What does a good police procedural need to make compelling television? Does it require detectives prowling city streets for clues and interviewing witnesses of questionable motives? Do audiences need to see the crime and its aftermath? Are tense courtroom exchanges and shocking testimony absolute necessities? Or can you distill the intrigue of an entire case all down to one exchange between police and the prime witness? That’s what Netflix is going to attempt with their new series Criminal, where entire stories will take place in the interrogation room.
The streaming site released the first trailer, starring David Tennant and Hayley Atwell for its upcoming, experimental series where everything happens inside a police interrogation suite. Each of the 12, 45-minute episodes will feature their own original stories, with three each set in France, Spain, Germany, and the U.K, all told in their native languages by local filmmakers. It’s about as bare-bones a police show as you can imagine, but if the show is anywhere as intense as this first look at it, less will mean more.
Anyone else getting major In Treatment vibes? If this is anywhere near as good as the HBO series, it’s going to be fantastic. If nothing else it should offer some incredible acting performances..
Netflix first announced the series last November, describing it as a “unique premise” where a “stripped down, cat-and-mouse drama will focus on the intense mental conflict between the police officer and the suspect in question.” George Kay (Killing Eve, The Hour) and Jim Field Smith (Endeavour, The Wrong Mans) serve as showrunners, and the pair also wrote the UK episodes. And while all 12 episodes were filmed at Netflix’s Ciudad de la Tele production center in Madrid, each country’s episodes were written and made my native filmmakers.
France: Frederic Mermoud – writer, director (Spiral, The Returned), Antonin Martin-Hilbert – writer (Nina, Black Spot), and Mathieu Missoffe -writer (Black Spot, Profilage)
Germany: Oliver Hirschbiegel -director (Four Blocks, Downfall), Bernd Lange – writer (Das Verschwinden), and Sebastian Heeg – co-writer (Blaumacher)
Spain: Mariano Barroso – director (El día de mañana, Todas las mujeres, Éxtasis), Alejandro Hernández – writer (El autor, El día de mañana), and Manuel Martín Cuenca – writer (El autor, Caníbal).
So the question isn’t just if a police procedural can work with nothing more than an interrogation, but if it can work all around the globe.
Criminal comes to Netflix this fall.
Featured Image: Netflix