We Recommend: Murder

Is this new BBC Two one-off drama as happy as it sounds?

On a whim, I previewed a one-off BBC drama called Murder this evening. I’d read a positive review on the Radio Times website and was feeling burned out on my current DVD boxset, so gave it a go. Plus now I get to do an article called “We Recommend: Murder”, which I admit gave me a laugh.

It’s hardcore kitchen sink BBC stuff, as we’re presented with a murder case and follow it through the system, being relentlessly teased about what might really have happened. It also takes the Talking Heads approach of presenting the whole story through a string of intercutting speeches to camera.

And yes, it’s really good. Really sad too, though – seriously, if you’ve been watching Accused recently and thinking “Christ, this is a bit grim”, Murder is more depressing than that. Accused always feels like a story – a very well-written story, but nonetheless – whereas Murder successfully makes you think mournful thoughts about the stuff like this that probably happens every day.

It feels raw, it feels documentary-like, a sense only amplified by the constant talking-to-us monologuing and the barrage of stark images between speeches. The ending, when it comes, might not shock you to your very core, but it feels inevitable in a way that only amplifies the plausibility and the sadness.

It’s a good, thoughtful piece, well acted by Karla Crome (soon to join Misfits), Joe Dempsie (of Skins, Game of Thrones, the afore-mentioned Accused) and company, and worth your time if you want to see a decent twist on the standard BBC drama. You need to be a certain mood to enjoy it, yes, but if that feeling strikes you, give it a go.

Murder is on in… about two hours, 10PM Sunday on BBC Two, this is not the most advanced of previews, and it should be on iPlayer afterwards at the link I am here linking. More info at the official site.

Nick Bryan

Updated: Aug 26, 2012


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