The Guilty started on ITV last week, and a few days late, and on the recommendation of a friend, I've caught up with the first episode. As other reviews have noted, there are distinct similarities to that other ITV crime series Broadchurch, which ended its eight-week run not so long ago. One of the differences is that The Guilty is divided into just three parts.
The setting is suburbia, rather than a coastal resort, and the rather less striking backdrop is a limitation compared to Broadchurch, which made such atmospheric use of the seaside locale. Overall, though, I was struck by the thought that we are right in the middle of a rich vein of TV crime series. Broadchurch was terrific, and What Remains is keeping me really gripped, with its assortment of odd characters living cheek by jowl in a spooky shared house. The Guilty is not quite in the same league, but very watchable.
Again, the central storyline involves a missing child, and the effect his disappearance (and, it turns out, murder) has on his family and his community. We see events from five years ago, when the boy went missing, alongside events in the present day, when his body is discovered. He comes from a seemingly happy family, but it becomes increasingly evident that all is not quite as it appears at first sight.
Tamsin Greig is the likeable cop leading the investigation, and already a few potential suspects have emerged. Like What Remains, though (and this is another difference from Broadchurch) there isn't so much focus on motives. It would be good to think that there's something more on offer than a study of a paedophiel, but we'll see. I'll definitely be watching episode two this evening.