Identity (DVD Cover)

Recurring character(s): DI John Bloom (Aidan Gillen), DS Martha Lawson (Keeley Hawes), DC Jose Rodriguez (Elyes Gabel), DS Anthony Wareing (Shaun Parkes), Tessa Stein (Holly Aird), Adile Kemal (Agni Scott)

Director: Various

Original air date(s): 04/28/2010 to 06/02/2010
DVD Date: 05/03/2011

Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 279 minutes

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Review: This 6-episode television series is marketed as a police procedural about identity theft, but that's a little misleading. I think only one of the episodes is actually about identity theft; the others primarily involve using a victim's unknown identity as a means of identifying the culprit, clearly a much broader approach in storytelling.

The premise here is that Detective Superintendent Martha Lawson (played by Keeley Hawes) has been given the resources to put together a highly specialized, high-tech team to assist in solving crimes. The team is small, and in addition to Lawson includes Detective Inspector John Bloom (Aidan Gillen), who used to work deep undercover; Tessa Stein (Holly Aird) as the gizmo expert; and Detective Sergeant Anthony Wareing (Shaun Parkes) and Detective Constable Jose Rodriguez (Elyes Gabel), whose specialized roles are unclear. Rodriguez doesn't do much of anything over the course the series, and Wareing spends his whole time investigating Bloom, of whom he is suspicious. And with good reason: Bloom has not given up his most recent undercover persona as he is in love with Adile Kemal (Agni Scott), the sister of the man he helped put in prison.

Which leads to the ironic twist of the series: Bloom is living two lives, maintaining two identities, and doing his best to keep them from ever intersecting. While team leader Lawson is also suspicious of Bloom he's late for meetings, disappears for hours on end, and never answers his phone she's also in love with him, and overlooks all evidence that he's leading a potentially criminal double life.

Though each episode has its own self-contained "identity" plot, there is an overall story arc involving Bloom's undercover identity and his attempt to maintain a relationship with Adile, whose family is also increasingly suspicious of him. Given that there are only six episodes, it's rather surprising how uneven they are. Two are excellent in particular, the final one titled "Tomorrow Comes Early", something Bloom says to Adile as they plan their future together but the other four are of highly varied quality story-wise from good to downright mediocre.

Given the way the final episode ends, it's clear the producers were hoping for a second season, but ITV which originally aired this season during the summer of 2010 elected not to renew it.

So it is worth watching? Yes, I think so. The storylines could be stronger, and DS Lawson acting like a lovesick teenager is a bit silly, but on balance it's a pretty good effort.


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