The Murder Detectives
Channel 4 - 9pm
Who's in it?
Real detectives were followed on every step of their investigation into a brutal murder in this riveting if harrowing documentary.
In a nutshell
Most cop-based documentaries are on the cheesy side. You know the ones, like Police Interceptors, where the job is almost depicted as a big jolly – big blokes bantering and casually nicking bad ‘uns like it’s Top Gear crossed with The Bill. Well, the latest offering from Channel 4 is NOT like one of those shows. We’re in rigorously serious territory here, handled with grim clarity.
After all, the show is about the stabbing of a young man and its effects on his family, so there’s no leeway for japery and sensationalism. There were moments that were almost unwatchably gruelling. Like hearing the actual 999 call which Nicholas Robinson made as he lay dying after sustaining vicious knife wounds. Then there was the CCTV footage, showing the culprit as he made his escape. There were dark insights like these throughout the whole programme, which revealed the dogged reality of police work in a step-by-step chronicle of the case.
What's the verdict?
Whodunits in reality are like this: emotionally exhausting, intellectually taxing, and run through with hurt. This was bleak but brilliant viewing.