11 May 2015

TV Crime Log: Pines, Affair, Strange

Wayward PinesA while back we reviewed Blake Crouch’s Pines, his bonkers but moreish thriller/sci-fi mash-up. You will, of course, be mortified that you missed that marvellous review and will click here immediately. Do that now and then come right back.

Righto, welcome back. Anyway, someone – that Sixth Sense guy, I believe – has seen fit to bring his trilogy of books to the small screen as Wayward Pines.

Basically—what do you mean you didn’t click?—it’s about a Secret Service agent who finds himself trapped in a picturesque US town. There are electric fences and towering cliffs and homicidal nurses, and at one point the whole town—men, women and children—band together to hunt him down. Small towns can be like that sometimes.

Anyway, Matt Dillon’s in it—we like Dillon here and wish he was in more stuff—and Toby Jones and Melissa Leo and some other people you vaguely recognise from other shows. The first episode goes like the clappers and sticks pretty close to the source material, with its audacious central conspiracy.

And don’t worry about Wayward Pines turning into some vexatious Lost-style scenario when years later you’re still staring, eyes like dates forgotten in the sideboard, at the screen. Waiting for someone, anyone, to tell you what’s going on. Wayward Pines delivers answers in a few, short episodes.

Wayward Pines is on Fox at 9pm on Thursday.

The AffairWe’ve also very much been looking forward to The Affair, which you can see the day before that. Man and woman embark on affair. Some people sit in a police interview room and recount how something happened. That’s it, really. But it’s riveting stuff and unexpectedly picked up a Golden Globe. Dominic ‘Sparta’ West is in it, and the always wonderful Ruth ‘Alice’ Wilson.

That’s on Sky Atlantic Wednesday at 9pm.

Jonathan Strange And Mr. NorrellA few years back everyone was talking about Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell. So I read it, sticking Susannah Clarke’s big slab of a book in my bag and hefting it every day to work. Quite apart from the back pain, I remember having decidedly mixed feelings about it. As I remember there was some kind of sprite thing, with lovely hair, getting up to all sorts of nasty capers.

However, the trailers for the BBC1 adaptation have certainly been intriguing, and I’d watch Eddie ‘Donovan’ Marsan in anything. Anyway, it’s about two magicians who fall out quite badly during the Napoleonic Wars.

That’s Sunday night at Quality Drama O’Clock on BBC1.