BBC1 Sundays @ 9pm
What can i say other than i think this is absolutely brilliant really.
Mainly due to the spell-binding performance of David Threfall as the swiftly moving and deeply thoughtful Detective Inspector Len Harper on his last day at work before retiring.
UK and other viewers familiar with the British Series Shameless will know David Threfall as Frank Gallagher, the head of the family of Gallaghers on the Manchester council estate.
Here, David Threfall gives an incandescent performance as the quietly grizzled and pointy chinned veteran Detective.
Like Columbo, you don’t notice the Detective’s clothes or anything he does to reach his conclusions since it is all shown on his elfin oval head and face and his ever contemplating eyes. Detective Inspector Len harper cogitates. He questions. He gives nothing away. (He still uses a notebook-analog!)
David Threfall’s performance was a joy to watch on screen really i felt and on top of his dazzling stint as the be-grizzled and faux moaning veteran Detective we have some sizzling other actors in the ensemble.
Briefly, The Veteran Detective’s colleagues are fooling him into thinking they had forgotten his last day. Then a surprise party in the post war industrial Police Station. That could equally have been in Scandinavia. Cockney banter and cruel humour ensues. A nice change to hear in a Police procedural drama.
What Remains is essentially a locked box mystery or locked house. A proper old fashioned murder mystery in the style say of Agatha Christie.
Only so many suspects. Who all have questionable back stories and are therefore all suspicious.
Only one house. Or apartment block. Four flats of the neighbours and number 5 was (the victim) Melissa’s flat.
We see each encounter with the neighbours and Melissa intermittently portrayed in flashbacks before us. yet we still don’t know how Melissa died.
I will remain glued even though I am finding the shots of the house, with its airy empty hall and landing and giant curved Victorian banisters to be creepy in the extreme.
As i find the basement flat, inhabited by a mysterious teacher with a secret to be proper horror movie stuff.
One reviewer mentioned the Rosemary’s Baby feel to What Remains. I am not going as far as that as i don’t think its a supernatural story. Yet there is a pregnant lady, Vidya, as the questioning heroine. Actually in true Hitchcockian style like James Stewart in Rear Window.
Every time Vidya decides to go for a walk along the landing at night with her great big belly you worry for her safety.
Thankfully nothing happens. Vidya is the classic brave heroine who is true of heart and must face or vanquish evil. Yet is protected to some measure by their good heart. As against an evil one. summat like that.
Now Russel Tovey is Michael, Vidya’s husband. Luther’s best mate Ian is a twitchy Journalist called Kieron with a secret (from his son) live-in Journalist girlfriend, Patricia. Luther’s wife is in it as Elaine, part of a lesbian couple with Peggy.
The Journalist’s son, Adam, is proper creepy and is trying to chat up his Dad’s girlfriend and semi-stalking her. Now the Journalist has to go away on a trip. leaving his girlfriend alone with his creepy son. Uh oh..
Meanwhile Vidya has set up a Facebook page for the dead girl and sits staring at her laptop late into the night. Then a friend request appears on the screen.
& Detective Inspector Len Harper, contrary to what Patricia the female journalist has said to Vidya, really is interested in the case. & He will not let it lie.