Did we like it?
This was the definite winner in the battle against rather tired rivals Dalziel & Pascoe on BBC1. And it’s miles better than ITV’s Midsomer Murders which was unwatchable on Sunday.
What was good about it?
• In Ken Stott’s first outing as Ian Rankin’s detective, he was a little too jovial, but this episode showed him in a more sensitive, gloomier light with despair never far from his facial expressions.
• Claire Price is stunning as Rebus’ sidekick DS Siobhan Clarke – she does all the hard work without any cynicism – and she looks great.
• Writer Daniel Boyle weaved in some rather nifty commentary on the awful detention centres packed with asylum seekers
• The murder count was a reasonable three (plus one suicide in a bloody bath): a Kurdish man whose body was found among the black bags behind the recycling bins; a Kosovan girl, whose body was found with flies swarming around her in a car boot; and bad boy Danny McLeese, found interned in tarmac in a children’s play area.
What was bad about it?
• The setting, Knoxland Estate, actually looked quite a reasonable place to live yet we were supposed to believe it was Scumsville. The only bad boys we got to meet were rather cheery chavvy chaps who’d had the nous to set up a barbecue area on the roof of their towerblock. Si McLeese even surprised Rebus with the information that his pit bull was called Homer after the Greek poet rather than the TV cartoon character.
• Rebus’s boss Chief Super Gill Templar was a bit of a clichéd watch-my-back figure.