Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Review of New Blood's 1x01: "Case 1, Part 1"

Written by Anthony Horowitz
Directed by Anthony Philipson

Rash: "I don’t want to be a policeman. I want to be a detective."

The detective show isn't exactly something that we're lacking on television at the moment. Every week there's virtually a new one to get into but BBC1 have gone with something a little different with their latest offering from Foyle's War creator, Anthony Horowitz.

A seven part drama, the focus is on newly promoted junior detective Rash Sayyad (Ben Tavassoli) and Serious Fraud Office investigator Stefan Kowolski  (Mark Strepan) as the two of them in this opening installment are essentially investigating the same case but from two different angles as one looks into the victims of a pharmaceutical company's experimental drugs while the other is undercover in the company in question, playing up his accent and sawing down doors.

If you're looking for something gritty, there's a chance this might not be the show for you, though there are certainly some gruesome deaths to begin and end the episode and the antics of an isolated loner named Henry (who unknown to him is being lured into a deadly trap by a group of women) certainly raise some interesting moments when he quits his job and isolates his concerned mother with his erratic behaviour.

The main plot with the company is certainly interesting enough though Stefan's false boss David Leese is more of a pawn in a bigger scheme than previously led to believe. Meanwhile Rash has to deal with a rather sarcastic and sullen boss in Mark Addy's character DS Derek Sands as he delves deeper into the actions of a woman named Laura who underwent a drug trial six years prior in India.

The show has been heavily publicised the 'bromance' between Stefan and Rash as it's selling point, although they only share a brief exchange here when they're taking part in the same race and Stefan tries his luck with Rash's sister, Leila, played by Aiysha Hart and they clash a bit. That being said, the potential partnership between the pair is great while the show makes a solid effort into exploring both men's lives outside of their work as well in order to give them both a little more depth.

- Rash is Iranian and Stefan is Polish, both of which is acknowledged within the episode in a manner that didn't feel contrived. They both also have a thing for biking.
- Anna Chancellor popped up here as SFO director, Eleanor Davies while Mark Bonner also appeared as a clearly villainous government figure named Peter Mayhew.
- iPlayer have been airing the episodes prior to their screening on BBC1. In a lot of ways though, it feels like a show aimed for BBC3.
- Stefan and Rash's home backgrounds couldn't be more different to each other as well.

A fun start for a show that certainly seems to have a fun feel to it. Yes, there's a serious drugs trial plot that will be explored in the next two episodes and older/more experienced characters but the youth of the leads and the charisma from them certainly gives the show a well needed boost. A fun one to watch at the moment.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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