sat 16/11/2019

Kidnap and Ransom, Series 2, ITV1 | reviews, news & interviews

Kidnap and Ransom, Series 2, ITV1

Kidnap and Ransom, Series 2, ITV1

Trevor Eve negotiates the releases of more hostages by mobile phone, this time in Kashmir

Cell out: Trevor Eve renegotiates his mobile phone contract in 'Kidnap and Ransom'

Can any drama work in which half the dialogue takes place by cellphone? Last night a new dose of Kidnap and Ransom gave this thorny question a thorough workout. Trevor Eve, bestubbled, gravelly and never very comedic, is back doing his Trevor Eve thing as Dominic King, a primetime hostage negotiator who never seems to have problems with his mobile battery. Clearly not an iPhone man.

In this instalment he had just wrapped up a deal releasing 10 hostages in a crowded Srinagar when at the nervous hand-over bullets flew, the chief kidnapper was shot dead. In the ensuing melee a young couple ran off with one of the kidnappees while Trevor Eve belied his years to give hearty chase, only for the fleeing party to board a holiday bus full of British character actors playing tourists. All this in about two minutes. In any such situation King does what hostage negotiators do: he hit the phones, and there he stayed for most of the rest of the hour. Among his communicants were his female assistant, his female colleague (Helen Baxendale, pictured below), the female kidnapper, two female kidnappees. Trevor Eve prefers hanging with the ladeez. He even found time in a tense negotiation to take a call from his female ex-wife (Natasha Little) to finalise the details of his divorce.

Meanwhile, in this nail-biting stand-off with the coach parked up and surrounded by snipers, everyone was watching everything unfold on TV.  This was a TV drama about being in a drama on TV. Even the kidnappers could see their own movements reported on their own handheld devices. (Their batteries are holding up too, as are any number of bladders.) “Oh no,” Baxendale would wonder out loud back in London as Trevor Eve pulled another stunt live on the global newsfeed, “what is he like?” Or words to that effect.

It shouldn’t really work but this fantastical hall of mirrors somehow does, thanks considerably to Eve. His infinite capacity for taking himself very seriously carries you along into a miasma of slight silliness. We even saw him winning at chess in the opening sequence, just to clear up any doubt that thinking six moves ahead is what he does for a living.

As with the first run of Kidnap and Ransom, this one’s going to be all about family. One of the men on the coach has terminal cancer, so his daughter (Sharon Small) has dropped everything, sold her jewels and bought a ticket to Kashmir. Meanwhile, we’ve just found out that one of the youngsters taken prisoner is none other than the daughter of the minister who doesn’t want HM Gov to get too involved. Quite what Baxendale and Little can do back in London other than sound supportive remains a mystery yet to be unveiled. Also, we will no doubt find out in due course why ep one was topped and tailed by an image of Trevor Eve in a Scottish loch unloading a body-shaped package out of a rowing boat. Even hostage negotiators, it seems, have skeletons in the cupboard.

Trevor Eve's infinite capacity for taking himself very seriously carries you along into a miasma of slight silliness

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I can't watch any Trevor Eve drama anymore without thinking of The Trip. "Kidnap and Ransom - Thursday at 9 on ITV1" etc etc

Good performance by Trevor Eve. However bad research for the programme itself- The 'local' characters of people going about their business, the kidnappers and the police officers - This must have been shot in Calcutta or Bangalore because people from the Kashmir valley are totally different in features and complexion. Valley Kashmiri natives are similar in looks and gait to Central Asian states rather than Bengalis or South Indians. Secondly in the first episode the American actor on the bus mentions to the young lady sitting next to him that Kashmir was Free and has Autonomy. These are two things that the Indian Occupied part of Kashmir (where Srinagar is) definitely does NOT have. 80,000 people have died many of them through unexplained disappearances and fake encounters since the beginning of the 1989 uprising. The state of with a total population of around 10 million (only 6 million in the Kashmir valley) is occupied by Indian Army forces totalling to around 800,000, that's approximately one soldier for every 12.5 people!! Where else in the world has this number of troops for so few people?.Poor villager women are gang raped by Indian soldiers, teenage boys routinely 'disappear', recently mass graves have been uncovered. The UN passed a resolution of self determination for the Kashmiri people back in 1948, in fact it's been on the UN agenda ever since then, yet nothing has been done to the solve the issue. The mess left after the departure of Lord Mountbatten during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 has yet to be solved. Neither sides of Kashmir have any oil or anything of any real value to the powers that be. Any body who has seen pictures of the countryside in Kashmir will agree it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Sorry to go a bit deep here but if you were to make a documentary or film about the reality of day to day life in the Kashmir valley it would be more useful, rather than showing some tourists being kidnapped which rarely happens in the context in which it has been shown in this programme. Good performances by the actors though!

Is the music from this series available?

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