TV review: From Darkness, BBC One
Grim cop thriller starring Anne-Marie Duff and Johnny Harris
The title certainly isn't a misnomer From Darkness starts swathed in pain, anguish and shadow as Claire Church (Anne-Marie Duff) pounds the roads attempting to escape her grim past.
A former cop who fled to the Western Isles, for now why she made this dramatic getaway is still a mystery but we're sure her motivation will be spelt out by the end of this four episode mini-series. The discovery of two prostitute's bodies buried on a building site in Manchester leads her former colleague DCI John Hind (Johnny Harris) to her remote doorstep looking for insight and answers to a case that stretches back to 1998. As they start digging deeper Duff realises she can't ignore the past and a serial killer might still be on the loose.
Like so many current crime thrillers on TV, From Darkness is very obviously influenced by the influx of Nordic noir that reshaped the genre a few years back: the troubled protagonist, the drab colour scheme, everyone talks in hushed whispers, mumbles or growls their lines. Only Luke Newbury (In the Flesh) offers a chink of light with a dash of comic relief as DS Anthony Boyce. It's certainly a change of pace for writer Katie Baxendale and director Dominic Leclerc last seen working on far lighter fare such as Sugar Rush, The Syndicate and The Village.
We've walked this road too many times before. There's nothing blatantly wrong with From Darkness – it's well produced, the acting is uniformly good, the story intriguing – but after The Killing, The Bridge, even Shetland, it feels anonymous.
From Darkness premieres on BBC One, Sun 4 Oct.