Halfway through David Hare’s conspiracy drama and Law & Order this ain’t. More than a detective show, this to me, seems like some kind of social commentary. Whoever thought to cast hollywood actress Carey Mulligan in the lead role as Kip is just simply genius. She isn’t the first choice that would pop into my head as a female detective (and former Olympic pole vaulter… bit random that one… she also mentioned she was a teacher previously… obviously someone that likes a career change) but her oscar nominated hollywood heavyweight abilities are laid bare for us to see on the small screen. Billie Piper also is giving the best performance I have seen her give to date as the ex wife of an MP.
So basically a Syrian refugee Pizza delivery boy (Abdullah) is shot dead outside some posh flats after delivering pizza to Billie Piper (which she just threw in the corner… pizza delivery costs a fortune, I couldn’t help but think how wasteful! It actually made me want to order a pizza). Carey Mulligan is the detective investigating. Then the social commentary starts as all involved are interlinked in one way or another. We have immigation (Abdullah is a Syrian refugee living in a garage with his two sister’s… although later we learn he isn’t Syrian). LGBT (the girlfriend of the local female Priest witnesses the murder, she is also in the UK illegally). Drugs (the pizza restaurant is delivering more than just pizza). Politics (David Mars played by John Simm) is an opposition MP that covers the constituency where the murder takes place, he is also friends with the Priest and unwittingly signed the visa that allowed her illegal immigrant girlfriend to stay in the country. In the first episode he seemed to be dating a journalist who wrote him a letter about their relationship… which I thought a bit odd (they’d only been on a couple of dates), he is also the ex husband of Billie Piper’s character.
The themes continue. We know who the murderer is… #metoo… she is part of the military. She is being sexually harrassed by a colleague and suffering from PTSD. The relevance and state-of-the-nation references are constant. Carey Mulligan needing to make an appointment to interview Abdullah’s sisters who have been whisked off to a detention centre jokes it “is just in case she has a hidden panorama camera?”. She also makes jokes about the minimum wage and comments on how Abdullah and his sisters risked their lives to travel to the UK to “live in a garage”.
I found it refreshing to see how Carey Mulligan is clearly pregnant while playing this role, yet there is no mention of her pregnancy or her huffing and puffing due to pregnancy. While I was pregnant with my first son I worked at a huge government agency and I had one colleague signed off with stress, another signed off having a back operation and another signed off with a heart problem. I pretty much ran the whole contract on my own. A working pregnant woman is just a working woman, it is nice to see this on screen.
I am enjoying this so far. Well acted, intelligent and unpredictable, I look forward to the next two episodes.