Archive for May 23rd, 2018

by Adam Ferenz

A series that is blacker than coal, moody, depressing and yet with an ending that will leave a viewer out of breath while also (slightly) comforted that it is all over. Based on a series of books, and loosely inspired by the Yorkshire Ripper murders of the 1970s and 1980s, this story of police and political corruption and cover up in the north of England is set in three different periods, focusing on mostly different casts of characters, with each episode of the trilogy revolving around a new character, including journalists and police on both sides of the crimes depicted.

One noteworthy aspect of the series is that each episode is shot using a different technique and camera, including 35mm and a Red One digital camera. Each seems perfectly suited to the mood, particularly the Red One, which is used for a story where everything comes into focus, but still, somehow, does not feel real, as though truths are just out of reach. It is not just the camera that impresses. It is the way the entire production evokes a mood, and creates atmosphere and tension that is rarely found on television.

Split into three parts, the first section, set in 1974, concerns, initially, the story of reporter Eddie Dunford, played by Andrew Garfield, who winds up in a very dark place when his investigation in local real estate magnate, John Dawson, played by Sean Bean, indicates ties to local criminal activities. Including, of course, potential cover for a series of missing girls. Along the way, he meets crooked cops and politicians, some of whom return for the next two parts, set in 1980 and 1983. The series quickly becomes something more, and largely leaves these characters in the rear view mirror. (more…)

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