Blackout (2012)

In Amazing, BBC, Crime, new, political, Recommendation, Review, series on 30/07/2012 at 11:07 am

This summer the BBC treated us to an intriguing, complex and very interesting drama series about a drunk city councillor who probably accidentally murdered someone during an alcohol-induced blackout and somehow ends up becoming mayor.

This three-part drama starts off with the personal: Daniel Demoys (Christopher Eccleston) ruining himself and hurting his family with booze-abuse, corruption and an affair. It’s immediately compelling and has the tension of a crime/thriller drama as the plot reveals only snippets of the murder, the affair and the illicit city council transactions. The story then smoothly develops into a political thriller when interests and relationships surrounding the people involved reveal themselves. Demoys is catapulted back into reality when he finds he (probably) murdered someone and his determination to redeem himself is not at all straightforward, and therefore all the more human. Without spoilers: his motives are questionable, yet he’s righteous. He wants to do good, but he isn’t a good man, and he doesn’t claim to be. And then the political questions: can a bad person be a good mayor? And can a good mayor give the city back to the people, even if the powers-that-be work against him?

Lots of interesting ambiguity here, full of riveting characters thanks to the likes of Adrew Scott (Moriarty in Sherlock),  Dervla Kirwan, MyAnna Buring (Kill List), Branca Katic and Ewen Bremmer.

Minor point of critique: the series is set in an anonymous metropolis that, filmed from above, looks like NYC due to the grid street plan. Yet the story is obviously British, making it appear a bit silly to beat around the bush: they should’ve set it in London.






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