I’m hopeless at catching programmes when they’re actually broadcast, so it’s taken me a while to get round to watching the DCI Banks adaptations of Peter Robinson’s books. I like the books, but I encountered exactly the same problem I had with the recent dramatisation of Mark Billingham’s DI Thorne novels. No, not the annoying sidekick, or the maverick cop breaks the rules but always gets his man blah blah blah… the problem I had was overacting. It was bad in Thorne, but even worse in Banks.
Put it this way: if you created a drinking game where you had to down a shot every time DCI Banks made this face:
You’d be very pissed very, very quickly.
That face put me off the programme. I mean it. It’s not just his “I’m angry at a suspect” face. It’s his “I wish I’d had some toast before leaving the house” face, his “I wonder what I’ll have for my tea” face and his “I’m feeling quite chipper today, actually” face.
I don’t get it. Was there a memo that says all TV detectives are allowed two facial expressions, Really Pissed Off and Absolutely Fucking Furious?