A new season of Criminal U.K. was released on Netflix on September 16, with an episode starring Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington. The series that showcases the police procedural is back. The series has already jumped to second place on Netflix’s Top 10 shows in the U.K., the day after its release.
The four new episodes of this second season each follow four different cases with four new suspects the detectives must interrogate. If you haven’t seen the first season, the concept of the series is that the drama unfolds entirely in the police interrogation room, and its adjacent corridors.
Created by George Kay and Jim Field Smith, the first season of the series was released in 2019, consisting of a total of 12 episodes, three episodes each set in four different countries: France, Spain, Germany, and the U.K. The second season only has four episodes, all only taking place in the U.K. this time. David Tennant, Hayley Atwell, and Youssef Kerkour played the roles of the accused in the first season. In this new season, it is Sophie Okonedo, Kit Harrington, Sharon Horgan, and The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar who guest star as the suspects. Katherine Kelly, Lee Ingleby, Rochenda Sandall and Shubham Saraf play the police detectives.
As the story of each episode pretty much stands alone, you can pick and choose which episode to start with, as there is no need to watch them in order.
In the first episode, Julia Bryce, played by Sophie Okonedo, is called in to the police station on a Sunday for a routine interview. She is the wife of a convicted killer, who is suspected of being connected to the disappearance of a young man. The detectives soon find themselves entangled into something they did not expect.
In the second episode, it is an arrogant businessman named Alex, played by Kit Harrington, who is in the interrogation room. Alex has been accused of rape by one of his employees. The detectives are convinced of his guilt even though there is little evidence that he perpetuated the crime.
The third episode sees Danielle (Sharon Horgan), a self-professed vigilante who is at the head of an online group that unmasks sexual predators. This episode starts rather mysteriously as it is not at first clear why Danielle has been called to be interrogated by the team of detectives. Danielle is proud of what she does, and repeatedly tells them that she is doing the job they should be doing. The viewers discover with Danielle the real reason she is the interrogation room.
A convicted killer, Sandeep (Kunal Nayyar), has been called in to be interrogated in the fourth case presented in the last episode. After new evidence on a missing person’s case has surfaced, the investigators question the convicted killer about his connection to the victim. Sandeep, however, is not interested in helping them and wants to cut a deal with them instead to reduce his sentence and reveal vital information on a different case.
All four episodes are intensely gripping even though all the action happens inside four walls with all the characters just sitting round a table. These four new episodes again portray the tense psychological relationship at play between the police and the suspects. As episode two shows, the detectives rely on evidence, but also on their gut feelings.
The series though tends to fall into the melodramatic at times, enhanced by the meticulously choreographed theatricality of the show. If you are familiar with Alan Bennett’s tremendous Talking Heads plays, in which characters confess to the audience their whims, this series Criminal: U.K., and especially episode two with Harrington, may remind you of Bennett’s plays, albeit transposed within the confines of a police interrogation room and with less interesting characters than one may find in Bennett’s plays.
All four new episodes of Criminal: UK are now on Netflix globally.