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Monday, 26 January 2009

Stockwell, ITV1

Did we like it?
ITV did a competent job of recreating the day the Metropolitan police did such an incompetent job and the innocent Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead.

What was good about it?
• While Jonathan Rudd’s dramatised documentary remained tense, this wasn't sensationalist (which is quite a suprise from ITV which loves its real crimes schlock, making entertainment from misery). There was no hysterical fat; just the lean facts.
• The amateur Chinese Whispers style of policing was dramatically brought to the screen, as rumours were turned into facts, guesses led to assumptions, "He's looking nervous," led to "He's looking jumpy", misunderstandings resulted in a needless death.
• The length. If it had been longer, we'd probably not have bothered. The hour did only give us a flavour of events but was enough to add to our understanding of the incident.

What was bad about it?

• The introductory narration was uneccessarily hyperbiolic, talking about “a city gripped by panic and fear” and “brought to its knees” in the aftermath of the London bombings.
• Through no fault of the programme makers, it provoked a torrent of living room anger as we got an insight inbto the bungling of the arrogant police who take three hours to brief officers yet still cock things up in almighty, deadly fashion.
• We would have liked some attempt to expose the Metropolitan police's desperate attempt to cover up and pass the buck int he aftermath of the dreadful mistake.

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