MURDERLAND. ITV, UK; 3-episode miniseries: 19 October, 26 October, 2 November 2009. Robbie Coltrane, Amanda Hale, Bel Powley, Sharon Small, Lorraine Ashbourne, Nicholas Gleaves, Lucy Cohu, Yasmin Paige. Screenplay: David Pirie. Director: Catherine Morshead.

MURDERLAND Robbie Coltrane

   This was a single story, written by David Pirie and told over three one-hour parts (less adverts).

   In the first we see a young woman, on the brink of marriage, who goes to retired detective Hain (played by Robbie Coltrane), the man who investigated her mother’s murder 15 years before.

   We see the murder and the investigation through her young eyes as she discovers her mother was a prostitute working at a shabby massage parlour.

   In the second part we see the investigation through the eyes of Hain and we realise much more of what has gone on before; in the third episode we see the story brought up to date as new witnesses are discovered and the killer finally brought to justice.

   This was a very watchable piece of television which certainly engaged my interest and the time went very quickly. However like many programmes nowadays, I wasn’t entirely convinced at the end that it all made sense — for example it seemed a little odd that the workings of the massage parlour were unchanged after 15 years.

   Still it was a commendable effort and I enjoyed watching it.