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In the noble tradition of TV detectives, Ryan Hardy is a bad-tempered drunk. He’s also on the sick – physically and mentally damaged by his last case which involved tracking down Edgar Allen Poe-obsessed serial killer Joe Carroll. Carroll’s a cunning sort though, one of those bewilderingly ingenious perps who could probably fashion a laptop with superfast broadband out of a prison issue bedsheet while in solitary confinement. Accordingly, he’s not only escaped from nick but inspired a legion of followers who unquestioningly do his warped bidding. ‘The Following’ is a self-consciously dark affair which will, on the evidence of this opening episode, take itself incredibly seriously without quite having the psychological depth and nuance to back it up. All the same, it’s full of tension, shocks and regular bursts of inventive violence, and Kevin Bacon (Hardy) and James Purefoy (Carroll) are promising lead adversaries.