BBC One (UK)
July 11th – August 1st, 2017
In the Dark is a miniseries that focuses on the life of Detective Inspector Helen Weeks (MyAnna Buring). Based on the crime novel by Mark Billingham, the plot is split into two parts, with each arc spanning half the season.
In the first part, a pregnant Helen decides to return to her hometown and becomes involved in a case where two teenage girls have gone missing, presumed murdered. She chooses to take on the case because of her relationship with the suspected kidnapper.
The latter part of the season also involves a murder, but this time the victim is someone she knows. Something I liked about In the Dark is that the plot has its twists and turns, and when the murderers’ identities were revealed I was quite surprised, not having figured it out straight away.
What I like most about In the Dark is that it isn’t like most other episodic crime dramas, which usually focus heavily on the protagonists uncovering evidence, piecing it all together and catching the episode’s bad guy. Then they do it all over again the next episode.
In the Dark contains some elements of these other shows, but it’s serialised and focuses more on Helen’s complicated personal life. Her troubled past is quickly revealed as well. This is unlike other shows where the characters’ bareboned backstories are slowly revealed over the course of several seasons.
I found our protagonist Helen Weeks to be realistic and easy to relate to. I assume most people felt their teenage years were difficult, and that this has affected them as adults. Also, haven’t we all made poor life decisions that we regret? Or made foolish choices that made our lives more complicated than necessary? Because Helen Weeks definitely has, and it’s much more interesting following someone that’s broken than an all-star hero cop.