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Above Suspicion: Silent Scream - Season 01
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When the brutal murder of a famous young actress brings DI Anna Travis (Kelly Reilly, Flight, Sherlock Holmes) face-to-face with her old boss, DCS James Langton (Ciarán Hinds, Game of Thrones, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), the two must find a killer and deal with their own sexually charged relationship. She’s determined to get ahead; he’s angry about being passed over for promotion and obsessed with finding the person on his team who betrayed him. Meanwhile, there are too many suspects, and the body count is rising. Based on the bestselling novel Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante, this three-part drama delves into the shallow world of stardom and the harsh realities of deception. With the smoldering chemistry between Travis and Langton, the conclusion to this hit British series is “easily one of the best detective shows on the box” (Wales on Sunday, U.K.).
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The ongoing series is lead by Kelly Reilly ( twice in `Sherlock Holmes', `Poldark'), DI Travis, red hair over a pixie face, tight togs, and ambition fire. DCS Langton (Ciaran Hinds- `Road to Perdition') case head but working toward vengeance. Continuing from past Above Suspicion series are: DCI Lewis (Shaun Dingwall); DC Maddox (Michelle Holmes); DS Barolli (Celyn Jones); DC Faulkland (Amanda Lawrence).
Many young stars are guests on "A.S.: Silent Scream." The murdered film star Delany by Joanna Vanderham (`The Paradise'--strongly recommended DVD). Her druggie flatmates include Felicity (Bryony Hannah -`Call the Midwife' a must own) and Jeannie (Kate O'Flynn). Saraa Stewart (`Philomena') is the murdered actress's agent, while Geoff Bell (`War Horse') is her driver. There is Danny Webb (`Land Girls'), Ray Fearon. . . well . . . the list goes on.
SDH SUBTITLES for the entire 2 1/3 hr feature as well as 37 min of video bonus.
Episode 1 -A murder of film star Amanda Delany just as DCS Langton is bypassed for promotion. (Fallout from Above Suspicion's last great thriller.) Langton leads the murder team which includes DI Anna Travis, already pushing for her own fast-track promotion. Langton uses this case to spend time finding which old team member grassed and cost him his advancement.
Episode 2 -Travis deduces the murder victim may have planned a revealing autobiography. Travis/Langton relationship is professional but cool, issues past unresolved. Is she his mole? If not, who? This 2nd plot heats up while a 3rd related death is discovered.
Episode 3 -Motive is needed for the original murder. How did the drugs connect? It all leads to a shocking and high action thriller ending. Will this series continue? I'm guessing yes. Lynda la Plante (also known for `Prime Suspect') has at least 2 more novels ready for series adaptation.
I own them all. All worth viewing again, even when you know the ending. Top acting and writing is the reason.
Set 3 of this show, as released in North America by Acorn Media, is actually series 4 if one is to go by the U.K. release. Either way, it is truly a shame that it ends here. Especially when two further books have been written in the series without having been adapted for television. There is simply no way to understand the powers that be who decide what program continues and which is cancelled.
Comparing the three part Silent Scream episodes of ABOVE SUSPICION to the previous episodes one may detect a slightly less intensity than the earlier programs. Nonetheless, the chemistry between the cast is there, particularly with Kelly Reilly and Ciaran Hinds. Apparently in the books they get together, while in the TV adaptation they don’t quite make it, though perhaps if the show hadn’t been cancelled there would have been greater viewer satisfaction in this regard. We’ll never know.
Despite the frustration of this lost opportunity, set 3 of ABOVE SUSPICION is a good, entertaining and involving 3-part yarn about the murder of a young movie star and is filled with brilliant performances, not only from the regular cast, but from some relative newcomers playing assorted druggies and suspects. It’s quite something to see the young actress Bryony Hannah playing a dope addict, when she can also be seen as a somewhat mousey nun on the excellent British program Call the Midwife, a testament to the range of British character actors that, collectively, is unequalled anywhere else.
Ciaran Hinds is a powerful presence on screen and his animal edge is beautifully tempered by the sweetness Kelly Reilly projects (even while being believable as an ambitious young detective). This central relationship is perhaps more interesting than the crime itself, at least in these episodes. Perhaps that, and the fact they don’t quite get together, is what caused ITV to pull the plug on the show.
ABOVE SUSPICION deserved better. Fortunately, somehow, one thinks, Lynda La Plante will be back, and better than ever.
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.
Sit down with the DVD and spend an afternoon or evening with consecutive viewings and see the best that the small screen has to offer.