I've just caught up with Innocent, last week's ITV crime show, a four-parter written by Chris Lang and Matthew Arlidge. I thought it was very watchable, and though it wasn't in any way ground-breaking, that's not a criticism, There are times when TV shows that try too hard to be original simply descend into absurdity. Innocent had its flaws, but overall it was good entertainment.
The basic premise is that David Collins (played very well by Lee Ingleby, an actor of considerable range) has just been released from prison, eight years after being charged with the murder of his wife Tara. His one supporter has been his older brother Phil, but he's lost his two children to his brittle sister-in-law (Hermione Norris, excellent as usual) and her husband. Now, for David, it's payback time. And soon his in-laws come under suspicion themselves.
The police re-investigate the crime, and soon the senior officer discovers that her partner, who conducted the original inquiry, was responsible for a miscarriage of justice. There were some aspects of the police side of the case which didn't seem totally credible to me, and similarly I was baffled by the suspension of the doctor who was one of the suspects - he seemed to be the top man in the practice, but was treated as a junior employee; my inner employment lawyer wasn't convinced. But these are the compromises with reality that writers often feel they have to make.
The location shots were absolutely marvellous - it turns out that Malahide, a lovely spot, stood in for the supposed setting in Sussex. The surprise twist was, to me, entirely foreseeable as early as episode two, but that didn't really matter too much, because the story was nicely paced, well acted, and didn't culminate in one of those tedious cliffhangers which are meant to pave the way for a second series. I don't expect Innocent to return, but it was good while it lasted.