Scott and Bailey series 3

After much hype up on ITV (all those spooky trailers from the police cells) the first episode of the third series of Scott and Bailey finally hit our screens last night. Was it worth the wait? (Not to mention the breathless anticipation.)

Big changes
Andy’s gone and Janet is acting detective sergeant – a job she doesn’t want
Ade has moved back into the family home and found himself a girlfriend
Rachel’s mum appears to be a regular (if unwelcome) fixture in Rachel’s life
Rachel’s made an honest man of Sean and is already regretting it

All quite a lot to take in during the first ten minutes.

Unfortunately we were offered no explanation for Rachel’s gobsmacked expression at the end of the last episode of series 2. Presumably her mother had already got her ‘Charlies out’ for the lads by the time Rachel arrived.

The monster (crime) of the week
With echoes of a locked room mystery, a suspicious death has occurred just up the road from Janet’s house. A decapitated woman, a bedridden and almost dying man have been lying in the house for almost a week, the front door intact suggesting the victim knew her killer.

Some of the story is told in a series of flashbacks (including the obligatory scene in the ladies’ loos – Cagney and Lacey we salute you) and the gruesome detail of what happened to Janet’s neighbour is revealed in short bursts. Lose concentration for a moment and you might miss a crucial clue. This did make it feel a bit rushed in places, especially towards the resolution. But maybe it just felt that way because we’ve got used too used to the glacial pace of Broadchurch in recent weeks.

DC Kevin Lumb plays a blinder
Though he’s missed out on passing his sergeant’s exam and is told by Murray he might want to consider his furture in MIT, the hapless and hopeless detective constable actually manages to solve the crime. Who knew he had it in him?

And not forgetting that opening scene…
Back to the beginning. Gill Murray in a supermarket car park with a knife at her throat. How long will we have to wait to find out what that’s all about? And who is holding the knife? Helen Bartlett? Her evil dad escaped from custody?

A special mention for Nicola Walker
She never fails to disappoint. The woman can do comedy, tragedy and all points between. When will Sally Wainwright write Nicola her own series?

The verdict
I thoroughly enjoyed it. But then I’m a sucker for female buddy movies. Again a bit like Cagney and Lacey, Sally Wainwright’s police procedural is more about two women who happen to be detectives rather than two detectives who happen to be women. And that’s absolutely fine by me. I’m looking forward to episode two.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can catch it on ITV Player for the next four weeks.


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