Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Falcon: The Blind Man of Seville - TV review

Falcon is Sky Atlantic's version of Robert Wilson's novel about the eponymous Spanish cop, and I've just caught up with the first episode of The Blind Man of Seville. This is a book which I haven't read, but I do have a confession; I have possessed a copy for quite a while, but still haven't as yet got round to it. Possibly because I've been intimidated by the sheer bulk of the hardback edition.

Spain is a fantastic country, and the cinematography captures its dazzling colours in vivid fashion. It's a good show simply to look at, except for the gory bits. At the start of the story, a man is bound and gagged, and horrible things are done to him. Before long, our hero Falcon is called in to a murder scene. The victim, Jiminez, is a rich man whose eyelids have been removed. It seems that, before he died, he was forced to watch a home movie.

The obvious suspect is Jiminez's much younger wife, played by the glamorous Hayley Atwell. The marriage wasn't a success; he was a bad man, and consorted endlessly with prostitutes. She was having an affair with a chap who worked for her. When Falcon interviews her, she starts interrogating him about his own marriage. It had collapsed six months earlier. Yep, Falcon is yet another of those dysfunctional loners we mystery fans love rather more than their nearest and dearest do. "Cold-blooded", his (also glamorous) ex-wife calls him.

There is clearly a link between Jiminez and Falcon's deceased father, an artist famous for painting Falcon's mother in the nude. I'm not quite sure how wealthy Falcon is supposed to be, but one would assume he's rich enough not to need to work such long hours. Fortunately, he's devoted to crime investigation, and at the end of this episode he had another mutilated corpse on his hands - this time the last girl Jiminez played around with. Verdict: a very watchable show, and well-paced,with the added bonus of Bernard Hill in the supporting cast.. I really ought to get round to reading the book.

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