Line of Duty S5:E01 Review

Line of Duty Series 5 Trailer

[Contains spoilers]

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

“There’s only one thing that’s worse than a bent copper and that’s a bent copper who pretends she isn’t.”

Line of Duty returned with a bang last night with a thrilling opening sequence that saw the return of the Balaclava Men in a dangerous heist involving the hijacking of a police consignment of drugs. The dramatic scenes involved the death of three police officers and PC Jane Cafferty’s life being spared by gang member Lisa McQueen, which ensured that AC-12 were quickly assigned to investigate the incident. Soon, it became apparent that a member of the OCG (Organised Crime Gang) was an undercover officer, but who? With all signs pointing to Lisa, the big twist was revealed in the final scenes and the UCO was actually gang leader John Corbett (played by Stephen Graham). The show also stayed true to its form of killing off cast members with the shock murder of corrupt PC Maneet Bindra.

In between all the dramatic events, the episode revealed how life had moved on for the AC-12 squad since Series 4. Superintendent Ted Hastings appears to be going through a divorce and staying in a hotel, where he is behind on paying his bill. DS Steve Arnott is slowly recovering from his accident in the previous series, but remains in physical pain. DI Kate Fleming appears to have reconciled with her family and yes, in a surprise twist, she is the officer who has been promoted to DI. With Steve having emerged as the likely candidate in Season 4, has the rise of the #metoo movement affected writer Jed Mercurio’s plans for Season 5? Or is it simply that Steve’s accident has derailed his career opportunities?

The unfolding of events throughout the episode raised a whole host of new questions. With no contact for months between the police and John Corbett, is the UCO really deep undercover or has he now gone rogue? Could Lisa McQueen still be another UCO? Could Ted Hastings really be a likely contender for the mysterious H? Who was he calling at the exact same time that Lisa McQueen’s phone rang? So many unanswered questions!

Last night’s episode has now become the most watched show of 2019, with 7.8 million viewers watching it live. Were you one of those viewers? What are your theories?

Killing Eve

Killing Eve Trailer

Rating: 5/5

“You should never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath. It upsets them.”

Villanelle – a cold hearted and ruthless assassin.

Eve – the MI5 operative tasked with tracking her down.

As the cat and mouse game begins, a mutual obsession between the two women develops.

One that might cost them their lives…

Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as the characters of Eve and Villanelle, both playing their parts to perfection. As the initially boring and bumbling Eve, Oh is world’s away from her spiky character Dr Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy and has proved she made the right decision to move on from the long running hit US drama. Here she displays a naïvety and innocence that is slowly shed as she comes to grips with her new world away from her desk bound job as she moves out into the field. Having become known for her role in Doctor Foster, Jodie Comer stars in a break out role as the chilling yet slightly eccentric Villanelle. Despite committing a string of truly appalling acts, Comer plays the part with such a delightful wickedness and relish that you can’t help rooting for her. The dark and often tongue-in-cheek humour ensures that Killing Eve is a spy drama like no other.

Killing Eve finished airing on BBC One on Saturday night and, in a clever move, the BBC made the show immediately available on iplayer from the very first episode’s screening. The show has proved to be a huge hit and has previously aired in the US to similar success. The show created history when Sandra Oh became the first Asian actress to be nominated for an Emmy in a leading role performance and the show has been praised for featuring two female actresses in the lead roles. With such a female driven cast, Killing Eve stands out from other action focused dramas and is one of the best shows of the year.

Did you watch Killing Eve? If so, did you watch it live each week or binge watch the whole series on iplayer? Have you read the original book series?

Killing Eve BBC Three Trailer

Bodyguard

Bodyguard Trailer

5/5

[Review contains spoilers!]

After a slightly more subdued Episode 5, Bodyguard returned last night with an explosive finale as DS David Budd found himself being set up in the worst possible way. Forced to walk the streets of London in a suicide vest, he did everything he possibly could to prove his innocence in a tense and gripping extended 75 minute episode. The nail biting scenes were an example of British drama at its best and demonstrated just why over 11 million people tuned in live to watch the shocking events unfold. The figure is predicted to rise to over 13 million viewers once catch up viewing has been taken into consideration and the programme is now the most watched show on any British channel since 2011 and the most watched BBC drama since 2008.

With such dramatic moments taking precedent in the final episode, the frenetic pace continued in its aftermath as most of the unanswered questions were resolved by the closing titles. The programme had red herrings galore throughout its six episodes, with the biggest one of all being where David Budd’s loyalty was really placed. The complex character proved to be the true hero of the story as he sought out the real culprits behind Julia Montague’s assassination. Sadly, it appeared that the Home Secretary really was dead after all and the biggest twists were instead revealed to be that the inside man was actually an inside woman in the shape of DS Budd’s boss Chief Superintendent Lorraine Craddock and the seemingly naive Nadia was a jihadi responsible for making all the bombs.

The adrenaline fuelled and heart racing pace of Bodyguard has gripped the nation in the U.K., ever since its incredible 20 minute pre-credits sequence in its first episode. The programme has proved that the water cooler moment and event tv is back with a bang, with Bodyguard theories being the hot topic of conversation up and down the country. With the programme being such an incredible hit, writer Jed Mercurio has hinted that the series will continue. In the meantime, the Bodyguard creator will be working on the fifth series of Line of Duty, which viewers were treated to a glimpse of after the credits of Bodyguard rolled last night. The anticipation is building!

Were you among the many watching the final last night?

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 – Episode 1: June

 

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Trailer

Rating: 5/5

“Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum”

In a world where fertility is rapidly declining, Offred is offered only one option by the new Republic of Gilead: to breed. If she refuses, the consequences are death or a sentencing to the radioactive Colonies. Serving as a handmaid for her Commander and his wife, her main function is to provide the childless couple with a baby. Soon, Offred is complicit in illicit meetings engineered by the Commander, while harbouring a mutual desire for one of his Guardians, who may be an Eye or a source of salvation. With such a precarious position, the value of her life is always a distant threat…

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel was published in 1985 and is a terrifying concept that is not all that unbelievable. Having studied the novel as part of a Margaret Atwood module at university, I have to admit that originally I couldn’t quite grasp the concepts of her books and so my enjoyment and understanding of her stories were limited. However, after rereading The Handmaid’s Tale, I am happy to say that I completely loved it! Perhaps as we grow older, we also grow as readers. Do you agree?

My reread of The Handmaid’s Tale was in anticipation of seeing Margaret Atwood at the Hay Festival at the end of the month and also the return of the second series of the book’s tv adaptation on Channel 4 on Sunday night. What a return it was! Season 2 opened with a harrowing sequence, played out with added poignancy to Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work and moved me to tears before the opening credits had even aired. The sheer brutality continued throughout the episode and, for me, makes quite a statement on the horrifying attacks that continue to occur against women all over the world. Sometimes extreme scenes are necessary as a wake up call to make people sit up and take notice or shock people into taking positive action. The violence and degradation depicted towards the handmaids  made me think about so many events going on in the world, such as the barbaric act of female genital mutilation, which has previously been depicted in Season 1.

In this dystopian world where women are merely seen as vessels and need their husband’s signature to acquire contraception, the timing of the show’s return feels eerie with the referendum in Ireland taking place this week. Other scenes in the show highlighted the difficulties and judgements that working mothers face, a challenge that men are never expected to experience.

Season 2 is now working from new source material, with Atwood acting as a consultant on the show. This new and unknown direction will allow for even more scope and development of secondary characters and has the ability to highlight even more topical issues. With women’s rights remaining at the forefront of so many causes and campaigns, Season 2 is proving to be as compelling and relevant as ever.

Did you watch the return of The Handmaid’s Tale on Sunday night? If so, what did you think?