Oh, how we love our British crime dramas. One type centers on cozy killings, laced with comedy, that are best described as murder-lite. They are not so much about murder, but more about the person solving the crime and his or her acquaintances. In most cases, viewers do not see anyone get killed, only see bodies that are fully dressed (usually not in morgues, and definitely not cut in half), and never go to autopsies or have to look at maggots. If the solvers are acquainted with the killers, it is not a close friendship of long standing. Several examples spring to mind--, , and .
Then there are the dramas that critics tend to call “dark,” “gritty,” “realistic,” “intense,” and “powerful.” These shows do not romanticize murder or death; there is blood, there are dismemberments, and—worst of all—there are . Battered corpses on gurneys, bodies sprawled out in streets revealing graphic signs of torture, and the bloated long-dead are common sights. Seldom are the investigators familiar with the perpetrators on anything but a professional level¸ and those perps are often evil and/or sociopathic. On March 6, 2012, Acorn Media will release the dark, gritty, realistic, intense, and powerful on DVD.
Starring as newly-assigned London DC Anna Travis, Above Suspicion (from creator ) focuses on the nastiest of crimes committed by the sleaziest of characters. Not sleazy in the sense of “skanky,” but in the sense of depraved--people who torture others because they enjoy it ever so much, yet they don’t seem out of the ordinary…at least not by much. DC Travis’ inauspicious first day on the job sees her mucking around in high heels when wellies would have been more appropriate, vomiting at the sight of a decomposing body, and fainting at a post mortem. Travis may be vulnerable, but she is determined. She learns from her mistakes and her astute observations lead to solutions.