Strike: Career of Evil (TV) (2018; UK; Colour; 2 x 60m) **** pr. Jackie Larkin; d. Charles Sturridge; w. Tom Edge; ph. Maja Zamojda; m. Adrian Johnston. Cast: Tom Burke, Holliday Grainger, Kerr Logan, Killian Scott, Ben Crompton, Andrew Brooke, Emmanuella Cole, Jessica Gunning, Matt King, Neil Maskell, Kierston Wareing. At the office, Robin receives a package and is horrified to discover it contains a woman’s severed leg. Strike draws up a list of suspects who have vendettas against him. Third in the Strike series is the most confident adaptation. Burke and Grainger (as Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott) have really settled into their roles and the plot allows room for development of the mystery alongside the progression of Robyn’s story. Loses a little bit of momentum in its second-part, but it is still a gorgeously shot and satisfying mystery. Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling (as Robert Galbraith). 
Collateral (TV) (2017; UK; Colour; 4 x 60m) ***½ pr. Elizabeth Binns; d. S.J. Clarkson; w. David Hare; ph. Balazs Bolygo; m. Ruth Barrett. Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jeany Spark, Nicola Walker, Nathaniel Martello-White, John Simm, Ahd, Billie Piper, Kae Alexander, Hayley Squires, July Namir, Ben Miles, Orla Brady, Rob Jarvis. An employee of a pizza delivery service is gunned down on the street in a south London suburb after delivering a pizza to the ex-wife of the Shadow Minister for Transport. DI Kip Glaspie (Mulligan) is assigned to investigate the case leading her to uncovering an elaborate people smuggling operation. An impressive cast and a dark and witty script from Hare lift this above the average TV spy/detective fare. Mulligan delivers a very natural and believable performance, whilst Simm, as the MP the opposition party would rather forget, is excellent at conveying the positive side of a deeply flawed character, drawing the viewer’s sympathies and delivering some of the Hare’s best lines. Piper is biting as his ex-partner. Spark also scores as a soldier tainted by what she has witnessed on tour in Iraq. The spy business is put across less successfully and feels a little overplayed at times and the story lacks a clear resolution, but on the whole this is a well-acted and directed drama that offers up much to recommend, despite ultimately failing to fulfil expectations.