River on the BBC shows the problem with

British telly drama.

Finally got round to watching the BBC, trying to be Nordic Noir, six part cop drama series River, it was spoilt by the usual fault of the usual suspects.

My PVR was feeling somewhat sullied by having something on it recorded from BBC One – it usually only has old radio shows, Goons, Hancock etc, from the Beeb on it – so had to get rid.

It looked promising in a way, especially with Stellan Skarsgård in the lead role, even more so when Nicola Walker smiled and laughed in the first scene. Don’t think I’ve ever seen her do that in any programme she’s been in before. Then Lesley Manville did the same and she hasn’t done that for years on telly.

Though Adeel Akhtar did look odd without a beard.

So far so good. Then it all changed and became predictable as the usual suspects were introduced. Episode two and here comes Michael Maloney as the husband of River’s boss, Lesley Manville.

Well he’s going to have a bigger part than just that, he’s going to be one of the wrong ‘uns and he’ll be cheating on her because that’s the character he plays in every drama he’s in. Creepy little snivelling wretch, doing dirty on the missus. Lo and behold.

Then in the next episode Jim Norton appears. Yup, he’s also got something to do with it because he always plays ratbags in British drama series. Guess what?

Just so bloody predictable. Surely there are quite a number of actors out there that could have been chosen that wouldn’t have spoiled the whole thing because they are so obviously the baddies.

That’s why the Nordic Noirs work in this country, we don’t know the actors, well we didn’t, we should know a number by now but not so that it’s bleeding obvious who dunnit as soon as we see their phizog on the screen.

Also TV companies, don’t listen to those screaming for a second series. The premise worked this time but dragging it out again and again just dilutes it and makes it just another soap, like nearly every other programme turns into.

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