Above Suspicion


Rating 1

Directed by Christopher Menaul

Written by Lynda La Plante

Starring Kelly Reilly, Ciarán Hinds, James Durr, Shaun Dingwall and John Savident

Rookie policewoman DC Anna Travis (Kelly Reilly) joins a murder enquiry headed up by no-nonsense DCI Langton (Ciarán Hinds), who asked for her because he had previously worked alongside her father. Several women, mostly prostitutes, have been brutally murdered and suspicion is soon directed towards Alan Daniels (James Durr), a successful actor.


‘Above Suspicion’ was produced for ITV and shown in two parts on consecutive evenings. It was written by Lynda La Plante and based on her 2004 novel of the same name, the first of four novels she has written about the character Anna Travis. La Plante is probably best known for her character Jane Tennison and the three ‘Prime Suspect’ novels, which were successfully adapted for television starring Helen Mirren.

I was looking forward to ‘Above Suspicion’, largely because of Kelly Reilly, who I liked in previous things I’ve seen, for example the 2006 remake of ‘A for Andromeda’. However, after a reasonably diverting if somewhat clichéd start, it quickly went downhill, not helped by the decision to portray Travis as a wet face flannel and the rest of the police team like some throwback to the 1970s and ‘The Sweeney’. I thought it was very poorly written, something I certainly wasn’t expecting, given Lynda La Plante’s reputation, and the acting was surprisingly unimpressive, although James Durr might have been better served with a stronger script.

Critical reaction was largely negative, but the viewing figures were good, something ITV badly needed, rising from 6.8 million for the first part to 7.3 million the following evening.

Review posted 8 January 2009


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