Prey, ITV, review: A gripping story retold with deft casting


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The Independent Online

ITV's new three-part thriller Prey didn't over-burden itself with atmosphere, plunging directly into an upside-down image of John Simm – his character, an injured suspect in transit, was in an upturned police van, from which he managed to escape. That this suspect was a policeman was the first surprise among many in a gripping story from first-time writer Chris Lunt.

The setting is Manchester, and while the story of a fugitive murder suspect trying to prove his innocence while evading arrest is at least as old as, well, The Fugitive (not to mention The 39 Steps), what really set Prey apart was some deft casting decisions. John Simm's charms are well known, but he was well supported by Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty), who is fast becoming the go-to guy for the sort lugubrious best mate you wouldn't necessarily trust with your wife or girlfriend, while Rosie Cavaliero was terrific as the dogged policewoman in charge in the manhunt while obsessively comfort-eating and stalking her ex-boyfriend.

Prey may not have Hinterland's arresting landscapes, but it made up for it with some inventively shaded characterisation.