Most helpful critical review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2014
This is the pilot of the DCI Banks series, and it's not included in the U.S. DVD set of the first season -- perhaps Aftermath is considered Season Zero. In any case, I found the story quite uninteresting despite its sensational subject matter: Five girls are missing, and by chance police break in on what they think is a domestic violence case but is actually the home of the killer and rapist, for in fact four of the five girls are in the basement, and the perpetrator's wife lies beaten upstairs. During the resulting confrontation, one of the discovering policemen is killed.
It's a brutal but promising start to a grim drama, but in the end the main plot thread is pretty simple, and in fact the police sort out almost everything rather early, except for the whereabouts of the presumed fifth victim, a mystery which is solved through brute force rather than deductive skill. In the meanwhile, there are side plots involving a concerned father who's also a sleazeball, a neighbor who is more involved than we initially suspect, and police politics.
At the end of the day, as I said, the plot is actually rather simple and not that interesting, and the side-plots don't had a whole lot, either. The characters are complex, but frankly that of Annie is rather repulsive, and Banks himself doesn't come off well, either. She's ambitious and amoral, while he is too impulsive. My wife has read some of the novels on which these television dramas are based, and according to her, in many instances some significant changes have been made. Be that as it may, although I thought the Season One set was good, this pilot stinks just a bit, to my taste.