Co-written by Anthony Horowitz and Michael A Walker, this fast-paced but intricately woven drama on ITV last night proved the validity of that old idiom about not trying to reinvent the wheel; the simple ideas will always work well.
And the drama’s focal point is something that intrigues us all – the what ifs and the whys when an accident happens. That thought that maybe fate really does have a guiding hand in our lives because that other well used phrase, ‘if only’ is rarely more apropos.
By providing a back-story to everyone who was in the genuinely spectacular collision of the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin title, Horowitz and Walker posed lots of questions, but one thing that I did have to take some issue with was, would so many of the people in the crash be involved in something ‘shady’?
There was the teacher who may/may not be a paedophile, the secretary who seemed to have been stealing something from her boss, the man with probably drugs in his vehicle and the guy who seems intent on bumping his ma in-law off.
It’s a risky move throwing so many storylines at us in the first shout, as is adding a mixed set of timeline shifts. And the complexity doesn’t end there as the copper in charge of investigating it all – including keeping a lid on the fact that the Met police were chasing a BMW that ended up decidedly mangled – is DI John Tolin, believably played by Douglas Henshall.
We’re led to believe that DI Tolin’s own wife died in a road accident so the question that’s barely been hinted at yet is, can he handle the job or will he crack? Well, we’ll find out as the drama – in Criminal Justice style – plays out every night this week to reach its conclusion on Friday.
And I’m hooked; I’ll most definitely be in for the long haul. I just hope the ball won’t be dropped after such a profoundly good opening episode. Mind you, with the likes of Phil Davies, Paul McGann, Sylvia Syms, Kate Ashfield and the brilliant Dean Lennox Kelly – who I miss badly as Kev in Shameless – on board, I suspect that’s unlikely.
The acting was beyond reproach last night and though I was tempted to be critical of some of the dialogue, notably the statements of the glaringly obvious, such as “It’s a mess”, I won’t because having thought about it, people really do say things of that nature, so why shouldn’t fictitious characters?
And significant praise must go to Marc Evans for his flawless direction and to the special effects/make-up department. The crash scene was totally convincing and didn’t cut any corners. Roll on tonight’s instalment!