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Above Suspicion: Set 3

Release Year:         2011
Studio:         Acorn Media
Format:         Colour; NTSC; Widescreen
Rated:         Not Rated
Running Time:         140 minutes plus bonus
DVD Release Date:         February 25, 2014
Creator:         Lynda La Plante
Screenwriter:         Lynda La Plante
Director:         Catherine Morshead
Actors:         Kelly Reilly, Ciaran Hinds, Shaun Dingwall, Celyn Jones
DVD Features:         SDH Subtitles
E:Top Picks Rating:         8.5/10

Acorn Media Write-up:
When the brutal murder of a famous young actress brings DI Anna Travis (Kelly Reilly Flight, Sherlock Holmes) face-to-face with her old boss, DCS James Langton (Ciaran Hinds, Game of Thrones, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) the two must find a killer and deal with their own relationship. She’s determined to get ahead, he’s angry about being passed over for promotion. Meanwhile, there are too many suspects for the murder, and Langton becomes obsessed with finding the person on his team who betrayed him.

Based on the bestselling novel Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante, this three-part drama delves into the shallow world of stardom and the harsh realities of deception. With the smoldering chemistry between Travis and Langton, the conclusion to this hit British series is “easily one of the best detective shows on the box” (Wales on Sunday, U.K.)

BONUS Meet the cast (24 min.), interviews with Lynda La Plante and crew (13 min.), and a photo gallery

Jon Ted Wynne Review:
ABOVE SUSPICION is another excellent police series by the always wonderful Lynda La Plante. For some reason, however, the program was discontinued before it really hit its stride.

Set 3 of this show, as released in North America by Acorn Media, is actually series 4 if one is to go by the U.K. release. Either way, it is truly a shame that it ends here. Especially when two further books have been written in the series without having been adapted for television. There is simply no way to understand the powers that be who decide what program continues and which is cancelled.

Comparing the three part Silent Scream episodes of ABOVE SUSPICION to the previous episodes one may detect a slightly less intensity than the earlier programs. Nonetheless, the chemistry between the cast is there, particularly with Kelly Reilly and Ciaran Hinds. Apparently in the books they get together, while in the TV adaptation they don’t quite make it, though perhaps if the show hadn’t been cancelled there would have been greater viewer satisfaction in this regard. We’ll never know.

Despite the frustration of this lost opportunity, set 3 of ABOVE SUSPICION is a good, entertaining and involving 3-part yarn about the murder of a young movie star and is filled with brilliant performances, not only from the regular cast, but from some relative newcomers playing assorted druggies and suspects. It’s quite something to see the young actress Bryony Hannah playing a dope addict, when she can also be seen as a somewhat mousey nun on the excellent British program Call the Midwife, a testament to the range of British character actors that, collectively, is unequalled anywhere else.

Ciaran Hinds is a powerful presence on screen and his animal edge is beautifully tempered by the sweetness Kelly Reilly projects (even while being believable as an ambitious young detective). This central relationship is perhaps more interesting than the crime itself, at least in these episodes. Perhaps that, and the fact they don’t quite get together, is what caused ITV to pull the plug on the show.

ABOVE SUSPICION deserved better. Fortunately, somehow, one thinks, Lynda La Plante will be back, and better than ever.