You didn’t expect that, did you? Dramas that wrong-foot the audience with a major plot twist can have us cursing the hours we’ve just spent watching it – those who binged Netflix’s Behind Your Eyes until the end will know what I mean – or act as a shot of adrenalin. Bloodlands (BBC One) is the latter.
In the second episode, decent detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt), grieving husband and devoted dad, suddenly adopted the demeanour of a cold, hard killer and gunned down Adam Corry. It was a smart move by the writer, ensuring that we tune in next week to see what all that was about. Because shortly before this excitement, I was thinking of cashing in my chips.
Bloodlands has all the makings of an intriguing whodunit – does anyone believe that Brannick’s wife is dead? – and everyone is a suspect save for Brannick’s straight-as-a-die DS (Charlene McKenna). But the pacing is awry. It can feel leaden, and then there’ll be a scene in which we’re suddenly fed a ton of information. These moments included Brannick clocking three separate details in Corry’s house which were to prove crucial to the plot 20 minutes later.