Criminal (2019 – )

This television programme is split into four different named titles, however under the same creator, Jim Field Smith, and follow the same set-up. This anthology series is based in four different countries: United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France. In each country and individual programme as such, there are three episodes. In each episode is one suspect; one suspect in an interview room under interrogation of a group of detectives (obviously all different detectives in each of the countries). Together across four countries, the series will mount up to twelve episodes each exploring a different criminal case and interviewing a range of suspects.

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Overall, across the series there are standout moments. The cinematography and camera shots are outstanding. Every episode is shot in a simple interview room with an adjoining observation room where other detectives are listening in on the process. We don’t venture out into the real world, but rather remain in the interview room hanging onto every word in hope to find truth. Creating a claustrophobic series trapped in one room with detectives and suspects. Every episode has had me hooked and stuck in silence and stillness. It truly is a phenomenal programme delving into minds of different suspects. The simplicity of small conversations between colleagues or ornaments around the room, even though sparse, tell such a powerful story in this programme which is so clever in its effortlessness – we learn a lot with little said.

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The episodes set in Spain, Germany and France are dubbed over in English. It takes a while to get used to the voice not matching lips moving – for me it was hard to watch to begin with. Regardless, the story lines and characters are still so interesting, it doesn’t take anything away from the series.

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In my opinion, it’s easy to say that the United Kingdom and Germany are the better series by far. Spain and France seem to lack the superb casting and intrigue of the interrogations, there seems to be an avoidance of the interrogations and a move towards the detectives, which comes irritating and unnecessary when the interviews of suspects are more of what the audience can be drawn into. The United Kingdom and Germany seemed to have mastered the balance between the two, also having the more interesting cases where the audience are absorbed into the claustrophobic interrogation room.


Click on each individual link to read the reviews of each series in more detail:

‘Criminal: United Kingdom’

‘Criminal: Spain’

‘Criminal: Germany’

‘Criminal: France’

5 thoughts on “Criminal (2019 – )

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