Posted: 12/07/2009


Trial and Retribution - Set 3

by Del Harvey

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Trial & Retribution began as a feature-length ITV police procedural television drama series in 1997, created and written by Lynda La Plante as a follow-on to her successful television Prime Suspect series. The series has been running new feature-length episodes annually in Britain ever since, and as of last season shows little sign of slowing down.

Set 3 includes three volumes, which continue the overall series. Volume XI contains the episode titled “Closure.” After two months of investigating the brutal rape and murder of a schoolgirl, DCI Connor (Victoria Smurfit) has no leads, no DNA evidence, and one highly unreliable witness. When she begins looking through similar unsolved cases she believes she has uncovered the work of a serial killer, with a string of victims stretching back for many years. Under relentless badgering from her boss, Detective Chief Superintendent Walker (David Hayman), she enlists the help of a famous American profiler to get inside the mind of this elusive murderer.

Volume X, titled “Sins Of The Father,” starts with the death of beautiful and smart teenager Emily Harrogate. DCI Connor’s gut instinct is to find the cracks in Emily’s perfect family’s facade, in spite of the constant imploring by Satch (Dorian Lough) to show these people some pity. Soon, DCI Connor discovers an obsessive-compulsive mother, an adulterous father, and a jealous stepbrother.

Volume XI is titled “The Lovers.” On honeymoon in London, Mark Harrington goes out for coffee and disappears from busy Covent Garden. Convinced that officials aren’t taking the case seriously, Harrington’s distraught bride searches the streets herself and pleads for help through the media. her wealthy and well-connected father pressures DCS Mike Walker for results. When Walker’s assistant Lisa West (Sarah Ozeke) deduces they might be dealing with a serial killer, the police race against time to find the madman and his abductees.

Trial & Retribution, Set 3, improves upon the show, just as subsequent episodes continued to improve upon their predecessors. Most similar to our series Law & Order, Trial & Retribution allows the characters to find depths only hinted at on American series. Walker and Connor, the programs’ main characters, continue their subplot conflict with their eternal bickering and differences of opinion. But it all ends well as they resolve any personal quarrels in pursuit of catching the criminals.

This is another solid crime series and Set 3 is a must-have addition to your library.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.

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