Monday, November 7, 2016

Chasing Shadows

Alex Kingston and Reece Shearsmith.
Premise:  Sean Stone (Reece Shearsmith) is a brilliant detective capable of recognizing complex patterns--such as how two seemingly unrelated crimes are connected. However, he also suffers from a social disorder that makes it difficult to interact with  people. When he embarrasses the homicide division during a news conference, the detective sergeant is exiled to a missing persons bureau where he is paired with Ruth Hattersley (Alex Kingston), a "civilian analyst." Like everyone else, Ruth has a hard time coping with Sean's unusual behavior (e.g., when they have an appointment to interview a witness, Sean will take off on his own, leaving Ruth stranded to find her own transportation). Still, Ruth recognizes Sean's keen intellect and even his occasional attempts at "normal" social conventions. On the home front, Ruth lives with her teenage son (who is fascinated by serial killers and wants to meet Sean) and her mother. Sean's closest "friend" is his housekeeper Adele, who cleans, shops, and cooks for him.

Running Time: Each case consists of two 45-minute episodes.

Status:  Only one season (four episodes) was broadcast in 2014; it's available on DVD in the U.S.

Production Notes:  The four Chasing Shadows episodes were written by Rob Williams, who also penned scripts for DCI Banks and Amazon TV series The Man in the High Castle (which he also produced). Alex Kingston is probably best known to U.S. audiences as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in the long-running medical series ER.

Our Review:  Buoyed by a flawlessly executed premise, Chasing Shadows deserved a second season--and more. Its premature demise deprived viewers of learning more about Sean's housekeeper (who was involved a season-ending cliffhanger) as well as a potential friendship between Sean and Ruth's son Bryan. The two leads, Reece Shearsmith and Alex Kingston, make an irresistible odd couple and Rob Williams' well-paced mysteries grab--and hold--one's attention.

Grade: A.

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