Two cop shows with unlikely storylines have just would their way to an end. Both series had their merits, as well as some failings I became frustrated with the implausibilities of Undercover long before the end, despite my enthusiasm for the premise of a detective who fakes an identity to carry out undercover work. But Marcella, which I reviewed when it started, held my attention right to the dramatic final episode last night.
Part of this was because of the brilliant performance of Anna Friel in the title role. She was so compelling that I found myself, by and large, able to forgive some of the outrageous plot contrivances. The principal culprit's identity was cleverly concealed, and although the motive might seem thin, I thought it just about believable.
The plot borrowed a key plot device from one of Agatha Christie's best books, a reminder that despite the grittiness of modern TV crime drama, the influence of Golden Age fiction is more pervasive than many people realise. It isn't, for instance, mentioned at all in the otherwise excellent analysis of the finale by Gwilym Mumford in The Guardian (well worth reading, provided you've seen the series; but beware spoilers)..