Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 7/10
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Agyness Deyn, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Derek Riddell, Richard Coyle, Dermot Crowley, Jojo Macari, Varada Sethu, Owain Arthur, Joplin Sibtain, Adrian Rawlins, Lorraine Burroughs, Aisling Bea, Ukweli Roach, Kae Alexander, Cameron King, Maggie Daniels,
If you knew you and all your loved ones had five years left to live on the planet, would you keep them ignorant for as long as possible, would you find a way to keep the truth from them, to stop them by all possible means from worrying, causing them distress, at the prospect of the world ending? Could you lie for so long whilst all the time having the haunted look of the damned etched and scrawled upon your face; or is it easier to tell the truth, open up the eyes of those around you and tell them and let the chips fall where they may? The hardest question of all; lie and keep someone safe, tell the truth and let them see the horror to come!
To find a series that actually becomes more gripping as it goes along is not a rare occurrence, it happens all the time, even if you don’t care for the characters straight off, something small worms its way into your psyche and takes hold, puts its teeth straight into an internal vein and starts to gorge itself upon your resolve. In the case of the British drama Hard Sun, it could be argued that the turning point for the drama was two-fold, and in both cases it makes the production worth watching.
The six part story takes time to warm up, not starting with a bang but with fireworks, with a scene that wouldn’t be out of place in Greek tragic theatre, and with the usual introductions that are designed to help the audience gain an attachment to the characters; it is an attachment that really only comes in play when Richard Coyle joins the fray as the once man of God and taunts the two detectives D.C.I Charlie Hicks and D.I. Elaine Renko, played by Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn with a series of murders.
As television dramas go, Hard Sun is not one to fall in love with easily, it doesn’t grip initially, the premise taking time to marry with what is essentially another detective programme; however, there are moments, nuggets of gold, which have you nodding your head in appreciation, which pulls you in bit by bit, a black hole pulling in your reservations.
A series which takes time to become what it is but one that does deserve a second go!
Ian D. Hall