Trial And Retribution, ITV1

by | Jan 14, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

There were lots of faults in Lynda La Plante’s latest installment of her crime drama franchise, but the plot (girl dies in fall down stairs exposing cracks in her middle-class family) kept us hooked.

What was good about it?

• Who pushed model student Emily Harrogate down the stairs on the day she got straight As in her exams? It’s a question that kept us hooked, even though Trial And Retribution moves very, very slowly and is very, very schlocky.

• The sub-plot involving David Hayman’s Detective Chief Superintendent Walker. Normally he’s really aggressive, like a Mitchell brother with a truncheon, but in this story he’s fallible, dealing with a delinquent son who strangles swans when he’s not playing with his food in a listless troubled teen manner.

• Nadia Cameron Blakey as Deidre, the mother of the dead girl – and a UK equivalent of Desperate Housewife Bree, obsessed with cleaning and keeping the simmering family tensions hidden away behind the net curtains.

• Andrew-Lee Potts as murder suspect Michael Summerby and James Sutton (Hollyoaks’ closeted homosexual Jean Paul) as a crazed prisoner provided the eye candy.

What was bad about it?

• Victoria Smurfit’s DCI Roisin Connor, who is either whispering as she crunches over gravel or being an unrealistic unsympathetic bitch, questioning a bereaved family as if they were a bunch of child killers

• Is it just us, or is Greg Wise’s acting style really awful? He was terrible in BBC1 “sitcom” According To Bex and we didn’t care for him in this as unfaithful husband John.

• The split screen technique is just a gimmick and adds nothing.

• Some of the acting was terrible. The 12-year-old boy’s eye rolling during his police interview was terrible but possibly forgivable given his age, but there was no excuse for the doctor who spoke his few lines as if he’d just been dragged out of a local amdram panto.

• After seeing three of Emily’s friends – horribly selfish posh bitches – we began to feel she deserved to die for poor pal selection.

Trial & Retribution, ITV1, Monday/Tuesday 12/13 February 2007

Did we like it?

This was another absorbing story in which resident legs akimbo DCI Roisin Connor and grumpy chain-smoker DCS Michael Walker investigated twin teenage boys suspected of brutally killing their parents.

What was good about it?

• Robert and Jonathan Timmins as the killer duo Michael and Rory Delany.

• It was nice to have a plot in which there wasn’t any computing/chatting online involved. So many murder plots interweave the Internet these days. All the main characters interacted verbally with each other. No “He sent me an email blah…”

• Olivia Hallinan and Fiona Shaw provided strong, credible support, too. (Plus, we love Shaw’s tones. What a voice!)

What was bad about it?

• Very little Gemma Jones as Dr Jean Mullins. Couldn’t she have returned just to wave about some sex aids? Lynda La Plante does love to be sordid.

• Maybe there were too many shots of the mother (Honor) receiving hammer blows. Nasty!

• Do the viewers need insights into Roisin’s love life? She’s got no taste in men, anyway!

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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