It’s the New Year, and both ITV and BBC have come out with their headline crime dramas to keep us cosy during the long miserable nights in that make up Dry January. For the BBC it’s Silent Witness and Death In Paradise, while for ITV it’s Endeavour and Midsomer Murders.
I prefer the longer format of the ITV series. I also like the fact that they tend to take their structure and references more seriously, too. Which was why the first episodes of both new series were notable.
Firstly Endeavour broke one of the Decalogue (the golden rules of crime fiction defined during crime fiction’s heyday). Fairly and squarely, no apology, 85 minutes in we get to the big reveal and it’s a rule breaker. There’s no way the writers didn’t know what they were doing. Interesting, if nothing else.
And then Midsomer Murders, only 3 days later, was an episode without a single murder. Let’s be clear, Midsomer is second only to Cabot Cove in terms of body count, so an entire episode without even one measly murder? Unthinkable.
Crime stories are predictable. They follow rules. That’s why we love them. It appears ITV has other ideas…