James Nesbitt performs a detective – his fourth within the house of a yr, by my reckoning – in Suspect (Channel 4), and what an odd little drama it’s. It is tailored from a Danish sequence and directed by a Belgian, and as a substitute of feeling like a British present (as a result of, certainly, that’s what Channel 4 is right here to offer) it feels distinctly European. In the opener, Nesbitt and Joely Richardson ship their strains as in the event that they’re attending to grips with a international language.
It’s very bizarre, however not the primary time this has occurred. Last yr’s Channel 4 drama Before We Die was a remake of a Swedish sequence, and it had the identical drawback. It additionally had the identical author, Matt Baker (Professor T and Hotel Portofino). Perhaps it’s all about promoting these exhibits overseas, and wanting viewers in Europe to really feel that they’re watching one thing recognisable. Suspect was filmed in London, however the location is rarely specified and it has a generic high quality.
We start with Danny (Nesbitt) visiting the mortuary on what he thinks shall be a routine little bit of police enterprise a few lifeless physique, and discovering that the sufferer is his daughter. Each episode will introduce a brand new suspect, and the solid has some first rate names, together with Anne-Marie Duff and Richard E Grant. Perhaps one in every of them might raise the fabric, however neither Nesbitt nor Richardson (because the hospital pathologist) might handle it.
Their scenes had the air of a hammy stage play. “Don’t speak to me like that.” “I speak to everyone like that.”
Well, I’m not everybody.” It was so surprisingly performed that I half-expected the corpse to stand up from beneath the sheet and switch this into some type of Inside No 9 episode. There was evidently a historical past between the pair; we by no means discovered what it was, however most of Nesbitt’s roles contain him getting off with a beautiful lady so that may be a good assumption.
A grief-stricken Danny refuses to consider that his daughter took her personal life, because the pathologist suggests, and is satisfied it is a homicide case. His boss, performed by Ben Miller, turns up providing assist, however that’s odd too. They lock Danny within the mortuary. Handily, his daughter’s smartwatch begins beeping away within the proof jar and provides him a significant clue. So he’s off to analyze.
It quickly turns into clear that Danny’s relationship along with his daughter wasn’t nice: he had no thought the place she labored or that she had a big different in her life (Niamh Algar, additionally doing her finest with the fabric). Introducing one suspect per half hour episode might work nicely in concept, if solely the present was higher.