’s the place people end-up when they are unable to find closure after losing a loved-one in violent circumstances.
We recognise from relatively early on in this first installment that young Carrie will be making a one-way trip to such a place, and sure enough she finds her mother has been viciously murdered in the opening scenes.
Using some pretty limited time-shift techniques, directors indicate that 15 years later, a grown-up Carrie has still not been able to put this tragedy behind her. This seems to be important – but it is barely touched on in this episode.
The lacklustre drama is mostly concerned with the events that occurred immediately after the terrible event, and we see the beginnings of a bizarre relationship between Coltrane’s detective, Hain, and the young girl.
This could have been an intriguing drama, but even at this early stage, the story unfolds at a dreadfully slow pace and the concept of Carrie as an older person is barely hinted at.
Marked improvement needed.