Excellent drama from the mean streets of Liverpool
Good Cop proved to be a refreshingly rich, sharp drama which gripped me from beginning to end.
At its heart is a tour-de-force performance from Warren Brown whose main claim to fame – before a classy turn as the DI's sidekick in Luther – seems to be being a boxer and appearing in Hollyoaks.
Whatever roles he's had in the past (mostly serial dramas and comedy), he makes Liverpool PC John Paul Rocksavage a fascinating and hugely believable character.
Sav, as the officer is known, has a fairly solitary life. His father, Robert (Michael Angelis) is bedridden and seriously ill. But there is obviously a loving bond between father and son.
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At work, he is fair and dedicated, trying to be a good copper, however serious the provocation.
An off-duty confrontation with seriously nasty local thug Noel Finch (Stephen Graham), gives a measure of this man.
Finch and his gang are humiliating a young waitress and Finch follows her into the ladies toilet. Sav won't stand by and warns off Finch, earning a violent threat in the process.
That evening, Sav is unable to help when his beat partner Andy is beaten to a pulp by Finch. And so, a good cop becomes a bad cop. Finding a gun on a later visit he confronts Finch who taunts him into pulling the trigger.
There's a real sense that, having crossed the line, Sav is going to set about cleaning up Liverpool's answer to Gotham City.
The Batman reference is a suitable one. This drama has a rain-washed air of dark despair about it, street-lighting giving a sinister edge to the shadows.
The relationships are well observed – there's a particularly moving scene as Sav reads his father Treasure Island.
The script is sharp, performances exceptional and direction is imaginative. Great drama... but don't expect a happy ending.