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Case Histories

Case Histories

Sun May 19, 8.30-10pm, BBC1

By Phil Harrison
Series two, episode one
Kate Atkinson’s downbeat gumshoe Jackson Brodie returns for another three stories – and even if ‘Case Histories’ isn’t breaking any new ground, it still has plenty going for it. For a start, Jason Isaacs is excellent in the lead: a crumpled mess of commitment-phobia, vaguely good intentions and despairingly self-effacing humour. The supporting cast are more than decent too – tonight Victoria Wood appears as a melancholy, childless, middle-aged woman, while there are also turns from Gary Lewis and Zawe Ashton.

For a genre piece, the story’s full of nice inventive touches – tonight a stray dog, which initially feels like a clunky metaphor for Brodie’s rootlessness, turns out to be something rather more significant. This tale of police corruption, abandonment and last chances is bleak but satisfying Sunday evening fare.

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