TV review: Deep Water – BBC Four
Australian murder mystery starring Yael Stone and Noah Taylor
The British public have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for murder mysteries. Over the last few years BBC Four have struck gold importing international thrillers to the UK. After exhausting Europe they have turned to Australia for Deep Water, a new four-parter set in Sydney.
Tori Lustigman (Orange is the New Black's Yael Stone) leads the investigation after the mutilated corpse of a young man is found in an apartment off Bondi Beach. She soon uncovers links to a series of homophobic killings that date back to 1989. However, her macho superiors seem incapable of taking her seriously as a detective, often ignoring her instincts.
Deep Water uses the framework of a detective thriller to examine sexism, homophobia and immigration. Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) plays Tori's partner but even he's a peripheral character. This is Stone's show, playing a tough but believable woman working in a male dominated field. She has to work harder than any of her colleagues, even when she seems to have more insight into the case than most of her team. You also get the impression the original crimes were overlooked due to the spectre of AIDS and out dated attitudes to the gay community in Oz during the 80s / 90s. Hopefully these ideas will be explored in even further detail as the series progresses.
This opening episode obviously takes cues from the Scandi crime boom in terms of pace and gritty content. However, after the influx of grey dour Nordic noir, Deep Water offers a nice change of pace with the action playing out in the blazing sunshine. A solid if unremarkable addition to BBC Four's international crime roster, buoyed up by Stone's performance.
Deep Water starts on BBC Four, Sat 12 Nov.