Grace evaluation: John Simm drama proves nail-biting watch

If you’re preparing a shameful stag-night for later in the year, you may want to look away now.

Suffice to state that ITV’s brand-new crime drama Grace might well leave future grooms traumatised. Episode one, based on the very first of Peter James’ successful Roy Grace books, goes far beyond the normal scaries of beer chugs and falling face-down on Wetherspoons carpets.

It would be a spoiler to say precisely how and in what manner viewers will be traumatised, however those who’ve read the books will know precisely which scenes I imply. No doubt they also felt obliged to stick their go out the window for a long gasp of fresh air, as I did after viewing the episode.

The new drama series, like the books, follows Brighton-based authorities investigator DS Roy Grace, a methodical man whose other half went missing some years back and stays unfound, in spite of his best efforts.

I’ve not read the Roy Grace book series, so it would be tough to discuss how well John Simm may determine up to the detective hero of readers’ imaginings (an near-impossible feat anyhow, for any actor playing a precious imaginary character).

Simm is probably best known for his deal with Life on Mars, the surreal ‘odd couple’ police procedural in which he played Sam Tyler, a modern-day, by-the-book officer who partner with Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), a 1970s copper with unorthodox (and primarily violent) methods. In Grace, nevertheless, it’s Simm who takes on the role of the unconventional detective– although instead of punches and kicks, he goes with spookier routes to the fact.

He’s a complex character by any means, but when you haven’t check out the books and you’re satisfying him for the first time, it can be tough to get a manage on him. There were aspects of his character and his professional drive that felt baffled or brushed over during this very first episode.

When he first appears on-screen, he remains in court defending a controversial choice to employ a medium (the Ouija board, spirit guide kind) to discover a missing individual. He won’t pull back and the papers get hold of the story, harming the police’s track record. However, we’re not provided a genuine reason he’s so unapologetic about his odd techniques up until much later, and by then it doesn’t seem like enough. Nor did I fully understand the nature of his relationship with among the suspects, something that I think of would have been more clear in the books.

The show’s reasonable, ‘Sam Tyler’ function is filled by DS Glenn Branson (Richie Campbell), a happily wed dad and Grace’s previous protégée. When Grace is designated desk duty following the public fall-out of the court incident, charming Branson manages to rope his old boss into a consulting role on a fast-moving, missing out on individual case.


John Simm as DS Roy Grace and Alisha Bailey as Ashley in Grace(ITV )ITV A local residential or commercial property designer and groom-to-be, Michael, has vanished on the night of his rowdy stag party. The rest of his groomsmen (bar the very best guy) were all associated with a deadly car accident, however our groom seems to have actually vanished into thin air, leaving his distraught and mysterious fiancée, Ashley. Both Grace and Branson take a shine to her, and Grace in particular– he sees her continuously.

Any character advancement concerns aside, the episode shows a nail-biting watch. Michael is an abundant man, and there’s the idea that he could have just taken off– but the audience quickly finds out that something much more sinister is at play, and the clock is ticking …

Grace will premiere on ITV on Sunday 14th March at 8pm. If you wish to start checking out Peter James’ Roy Grace series, you can purchase the very first instalment Dead Simple and the 2nd unique Looking Good Dead on Amazon. You can browse the whole series here.

Have a look at the rest of ourDramacoverage, or check out what else is on with ourTELEVISION guide.


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