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12 January 2021 04:34

Baftas 2019 The Big Painting Challenge Mariella Frostrup

pembrokeshire murders itv

The Pembrokeshire Murders, ITV, review: Far too reserved for such a horrifying story Though Keith Evans had little screen time as serial killer John Cooper, he was the standout in this true crime drama Watching a new drama from the makers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, you might expect double-crossing, shocking twists and confusing acronyms. The true story of a 2006 Welsh police investigation into two brutal unsolved double murders, The Pembrokeshire Murders had the acronyms but fell a bit flat elsewhere. The first episode saw DCI Steve Wilkins (Luke Evans – The Hobbit, Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast) connecting cold cases and pegging local wrong-un John Cooper, played by Keith Allen, as a serial killer. i's TV newsletter: what you should watch next Email address is invalid Email address is invalid Thank you for subscribing! Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.

The Pembrokeshire Murders, ITV, review: Far too reserved for such a horrifying story

Conveniently, Cooper was already behind bars for burglary but, less conveniently, he was up for parole. Essentially, everyone was fairly sure whodunnit; this was a case of proving it before he did it again, armed with advanced DNA forensic science. The Pembrokeshire Murders (Photo: World Productions/ITV) The titillating thrill that comes with fictional crime dramas is naturally muted when it's a true story being told. The audience must still be invested, though, and here, not enough time was spent setting up elements of the central mystery – in particular why the original investigations had been thwarted – nor on fleshing out who the victims were. A hesitancy to linger over gory details is to be applauded, but this opening episode trod almost too carefully, flitting between the cases and diluting the horror of each. For a drama that was supposed to be a race against time, it spent too long on Wilkins' personal life. Evans came across as a decent police officer, yet he didn't seem up for a proper detective brood. Allen had little screen time, but was the standout: his Cooper was a thoroughly nasty piece of work. The Pembrokeshire Murders is billed as an "extraordinary" true story (and there is a bizarre twist coming up in part two), but so far, it's all a bit humdrum.

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