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Life of Crime

Fri May 17, 9-10pm, ITV

Episode two
This three-part drama has plenty going for it. The performances (from Hayley Atwell and Richard Coyle among others) are fine. And the scenario – cop plants evidence to secure a conviction, sees career skyrocket and then, years later, comes back to earth with a bump – is promising. But so far, the execution is too flawed for ‘Life of Crime’ to be considered anything other than an interesting failure.

This week, it’s 1997. A fact rammed home again and again via the music of Blur and Oasis and, in one particularly clunky moment, the death of Diana. Too many extraneous events are shoe-horned into the narrative: does the story really need the additional signposting represented by the revelation of a rape committed against DI Woods? Or her mother’s sudden illness?

It might still be worth tuning in next week to find out what can be rescued from this overheated scenario. But at the moment, this represents a cautionary tale for screenwriters. Have the courage of your convictions…