Sunday, June 18, 2017

Loch Ness

Laura Fraser and Siobhan Finneran.
Premise:  A kids' prank goes wrong in the small Scottish town of Lochnafoy when the supposed remains of the Loch Ness Monster include a human brain. Things get worse when the dead body of a local music teacher is found at the foot of Carn Mohr Mountain--and it's missing a brain. DCI Lauren Quigley and forensic psychologist Blake Albrighton soon arrive from Glasgow to take over the investigation. Quigley quickly learns to rely on Detective Sergeant Annie Redford, whose knowledge of the town and its residents compensates for her inexperience with homicides. When another murder is discovered, Quigley (Siobhan Finneran) and Redford (Laura Fraser) begin to suspect it's the work of a serial killer. There are certainly plenty of viable suspects, to include: an ex-convict who served twenty years for two violent murders; a young man secretly sedated by his mother; and the arrogant head of the local college, who keeps videotaped interviews of his students. Will Quigley and Redford find the killer before he or she strikes again? And who is that corpse at the bottom of the loch?

Running Time:  45 minutes.

Status:  Six episodes aired in 2017. It can be streamed on Acorn TV.

Production Notes: Stephen Brady, who wrote Loch Ness, is no stranger to the mystery genre. He previously wrote episodes of Vera, Taggart, Silent Witness, and Fortitude. The cast also features TV mystery veterans Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley) and Laura Fraser (The Missing). The latter is probably best known for her work on the U.S. cable series Breaking Bad. Note that Loch Ness is also known under the title The Loch.

Our Review:  If you were a fan of Broadchurch, you'll love this brooding tale that works as an engrossing mystery as well as a portrait of a small town ravaged by violent deaths. The likable Redford and the cold Quigley counterbalance each other nicely, with Finneran and Fraser both delivering strong performances. However, Don Gilet almost steals the show with his portrayal of a police consultant/celebrity author still battling demons from his past. The intricate plotting will keep most viewers guessing about the killer's identify until the final episode (although one loose end is not tied up). The Scottish scenery, accentuated by dark gray skies, contributes mightily to the atmosphere.

Grade: A.

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