Law & Order UK: Convincing Evidence

January 11, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

4lawandorder300 LAW & ORDER UK – SAMARITAN: Monday 11th January, ITV1, 9pm ALERT ME

There haven’t been any decent cop show dramas on TV for ages. And the ones that have been successful are along the lines of the “There’s been a murrrrrderrrrr? of Taggart or hard-edged and tense Prime Suspect; gritty has always been the watchword for British crime drama.

Either that or you get the perpetual soap antics of The Bill (which has tried to revitalise itself in later years with mixed success.)

Which is why Law And Order UK is initially a bit disconcerting. The voice-over introduction and gung-ho thumping theme tune have been imported from the US version and it doesn’t sit quite right with a British show; we’re unused to having such an in your face approach to television. And there’s an initial misgiving about seeing Bradley Walsh’s name in the credits – most people will associate him immediately with light entertainment – terrible game shows or his stint in Coronation Street, not a pacey, slick cop show.

However, once you get past the culture shock of having a British show in an American style, it’s actually rather good.

In this episode, a young police officer is shot and killed when he surprises some drug dealers. But things start to get more complicated when it transpires that his back up might have deliberately not rendered assistance because of his homosexuality.

Walsh is undeniably likable as East End copper DS Ron Brookes, spouting pithy one-liners and his banter with DS Matt Devlin (Battlestar Galatica’s Jamie Bamber) makes for a believable partnership.

The CPS side of things are as meticulous and tenacious as ever, fronted by Crown Prosecutors James Steel (Ben Daniels) and his assistant Alesha Phillips (Doctor Who’s Freema Agyeman). If anything the show’s a little bit too short and jumps to conclusions a little bit too readily, but that’s the price you pay for the show’s fast pace.

It just looks so much slicker, so much cleaner than other British cop shows and the quick cutting and tight direction give the whole thing a sense of pace which is lacking from many others of its ilk.

In an age where few TV executives are afraid to take chances, Law And Order UK breathes new and unexpected life into a tired staple of cop show dramas. It deserves to be given a chance at the very least.

Jonas in the US says:

RokNut – I have lived in the US since 2002. Very few American shows acctually look like they are shot in America. I live in Virginia, Bones and the new show Vampire Diaries takes place in Virginia. It does not look like Virginia at all, even the accent is wrong – but then these shows are not shot around here.

Law & Order: UK is ENTERTAINMENT….in the same way that US shows are ENTERTAINMENT. If you want to watch what things really are like, watch a Ken Loach film.

RokNut says:

Well. My first ever blog on the use of our TV licence money. 19 minute into the UK vision of LAW AND ORDER, and i tell u, it’s not worth your 1hr. It seems like the film was shoot when the british public had gone to bed at night and when they were stil in bed in the morning. it also appears as is they used about 18 people to shoot the show. every scene seems to be shoot in an open space, u dont get the feel that the show was filmed in london. did u see th scene in london bridge, there was barely anyone at the bridge. Even the cast and actors dont seem conviencing. Having resided in london for years now i can seriously conclude that they shot th 70% of the film in a warehouse… Have u seen a snooker/ pool club with gambling machine with only 2 people in it. shocking.. Honestly, i would hand that script to the director and writer of adultHOOD and i can bet my last pound he wil direct a more convencing film with adequate reflection of the buzz and diversity that london represent. If every tv show is as shallow as this, i would rather watch the fat lady sing than pay my TV licence…