The BBC have released another of their 90-second trailers for the original drama they have in store this autumn/winter. Old favourites like Sherlock and Ripper Street are in attendance, but there's also new content like Musketeers (a remake of the Alexandre Dumas novel), Great Train Robbery (a miniseries retelling the famous story of the 1960s heist), Quirke (a 1950s Dublin-set crime drama starring Gabriel Byrne), By Any Means (a drama about a group of maverick cops, starring Warren Clarke, Amy Nuttall, Nick Moran, and David Harewood), What Remains (the currently-airing drama about a couple who discover a corpse in their loft), and Escape Artist (about a brilliant lawyer, played by David Tennant, who comes to regret keeping a notorious gangster out of prison).
It all looks promising, but what struck me is how similar all these shows look in terms of their bleak tones and shadowy aesthetics. Everything has a broadly similar cinematography; so despite the fact this trailer is a mash-up of a half-dozen unrelated dramas... everything sort of blurs together on the screen. I just thought that was worth mentioning here, because maybe it's time to bring some colour and pizazz back into BBC drama?
It's all very drab and crime-related just now, with most BBC dramas copying the visual palette of whatever's been a big hit just lately (i.e. Sherlock and Luther). I'd love to see someone make a drama for the BBC that took full advantage of the fact these Isles are supposed to be a "green and pleasant land". Or is that ITV's agenda, with the likes of seaside Broadchurch and Downton Abbey's pretty countryside delivering a picture-postcard experience?