TV Highlights

What was on Wednesday 29th October

Scott and Bailey

ITV - 9pm

Who's in it?

Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones were up against it in the thoroughly gripping series finale of what might just be the best cop show on telly.

In a nutshell

Scott & Bailey has gone from upstart detective show to an ITV staple – it's now hard to imagine the listings without it. Which is very much a good thing, because it's a refreshingly detailed look at detective work, with the emphasis on character development and personality clashes rather than blood and guts and flamboyant serial killers rampaging around like comic book villains.

Well, we say that – Evie Pritchard, the series finale's baddie, would have made a rather serviceable Bond villain, such was the fear induced by her every screen moment. Things got very personal, what with her hubby being involved in a brutal car crash with one of our heroines, and then there was the plucked-from-the-headlines sub-plot involving the slaves discovered at her farm. On top of all that, we had the emotional repercussions of Rachel's mum's death, and Janet's career as a copper coming under intense scrutiny.

What's the verdict?

What could so easily have been just another disposable ITV crime drama has turned out to be something a bit special – mainly thanks to Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones, who are both brilliant, but also because of the reliably rich scripts, heavy on the intricacies of police work. All in all, a very fair cop guv.

Star rating: 4/5

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07-07-2011