Starring: Hugo Speer, Sharon Small, Bailey Patrick, Tori Allen-Martin, Jennie Jacques
Directors: Craig Pickles, Fiona Walton, Sean Glynn
Writers: Claire Fryer, Sarah-Louise Hawkins, Paul Marquess, Jake Riddell, Sally Tatchell
Network: Acorn TV

I am a sucker for British detective/crime dramas. I don’t know what it is exactly. But I do like that the crimes are often less extravagant and grotesque. They’re done by average people to average people. The detective teams are usually well-cast and diverse, and there’s an intimate quality to it as they all go out for a pint or two together after a long day’s work. So, when I got wind of Acorn TV’s first straight-to-series show London Kills — which was released on DVD/Blu-ray June 4, 2019, —¬†I couldn’t resist.

London Kills introduces us to a team of top murder detectives: DI David Bradford (Hugo Speer, The Full Monty, Father Brown), DS Vivienne Cole (Sharon Small, Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Murderland), DC Rob Brady (Bailey Patrick, Bodyguard, Casualty), and TDC Billie Fitzgerald (Tori Allen-Martin, Unforgotten, Pure). They work together to solve difficult murder cases in London, but, like my favorite flavor of this genre, it has a connective thread weaving through each episode.

Series 1 only contains five episodes, and, although there is an individual crime that is investigated in each episode, there are two main plot elements that bring it all together. First, DI David Bradford is newly returning to the team after taking time off due to his wife’s disappearance. Second, there is the presence of Amber Saunders (Jennie Jaques, Shank, Vikings). Amber first shows up in episode 1 as (supposedly) an innocent witness to a crime, but, as she becomes romantically involved with TDC Billie Fitzgerald, it becomes evident that she is interested in the lives of more than just one team member.

While the individual cases are interesting, ranging from a framed suicide to a pedophile’s murder to a sex game gone wrong, the piece that really hooked me was Amber’s story. I don’t know if it’s her icy-blue eyes (SO UNNERVING AND GORGEOUS) or her unpredictability shady past and her extreme powers of manipulation, but she is what really makes this series stand out in a very large sea of police procedural dramas. There are so many DI David Bradfords out there (who was bit dull in my opinion). We need more Amber Saunders.

London Kills - Series 1

8.7

Formulaic But Fresh British Detective Drama

9.0/10

DVD/Blu-Ray Bonus Behind-the-scenes featurette

7.0/10

Diverse Detective Team

8.0/10

Amber Saunders

10.0/10

More Mystery Than Gore

9.5/10
Anelise Farris
farranel@isu.edu
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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