Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sherlock, Luther and Top Boy



• American readers of this site may be cheered by the news that Luther series 2 has just been released on DVD in the US. It's already out in the UK, but here's a gratuitous reminder of the rather chilling series, for which Idris Elba was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe, but did win the CWA Crime Thriller TV Dagger in October.

• I have to admit my prejudice got the better of me. These days a new cracking drama on C4 is about as likely as George Papandreou being on Nicolas Sarkozy's Christmas card list. So the channel's Top Boy four-parter completely slipped by me. That'll teach me to assume C4 was all documentaries with titles such as My Daughter's Got an Anus on Her Head. It concludes tomorrow (Thursday) at 10pm, but if you've missed the first three you can catch them online on 4 on demand. Top Boy is a gem of a drama, delving into the gang culture on an East London estate. Thirteen-year-old Ra'Nell is plunged into the adult world, particularly that of the gangs, when his mother has a breakdown and is hospitalised. Heather, his mother's friend, then involves him in her plan to give her unborn baby the chances she missed, which, needless to say, is a bit on the risky side. At times tender, at other times brutal, Top Boy is written by Ronan Bennet, whose Hidden concluded so disappointingly on BBC1 last week after a promising build-up. Here's hoping that Top Boy follows through on the huge promise of its opening episodes. C4 have even put together an interesting website for the drama.

• The BFI has a fantastic treat next month – previews, with the casts, of the Beeb's new series of Sherlock and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Sherlock – A Scandal in Belgravia with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is on Tuesday 6th, 6.15pm, and Drood, with Matthew Rhys, is on Wednesday 7th at 6.20pm.