Loch Ness, Series 1
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The beautiful, haunting shores of Scotland's most iconic loch is the stunning backdrop for the new six-part crime drama. In a community nourished and sustained by myth and bordered by untamed nature, the search for a serial killer becomes a matter of life and death for local detective Annie Redford (Laura Fraser, Breaking Bad). Within the tightly knit town, a sense of horror begins to dawn as the villagers realize that there is more than one kind of monster in their midst. Also starring Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley).
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Well, this is a moody, noir female-headed police procedural if ever there was one. The photography delivers great nuances of Scottish shade, damp, rain, mist; it may not have actually been filmed where it is supposedly set, but it sure looked right to me. The film’s score adds noticeably to the mood. Acting is first rate; the company, which appears to be almost universally Scottish, does a fine job. Siobhan Finneran, who delivered such strong work in Happy Valley, really carries the production manfully. Dialog is fine, action continuous, twists and turns, many. In fact, the film is somewhat more down and dirty than the average, reminding me of the tartan noir school that was so prevalent a few years ago. Work by Scots (duh!) Unusually violent, down and dirty; leavened by that dark Scottish wit (craic!) and humor.
Acorn TV sent me an early release of this production in expectation of an unbiased, honest review. It consists of two discs containing six episodes, running approximately 268 min., plus bonuses and subtitles, thankfully, for those of us not familiar with the burred Scottish-speak. There are also cast interviews (19 min.), behind-the-scenes featurettes (12 min.), a photo gallery. And beware, family viewers, the detective drama contains coarse language, graphic violence, nudity, and sexual situations. I have said many times that I love nothing better than a female-headed detective drama: so I sure loved this one.
1. A significant amount of screen time with shots of beautiful environs around the Loch.
2. You knew there had to be some mention of the tourist attracting Nessie, and there was.
1. A lot of stereotyped almost contrived behaviors for the characters -made for TV personalities that you probably would never encounter in real life, but make for decent drama personalities in a series. Episode one starts out that way with a curling scene that was almost laughable fake that set the tone for the rest of the series. Acting was basic, predictable, made-for-TV quality.
2. The basic premise of a series of murders leading to episodes of guilty possibilities amongst the townsfolk has been done many times before along with stringing the viewer along with suspects shown as guilty only to be replaced by another suspect and another … Until finally it is often the least suspected.
3. The testing of everyone in town to help narrow down the search has also been done in a tele crime series before, and all based on a true example of collecting DNA from every inhabitant.
4. Too many of the same screen shots of the Loch from the same viewpoint.
5. Nessie, thankfully, didn't figure much into the series plot/storyline.