Tuesday night drama on BBC One delves once more into crime. The ‘Crime Drama’ genre is a popular one with viewers with a variety of programmes to choose from, particularly by the BBC. Successful dramas in such a competitive environment require a strong lead and equally robust plotting. Fortunately ‘Into the Dark’ possesses both.

Based upon the novels of Mark Billingham this series of four hour long episodes brings the character of DI Helen Weeks to television screens. DI Weeks is played by the very impressive MyAnna Buring. Doctor Who fans may recognise her having played Scooti Manista in ‘The Impossible Planet’ in 2006. Buring proves to be a very strong lead. Likeable and engaging she carries the story forward admirably. She has to be as Di Weeks appears in practically every scene. There is also the added twist of her character being pregnant. This proves particularly problematic in the opening scene, for instance. It also somehow elevates her character above a generic TV Detective Inspector.

In The Dark - Helen. Helen Weeks (MYANNA BURING) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Gary Moyes
In The Dark – Helen. Helen Weeks (MYANNA BURING) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Gary Moyes

The first episode sees DI Weeks return to her rural home after a reported child abduction. Compelled by the news that the case is affecting a former best friend she heads back to the fictional town of Polesford in Derbyshire. Her motivation is perhaps odd given she hasn’t been in touch in recent years. She is not part of the investigation but is taking a professional interest in addition to helping an old friend. All throughout is an unnerving sense of something lurking ‘in the dark’. Not the literal darkness perhaps but beneath the surface or even in the past.

In The Dark - DC Sophie Carson, Helen Weeks and Paul Hopkins. DC Sophie Carson (JESSICA GUNNING)
In The Dark – DC Sophie Carson, Helen Weeks and Paul Hopkins. DC Sophie Carson (JESSICA GUNNING), Helen Weeks (MYANNA BURING), Paul Hopkins (BEN BATT) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Des Willie

Rainy grittiness

There is certainly little that is rose-tinted about this drama. The weather is torrential for example. Some might say that is consistent with Derbyshire. Those of us who had to endure GCSE English Literature might use the term ‘pathetic fallacy’, describing human emotions manifested in the natural world. Anyway, the drama undulates gradually and like the main character the viewer is left with the sense that something doesn’t quite add up. It all makes for a very intriguing watch. Either the truth is that of a simplistic abduction case or there are some major plot twists on the horizon. My personal prediction is the latter. As with DI Weeks I am now keen to find out which direction the tale will take next.

In The Dark - TX: 11/07/2017 - Paul Hopkins and Phil Hendricks. Paul Hopkins (BEN BATT), Phil Hendricks (MATT KING) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Gary Moyes
In The Dark – TX: 11/07/2017 – Paul Hopkins and Phil Hendricks. Paul Hopkins (BEN BATT), Phil Hendricks (MATT KING) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Gary Moyes

Anyone who appreciates solid crime drama will find themselves utterly engaged with ‘In the Dark’ and buoyed by an impressive central performance from MyAnna Buring.

Elsewhere in the Time Vortex

There is a very brief appearance of Georgia Tennant (formerly known as Moffett) who portrays Jenny, DI Weeks’ sister. No, not that Jenny, another one.  Blink (pun intended) and you’ll miss it.

More Series Info

‘In the Dark’ is a four-part series adapted from the novels by Mark Billingham and stars MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street, Downton Abbey) as Helen Weeks, a feisty yet fragile detective. They will be joined by Ben Batt (Shameless) as Buring’s partner. The cast also includes David Leon, Ashley Walters, Matt King, Clive Wood, Emma Fryer, Jamie Sives, Pearce Quigley, Sinead Matthews and Jessica Gunning.

Characterful, darkly funny and with themes relevant to our times, ‘In The Dark’ is an incredibly personal and engaging crime series. With visceral emotional dilemmas at the centre of the two crime stories, the series is anchored by Helen Weeks and her journey towards motherhood. Can she overcome childhood secrets and unexpected tragedy that befalls her to make the world a better place for her unborn child? Even if you love someone, do you ever really know them completely?

Catch up on ‘Into the Dark’ Episode 1 now on the BBC iPlayer with episode 2 at 9 pm on BBC One next Tuesday 18th July.

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