‘Hey boss, you remember that cop show we did last year, you know the one, The Interceptor, the thing about crime-busting customs officials?”
“Yes, it was rubbish, as I recall.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve got another great idea for a brand new cop show. It’s hip, it’s edgy, it’s about the problems young professionals face in finding a place to live in modern London.”
“There’s these two young guys, one’s an aspiring detective, the other’s an undercover investigator for the Serious Fraud Office. One’s from an Iranian family, one’s from Polish stock. They’re handsome, driven, stylish, and they can’t find a decent place to live because of the over-heated property market in the capital.”
“Brilliant. Let’s commission a series. Trebles all round!”
Yes, New Blood (BBC1, Thursdays, 9pm and available to stream on BBC iPlayer) ticks a lot of boxes for today’s ambitious drama commissioner.
The one box it doesn’t tick is the one that asks ‘is it any good?’
The basic plot is pretty hoary – large corporation is involved in unsavoury shenanigans, which led to mayhem and murder, in collusion with shadowy government figures, which our heroic investigators have to clean up, at great personal risk.
And so it relies on the central pairing. The dynamic duo – Rash (Ben Tavassoli) and Stefan (Mark Strepan) – are personable enough, but even after two episodes they have barely been together enough to create a decent relationship.
They each have housing issues – which you know will be solved when they decide to move in together – and there’s a a clumsily signposted source of dramatic tension as Stefan fancies Rash’s sisterLeila (Aiysha Hart).
It’s shot with the kind of glassy sheen so popular with London-centred dramas these days, and there are fairly effective chills too, but overall it doesn’t really hang together.
The BBC seems to be searching for the perfect new cop show. After The Interceptor and now this, I think they should stop.