Bloodlands review – James Nesbitt digs up the Troubles in tense thriller

Bloodlands review – James Nesbitt digs up the Troubles in tense thriller

The Guardian

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Produced by Line of Duty creator, Jed Mercurio, this four-parter is enjoyably dense with enough black humour to let it breathe

Daughter’s birthday party; kip on her sofa; off to work the next day; gun checked; then a call that a former senior member of the IRA turned local businessman has gone missing and his van is currently being dragged out of a nearby lough. Such is the life of weary police detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) in new four-part BBC One drama Bloodlands.

Originally written as a calling-card project by actor-turned-writer Chris Brandon, it was noticed by Jed Mercurio (creator of a string of critical and/or commercial hits including Line of Duty, Bodyguard, Bodies and – way back in the day – the scabrously, brutally brilliant Cardiac Arrest). He mentored Brandon and ensured that the story of a man dragged back into his past by the re-emergence of an assassin from the time of the Troubles made the rare journey from spec script to screen.

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