CRIMINAL RECORD (2023)
Aired On: Apple TV+.
Release Date: 01/10/24.
Crime. Drama. Thriller.
"Follows two brilliant detectives in a tug of war over a historic murder conviction, dealing with issues of race, institutional failure, and the quest to find common ground in a polarized Britain."
Criminal Record, Apple TV+’s new crime drama, draws immediate intrigue and reveals its plot within the first 10 minutes of the episode. I am a fan of this technique because it means the story is going to get right to it without relying on any fluff to get us there. An anonymous woman calls 911 from a phone booth, desperate for the police and unwilling to provide her name. She sounds terrified when she tells dispatch she feels like her life is at risk due to her violent boyfriend. Then the reveal: her boyfriend is the real killer of a murder that happened 10 years ago, and the wrong person is in prison. The caller even goes as far as claiming her boyfriend stabbed her with the same knife he used for the murder.
A woman detective, June Lenker (Cush Jumbo) pursues the lead on this call, finding the seasoned detective, Daniel Hegarty (Peter Capaldi), who originally had the case back in 2012. He begins to hear her out when she tells him about the caller, her ability to recall the case and its details, although he quickly becomes dismissive and disciplinary. This won’t stop June and there is something sketchy about Hegarty that we only get glimpses into for now.
The victim of the murder, Adalaide Burrows, was at home with her 6 year old son, Patrick at time of her attack. Patrick (Rasaq Kukoyi) is introduced now as a teenager, with a dead mother and father in jail for confessing to the murder. It’s unclear how he will play into this plot but we are given flashbacks to his life at that time, plus an attempt of contact from his father in jail.
The premiere episode ends with a huge shock and then a traditional to the genre cliffhanger that will definitely leave you looking for an auto play button to the next episode.
This first episode gives me the impression of a crime mini series that has been done many times but nonetheless will this deter its success. It was fast paced, suspenseful, and it wasted no time diving into the drama of the plot which is exactly what many fans of this genre are looking for.