Thursday 12 August 2010

Identity: Chelsea Girl - review

Questions of identity fascinate me. People who want to solve their problems by becoming a different person, people obsessed with the lives of others – these ideas form a significant element in my books. Examples include The Coffin Trail, The Arsenic Labyrinth and The Serpent Pool. So naturally I was drawn to the concept behind the newish ITV series Identity.

Identity involves a team of cops specialising in identity fraud cases. Keeley Hawes is the star, but there is strong support from a good cast, including Holly Aird and Aiden Gillen. The show was devised by Ed Whitmore, who was involved with Waking the Dead – a series which I saw only fleetingly, but thought not at all bad.

My first encounter with Identity was an episode called Chelsea Girl. The set-up is excellent – a British girl called Olivia befriends another woman in Australia. But the new friend kills her, steals her identity, and catches a plane to England. Soon the cops are on her trail, and find that she is a woman with a troubled past. Now she is returning to her roots.

This was a very fast-paced show, a thriller rather than a whodunit. The killer is quickly identified, and the only question was how much havoc the killer would cause before she was caught. The story-line was highly melodramatic, but it was entertaining, and I shall certainly take another look at Identity, as soon as time permits.


Anonymous said...

Martin - Thanks for this review. The show does sound, as you say, much more like a thriller than a typical "cop show." I'll look forward to seeing what you think of the rest of it. As you say, questions of identity are fascinating, especially when they're connected, I think, to past events.

Kay Richardson said...

YES. I watched this. I liked it largely because of the lead woman. I like her.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

So less of a puzzle (the whodunit part is given away quickly) and more of a chase film. Sounds exciting!

Dorte H said...

When we stayed in Reading for 6 months several years ago, one of the things that fascinated me was how relatively easy it was to just move away and create a new identity in Britain.

In Denmark it is next to impossible because of our civil registration numbers. We had quite an interesting scam some years ago, though, when the authorities realized that a curator of one of our prestigious art museums had faked her exam papers.