Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Falcon - TV review (episode 2)

The Blind Man of Seville, the first story in Sky Atlantic's new series Falcon, came to an end last week and I've just caught up with the second of the two episodes. I mentioned in my review of episode 1 that the source of the story is a book by Robert Wilson, but I should add that the screenplay is by Stephen Butchard, and even though I haven't read the book, I thought Butchard did a extremely good job in producing an entertaining and watchable show.

I've touched before on the thorny issue of what length works best for a TV cop show. The truth is that (as was depressingly stated on the cover of one of my student law books) there are no "right" answers, but it can be argued that the Morse/Lewis/Vera formula of two-hour stories is more appealing than two parts of one hour each. But the latter format seems to be gaining popularity (DCI Banks is another example) and as long as the screenplay holds the attention throughout, with no sagging (or rushing to cover all the plot elements) in the second episode, it can work very well.

Butchard succeeded so well that I found the second episode even more gripping than the first, despite the unlikely nature of the plot. Suffice to say that the eponymous Falcon was confronted with some unpleasant truths concerning his family, and especially his late parents, as he battled to find the truth about the murderer of three men, two of whom he was close to.

It was all a bit of an endurance test for poor old Falcon, but Marton Csokas performed the role with aplomb and plenty of charisma, and he did have the considerable consolation that one of the suspects, played by Hayley Atwell, fell for him big style. I was amazed, by the way, to discover that Csokas is a New Zealander. It was as much a surprise to me as the solution of many a whodunit!

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