Michael Jericho (Robert Lindsay) is a detective inspector in Fifties London. He's the star of the newsreel version of Crimewatch and the public have high expectations of him.

Jericho is a wonderfully directed TV series. The atmosphere and aesthetics are engrossing and go a long way to carrying the show. The London of 1958 has been seamlessly created with a combination of sets and CGI, and hugely impressive it is, too, reminiscent of the best examples of film noir, without ever lurching into cheap imitation.

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The acting is equally top notch. Not only does Lindsay give his best performance for many years, but with guest stars of the calibre of Jane Horrocks, you can't go far wrong. Also, Peter Bowles is a revelation as a criminal lynch pin. Someone who can act this menacingly makes you realise just how wasted he has been in his many comedy roles.

It sounds like nothing could stand in the way of Jericho becoming a classic detective series. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for the script to drag it off the tracks. Detective novels, films and dramas live and die by the strength of their stories. Jericho's are hugely disappointing and do a good job of eroding the excellent atmosphere. At one point a detective calls a suspect "a regular Ruth Ellis." It's a cheap reference for a modern audience and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

The first episode includes aspects of racial tension and works very well. However, later episodes also touch on tensions relating to minority groups. What started off as an interesting bit of history soon becomes a repetitive device.

Jericho is all the more disappointing because of its obvious potential.

Reviewed on: 12 May 2006
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Detective series, set in Fifties London, with Robert Lindsay as the gumshoe.
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Director: Diarmuid Lawrence, Nicholas Renton

Writer: Stewart Harcourt

Starring: Robert Lindsay, David Troughton, Ciaran McMenamin, Nicholas Jones, Peter Bowles, Jane Horrocks

Year: 2005

Runtime: 312 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US/UK


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