Detective Superintendent Martha Lawson (MI-5
's Keeley Hawes) runs London's Identity Unit in this ITV series, but the true star is new Irish-born hire John Bloom (The Wire
's Aidan Gillen), a former undercover cop. He joins Tessa (Holly Aird), José (Elyes Gabel), and Anthony (Shaun Parkes, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries
). Their target: identity thieves. As opposed to the others, Bloom lacks Lawson's tact, but like Homicide
's Frank Pembleton, he can always tell when a suspect's lying and he can get anyone to confess--though he definitely goes too far when he stabs a man in the leg to get his daughter to spill her secrets.
In their first case, the team hunts for a culprit who steals identities to punish moral failings rather than to make money. This sets the template for stories involving desperate mothers, heartless businessmen, and a Patty Hearst-like fugitive. As the episodes unfurl, it transpires that Bloom hasn't given up his cover as Brendan Shea, bagman for the Turkish mob, and continues to see a woman (Agni Scott) caught up in that world; she knows nothing about his day job. If Lawson has his back, Anthony doesn't trust him, and with good reason, since Bloom's double life threatens everyone. Even Lawson's superior has doubts, but as he says, "Results are what count."
Identity is well worth a look for fans of the genre and the cast, especially Gillen and Hawes (despite some of her oddly matronly outfits). If it feels somewhat familiar, a James Bond-like finale--in which the mob kidnaps a member of the IDU--concludes this six-episode set in fine style. Producer Ed Whitmore, who worked with Hawes on Ashes to Ashes, has since created a version for ABC starring Angela Bassett and Colin O'Donoghue. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
"Superlative. Watch it." --The Observer (U.K.)
"Stylish, gripping, and well acted" --The Sun (U.K.)
All it takes is some basic info--and you could be next.
Uncovering the dark side of reinvention, Identity follows an elite police unit tracking identity thieves and their unwitting victims. DSI Martha Lawson (Keeley Hawes, Ashes to Ashes, MI-5) assembles a crack team of investigators, betting her reputation on their results. Cavalier DI John Bloom (Aidan Gillen, The Wire) has undercover experience and knows exactly what it’s like to live a lie. Ambitious DS Anthony Wareing (Shaun Parkes, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) clashes with Bloom about his questionable past and even more questionable methods. Rounding out the group are cocksure DC José Rodriguez (Elyes Gabel, Casualty) and IT expert Tessa Stein (Holly Aird, Waking the Dead).
The cases reveal the many reasons for adopting a new persona, from simple greed to far more sinister motives. Solid detective work and high-tech investigative tools unmask the criminals but discord within the team may derail the operation.