The Murder Game, BBC1

by | Mar 29, 2003 | All, Reviews

TV brings us all sorts of detectives (singing, bald, boring, real ale-loving, Chinese etc). Now we’ve got the Dithering Detectives in the latest reality show – an import from America, where it was a flop, which has been transformed by the BBC into a potential hit.

The format doesn’t creak too much and the tension built up nicely, culminating in the Blair Witch-like Killer Game when the two contestants up for elimination wandered around spooky locations (bathed in green night light as if they’re war reporters in Iraq). Christine copped it, so we’ll be spared her lavish use of lipstick in further shows – but any of the 10 investigators could have gone and it would have been no loss.

Maybe their characters will emerge, but they all seem far too nice – and completely incapable of doing anything but dither. One exception: the spitting, chewing, swearing, larking Ruari (“That was f***ing brilliant,” he said after a car chase culminated in a hunt through bushes for vital evidence).

It looked like the cocked-up casting had extended to The Chief, ex-cop Bob Taylor, who is leading the shower of amateurs as they investigate the death of Catherine Prior. His opening introduction was as dull as John Stalker in those ads for security devices they show during Open House With Gloria Hunniford – but the dour Yorkshireman (aren’t they all?) developed into a menacing figure, slagging off the sleuths as they slipped up time after time.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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