CORRIDOR OF MYSTERY
VOL. 5, No. 49
DONNA J. PLESH
TWO CRACKERJACK BRITISH
MURDER IN SUBURBIA
Caroline Katz, left, and Lisa Faulkner
WAKING THE DEAD
Sue Johnston as the team psychologist
"Murder in Suburbia" premieres Monday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on BBC America. The season premiere of "Waking the Dead" follows at 9 p.m.
BBC America presents two
tough, modern crime shows
By DONNA J. PLESH
There are always those people who are trailblazers. Superintendent Jane Tennison of "Prime Suspect" was one. She was smart, she was tough, and she was a woman. And she was a woman at a time when there were few--if any--women in positions of authority at England's Metropolitan Police HQ. The top cop jobs always went to someone in the old boys network.
Tennison changed all that and, in many ways, likely made things easier on the force for the likes of Detective Inspector Kate Ashurst (Caroline Katz) and Detective Sergeant Emma Scribbins (Lisa Faulkner), the two crime-fighting women cops in the new BBC America series "Murder in Suburbia."
"Ash" and "Scribbs" are young, smart, and accepted by their male peers. Their beat is solving crimes in the suburbs--the largely well-to-do suburbs of large homes, large lawns, and wide streets--a place a million miles away from Tennisons gritty London.
In the first of six one-hour dramas, Ash and Scribbs are called in to investigate when a wealthy young woman is found murdered in her home. Suspects abound, including her fiance--and the owners of a singles club frequented by the victim.
Unlike the more quietly intense Tennison, Ash and Scribbs interject a bit of wry humor into the show--most of it centered around their inability to meet any good men to date --and their curiosity about their attractive boss love life.
But the humor doesnt detract from their ability to hunt down the womans killer and close the case.
"Murder in Suburbia" is a crackerjack drama and a fine companion to a new season of "Waking the Dead," which follows it on Monday nights.
If you are a fan of CBS "Cold Case," youll love "Waking the Dead." This fine British drama focuses on a diverse group of crime fighters: a police inspector, a psychologist, a forensics specialists, and two detectives.
The first of six new episodes has the team investigating a series of murders that occur over different decades but all have the same key element: the victims skulls were nailed to the floor. This is gritty stuff--and many scenes are not for the faint of heart
--but it is great to watch as the team peels back layer after layer of clues leading to a crackerjack ending. Dont miss it.
Speaking of great television, the Emmy-winning "The Amazing Race" returns Nov. 16 (9-11 p.m., a two-hour premiere) for a sixth series of chills and thrills. As usual, 11 teams race around the world--overcoming a series of often heart-stopping challenges-- in a quest to win $1 million. This is the BEST reality program on TV. Period.
©2004 by Donna J. Plesh. The photos are courtesy of BBC America.
TELEVISION CRITIC DONNA J. PLESH is the former TV writer for the Orange County Register in California.
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