Even by this time - part two of Series/Season 1 - it is apparent that the spin-off outsmarts the spun-off. Fans of Gil Grissom (William Peterson) and Co dismissed Miami as a flash imitation and would have nothing to do with it. Freshers to the CSI phenomenon note the strict formulaic structure that retains the brand image and yet within these narrow walls real people live and work.

That might be going too far. One of the defects of both shows is the lack of any personal life outside the lab/office, possibly because they work so hard, there's no time to fit it in. We have no access to the files and just don't know the content of their private portfolios.

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Horatio Caine (David Caruso) is a completely different animal to Grissom, the all-knowing guru of scientific detection. You feel this guy has worked the streets as a precinct cop and understands the language of violence, although is never one to raise his voice. He is quiet spoken and thoughtful, with a deeply subtle sense of humour - so deep, some say, it's buried - and a strong feeling of compassion for the weakness of human nature.

The Miami team appears more accessible than their Las Vegas counterparts, who seem like Barbie boffins, by comparison. The exception is Emily Proctor, who plays Calleigh Duquesne, the gun expert. She is pure cheesecake and a most unlikely contender for Firearms Detective of the Year.

Adam Rodriguez as Eric Delko, the Cuban fingerprints guy, and Rory Cochrane as Speedle, who details every crime scene with dogged efficiency, are wonderfully down-to-earth and Khandi Alexander as Alexx Woods, the autopsy doc, who dissects murdered corpses with as much affection as dignity, is an absolute darling.

The plots are intelligently written and well directed. You have to get used to the flashback technique, which allows the viewer snap glimpses of what really happened. It is an annoying CSI trademark, like running simultaneous storylines in tandem, to which Miami does not always comply and, of course, the episodes with only one murder investigation in progress are, without exception, the best.

Caruso has a particular way of taking off his shades. It is distinctive and part of Horatio's style. Although the success of Miami should be spread evenly between excellent production values, clever scripts, well-honed performances and a dedication to detail, it is Caruso's authority that gives it the edge.

Reviewed on: 22 Feb 2005
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CSI: Miami - 1.2 packshot
Second part of the second series of the spin-off police procedural drama.
Amazon link

Director: various

Writer: various

Starring: David Caruso, Emily Proctor, Adam Rodriguez, Khandi Alexander, Rory Cochrane

Year: 2002

Runtime: 508 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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