The Cuckoo’s Calling was a compelling detective drama – but one that faltered at the last hurdle

cormoran strike the cuckoo's calling tv jk rowling robert galbraith tom burke holliday grainger bbc one ben richards michael kellior tom edge

In every respect, The Cuckoo’s Calling was a competently executed detective drama, moving intelligently between the different hallmarks of the genre. It was never, for example, the high concept thriller of Sherlock – there are no astounding deductions or leaps of intuition. Rather, this was a case of gradually unveiling each layer of mystery, plunging the viewer into a well-drawn world of colourful suspects. You could describe it as generic, perhaps, but in a way that’d be missing the point; it’s not so much that The Cuckoo’s Calling typifies the genre, but rather embodies and enlivens it.

An article I wrote recently about The Cuckoo’s Calling.

I was, I think, probably a little too positive about it. I don’t know. The Strike adaptations started to take up quite a lot of thought for me for a while; they were often very close to being good, but never quite working. I got the sense that much of what was entertaining about them was almost by accident – an adaptation struggling against the flaws of its source material, for the most part. Indeed, lots of what was good about the show was probably just a quirk of casting Holliday Grainger, who did a great job with a character who I suspect could otherwise have been very flat.

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