This August bank holiday we're being treated to another example of talents, as the first two of three instalments of the BBC adaptation of Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)'s crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling air on BBC One.
The first episode opens with a beautiful, emotionally fraught model, Lula Landry, who falls off a balcony to her death under mysterious circumstances.
Landry's adopted brother, John Bristol (Leo Bill) contacts a private detective and an old family friend: the nearly bankrupt, gruff and permanently-stubbled Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke), a damaged ex-soldier who lost his leg fighting in Afghanistan. Despite being down on his luck and wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike and his 'gorgeous' temporary assistant Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) prove crucial to establishing that Lula Landry was, in fact, murdered.
There is much to enjoy in the three opening instalments of the series, which will be followed by a two part adaptation of the second Cormoran Strike novel The Silkworm, at a later date.
The show boasts tight and detailed plot, with unexpected twists and turns, three-dimensional characters that are at once likeable, flawed, and real, and have been brilliantly translated to the screen by Rowling herself, Michael Keillor and Kieron Hawkes. Rowling's ability to masterfully make stories for the screen is hardly a surprise given how well-received her Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger have excellent on-screen chemistry, and conjure up the underlying will-they-won't-they storyline found in the book whilst they go on thinking of clever things that peel away at the mystery and continue working together.
Millennial watchers will be tickled by the final scene of episode three – in which Strike reveals who, how and why Lulu Landry was murdered – as it offers the same neat conclusions that Potter-lovers are used to receiving from Dumbledore at the end of Harry Potter's school year. Perfection.
Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling air date: Sunday 27th August at 9.00pm on BBC One, with the second episode airing the day after on Monday 28th August.
The Silkworm, the first sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling, will then air in two parts on September 10 and 17.
|Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling, BBC One review
|BBC1 | MAP
27 Aug 17 – 31 Oct 17, Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling airs on 27 August 9pm