Thursday 4 August 2011

Cop Show Clichés III

But I told all this to the other policeman!

[Quirke] is known only by his surname (Dexter’s Morse), is an alcoholic chainsmoker (Rankin’s Rebus), loves poetry (PD James’s Dalgleish), has a difficult relationship with a daughter (Mankell’s Wallander) and has difficulty in sustaining relationships (everyone’s everyone). Even the fact that, although a pathologist, his involvement in cases goes well beyond the dissection of the body nods to the convention of the forensic investigator popularized by Silent Witness and Waking the Dead on television and Patricia Cornwell in print. (Mark Lawson, Guardian July 9 2011)

The cops in Spiral shout a lot, but they shout at other people. In Brit crime dramas they’re positioned front and centre and shout stagily at the camera. Then there's DI Mark Wenborn (Charlie Creed-Miles) who's unreconstructed and chippy with a nasty mean streak. Well, he's a copper, what do you expect? (If I have one criticism of the characters it's that they verge on the expected.) (Sam Wollaston on Injustice, Guardian June 7, 2011)

Best known as a sort of good-natured Everyman (Ballykissangel and Wild at Heart, that weird Africa travelogue where he went ballooning), Tompkinson plays a grey-faced, disillusioned, middle-aged cop, estranged from his wife and children, whose idea of a fun night in is a glass of whiskey with some jazz riffing in the background. Of course there’s a policewoman whom he instantly hates – and even though he has the personality of a depressed marmoset and she’s gorgeous and much younger, they end up back in his cosy cottage smooching on his sofa. Stop me if I’ve missed any cliches or if Wallander and all those who have gone before want to sue for personation. (The Irish Times on Stephen Tomkinson, Oct 9, 2010)

Use of tech in Castle: “Look up X.” tap, tap, tap “In 1974 he was working at Y company in Q state ect ect”. “I found an illegal video showing how to break into a car using a blood pressure cuff – tick tack tock – oh, there it is.”

It's like crook plays using (new! scientific!) radio in the 30s. Click! “Police are combing the Scottish moors for the Portland Place Murderer. And now back to Jack Hylton and his Band…” Click!

More here and here.

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