TV Review: Drama Matters: Talking to the Dead, Sky Living
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Wednesday 16 October 2013
Detective Fiona Griffiths in Sky Living's Talking to the Dead began her first day in a new job by clumsily dropping all her casework folders at the feet of her CO. Apparently, she's old enough to be investigating murders, despite looking approximately 12.
You may recognise the actress as 25-year-old Sophie Rundle, who plays Ada Shelby in BBC1's Peaky Blinders. That's the more glamorous role, but it's her performance in this two-part crime drama that really reveals Rundle's charm. Philosophy graduate Griffiths has only recently joined the Cardiff murder squad, but she's already irritating colleagues with her keeno attitude and searching questions on the afterlife: "Do you ever think, 'If I listen hard enough, they'll talk to me'?"
Based on a novel by Harry Bingham, this adaptation clearly struggled to sort the story's myriad details into a properly paced 60 minutes, but once you gave up on following the murder plot, there was plenty else to enjoy: the hint of an attraction between Griffiths and Detective Brydon (played by Him & Her's Russell Tovey), the varying stabs at a Welsh accent and the exquisitely chic coat lapels of suspect Mrs Rattigan (remember Amita Dhiri from This Life?).
The four previous one-off dramas in Sky Living's Drama Matters series have varied from unsatisfying morsels to hearty dramatic meals. Like one of Kimberly's perfectly baked canapés Talking to the Dead offered just enough flavour to tantalise, while leaving us hungry for the next course. Luckily, this time, there is one. Talking to the Dead: Part 2 is broadcast on Thursday at 9pm.
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