ABOVE SUSPICION Set 3. The show is a British television series, made by ITV that is based on the work of Lynda La Plante, the creator of the PRIME SUSPECT, British TV series that was such a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Set 3 is based on the bestselling novel SILENT SCREAM by La Plante, a former cop herself. The British mystery appears to be set in the current day, in London, as the cop shop on which it focuses is the Metropolitan, better known as the Met. It has been called “a younger,sassier successor to PRIME SUSPECT” by The Telegraph. All three episodes come on a single disk, in a box set, running approximately 140 minutes, plus extras consisting of a 20 minute meet the cast; interviews with Lynda La Plante and crew (17 minutes) and a photo gallery. Also, a warning, for mature audiences only, contains violence and coarse language. And, thank goodness, and let me blow a kiss to RLJ Entertainment and Acorn, who have released the set; subtitles, or else what would those of us on this side of the pond do with that quick London cross-chat?
The brutal murder of a famous troubled young actress brings Detective Inspector Anna Travis (Kelly Reilly, BLACK BOX; SHERLOCK HOLMES) back to the team of her old boss, DCS James Langton (Ciarán Hinds, GAME OF THRONES; TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY). The two must find a killer, while attempting to deal with their ragged relationship. Police work has become Anna’s life and she’s determined to get ahead. Langton’s angry about being passed over for a big promotion, and furiously wonders who, on his team, betrayed him. Meanwhile, there are too many suspects for the murder of the beautiful, promiscuous, drug-addled actress.
There’s no question but that Hinds has developed into a middle-aged actor with the chops and the gravitas to carry the series, and that he and the beautiful Reilly produce smoldering chemistry. The murdered actress’s agent Andrea Lesser is played by Sara Stewart (PHILOMENA). The police procedural elements of the cop shop seem accurately portrayed; the script and photography are sharp and hard-edged. The entertainment gives us a scorching look at the shallow, drug-addled world of a bunch of young actors and filmmakers; the viewer might just sense that, in her career, La Plante has had reason to become as acquainted with this world as that of the police precinct and it disappoints her.
The episodes are:
Hot young film star Amanda Delany is murdered; DCS Langton is called in to lead the investigating team. He wants to solve the case quickly to get back on his career track. DI Anna Travis is assigned to the team; she interviews possible suspects including several of Delany's former lovers.
Anna learns that Amanda had found a publisher for a tell-all book, so the list of suspects grows even longer. Langton visits Travis at home late one night; it's obvious that there are unresolved matters between them. The team finds and views CCTV footage from the night of the murder; a fight breaks out at Amanda's funeral.
It is not clear what the motive for Amanda's murder might have been, so it is not easy to focus on any one suspect. But the situation clarifies as the team goes about its business.
Scripts are taut and absorbing, full of twists and turns while thrusting to a surprising ending and introducing a number of cleanly-drawn characters. The two stars have robust, convincing chemistry. We found the show absorbing, and gobbled up all three episodes in an evening. Think you’ll like it too.