Aquarius, Sky Atlantic - TV review: From sci-fi-horror to the Manson murders, Duchovny has still got the X factor

If you liked those ‘Mad Men’ episodes where Don heads  west, you’ll love this

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The Independent Culture

While fans of The X Files patiently await Agent Mulder’s return, there’s another chance to be comforted by the badge-flashing presence of David Duchovny. In Sky Atlantic’s new period crime drama, Aquarius, he stars as Sam Hodiak, a detective in late-Sixties Los Angeles, whose latest case involves a certain unkempt fellow by the name of Charles Manson (Game of Thrones’ Gethin Anthony).

It’s the hippies’ heyday, see, and this show had a lot of fun with the fashion and design of the period. If you liked those Mad Men episodes where Don heads west, you’ll love this. It isn’t a straight retelling of the investigation of the Manson Family crimes, but instead uses a few real historical characters as the springboard for a new story involving a missing 16-year-old girl (Emma Dumont) and lots of soundtrack music by The Byrds, The Who and Jefferson Airplane.

Not only do parents no longer understand their wayward kids, but the older generation of buzz-cut cops struggle to connect with their younger, hairier colleagues. Although worldly-wise Sam might be a partial exception. As he revealed to his new love-beads-sporting partner, Shafe (Grey Damon), his old man the jazz drummer used to smoke pot it every day: “What? Am I blowing your mind or something? You kids, you think you invented everything!”

Likewise, Aquarius can’t claim to be breaking any new ground, but for crime-drama enthusiasts on the look out for something new, it makes for an interesting enough riff on that old favourite formula.

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