sat 21/04/2018

Jack Taylor, C5 | reviews, news & interviews

Jack Taylor, C5

Jack Taylor, C5

Iain Glen's Irish gumshoe returns

Iain Glen as Jack Taylor, who pounds the streets of Galway City in his old Garda blue greatcoat

For those new to this Irish crime series, a brief catch-up. Jack Taylor (played by Iain Glen at his world-weary best) is a hard-drinking maverick loner ex-cop who left the Garda Siochána (Ireland's police force) after hitting a politician to investigate cases as private detective. He says there aren't many of his kind in Ireland, as the job is “too close to being an informant – a dodgy concept”. He chases criminals in Galway City, pounding the streets in his old Garda blue greatcoat, and is ably abetted by Kate Noonan, an ex-colleague who passes on information from Garda databases (and who serves as his sort of love interest, too). His sidekick in the first two series, Cody, made a brief appearance last night, but only to tell Jack he had been allocated his US green card and was off to Boston in the morning. Well, not quite the morning, but this 90 minutes was so full of clichés it may as well have been...

And so to last night's story, Cross (the first of three feature-length films), which concerned the crucifixion of John, an ordinary young man who met an extraordinary end. Kate (Siobhán O'Kelly) wasn't allowed to investigate because murder cases have to go to the big boys in Dublin, but she enlisted Jack's help anyway. Jack, who has a nose for these things, knew the answer would lie in John's family, and so it proved. A convoluted tale involved a faked confession about a road death two years before, a missing older brother and an ex-girlfriend with a secret. Oh and add into the mix the crash victim's family's desire for revenge and her daughter, Gail (Elva Trill), being driven to a serious delusional illness by it.

New to the show, and providing a neat counterpoint to Jack's brooding and growly demeanour, is Darragh (Jack Monaghan), Kate's bright and engaging nephew over from Manchester; he's starting afresh after a spell in jail followed by studying criminal psychology – what better CV could you have to be a gumshoe's sidekick? And so it proved, as Darragh used his considerable charms to work on chief suspect Gail, who was a very troubled young woman indeed. Clearly, he's not studying ethics.

The crime was solved (after two more deaths), but by intuition and asking searching questions rather than by looking for evidence, and the confessions came all too easily. Even so, it took a very long time to tell this tale, written by Marteinn Thorisson and directed by Stuart Orme; this was a pint of Guinness being poured, not a fizzy lager.

The series (adapted from Ken Bruen's novels) aims for an American film noir style but rather serves as a travelogue for the lovely Galway City, if you discount the inordinate amount of crime that supposedly happens there (which you can easily, as the stories are so far-fetched). But Glen brings some heft – even if he still hasn't nailed the accent – and O'Kelly, new to the role as Kate in this series, is a good match. Monaghan, as Darragh, is a nice addition.

Jack, who has a nose for these things, knew the answer would lie in John's family


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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