mon 04/07/2022

The Interceptor, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

The Interceptor, BBC One

The Interceptor, BBC One

New crime caper introduces an all-action complicated cop hero

OT Fagbenle in 'The Interceptor': a likeable action hero

The Interceptor began as it didn’t mean to go on. A young boy of mixed race walked home through an estate and saw two men in a violent altercation. One, who was white, shot the other, who was black, presumably dead. “Dad!” called the boy. The murderer pointed the gun, realised he was aiming at his son, and scarpered.

Spool forward a couple of decades. The boy, now an adult, had moved out of a gritty tragedy and into a trigger-happy comedy. Ash (OT Fagbenle) was a customs cop on the hunt for small fry in tandem with his buddy Tommy (Robert Lonsdale). Their first chase across a crowded Waterloo forecourt was a taste of the caper to come: a short, fat, bald man lugging a briefcase full of drugs nearly gave them the slip. He led them to bigger fry, and things got slightly more calamitous with a firearm, a hostage situation, a car chase and a near-fatal crash. But as created by Tony Saint,The Interceptor is essentially in it for laughs.

There’s an honourable tradition for this, reaching back beyond The Sweeney and Starsky and Hutch all the way to The Professionals. Indeed the title, and the all-action title sequence, both nod courteously to this heritage. The difference is that that the shooters are more crudely in your face here, the villains genuinely nasty. Paul Kaye (pictured below) did another of his snaggle-toothed Dickensian turns as a psychotic gargoyle in dreadlocks, while Trevor Eve, turning up at the end of the episode, looked splendidly dapper as a big cheese with a centre parting and a curled lip.

With Tommy in hospital with a smashed leg, Ash was seconded to a secret customs audio surveillance unit run by his mumsy old boss Valerie (Lorraine Ashbourne). The task was to bring down a drug syndicate, but in this first episode Ash was preoccupied by retribution. So this looks like it’ll be a drama about a maverick with the right instincts and, back home, a nice understanding family. Maybe the oedipal stuff about his father will come up later.

If light on psychology, and with no hi-falutin' ambitions to reinvent the wheel, The Interceptor is good honest stuff, sleekly assembled, fast-paced with plenty of cerebral detection in between the high-octane thrills with loud engines. For the finale Kaye’s villain was chased around a motorcross rally. Ash’s two sidekicks have looks but no discernible personality, but Fagbenle has the makings of a hugely likeable action hero. Think of it as Luther lite.

If light on psychology, with no hi-falutin' ambitions to reinvent the wheel, it’s good honest stuff


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Yes totally agree with your review, its a shame, I thought the show started off brilliant, I loved the action scene at the beginning it was realistic and edgy with a great little twist with the shooter being his dad but unfortunately it didn't last long. Overall I didn't think it was bad but wish it had continued as it started. Come on BBC it's after 9pm let the adults have some good old fashioned gritty drama!

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