** Thorne: Sleepyhead and Thorne: Scaredy Cat (2010)
Originally broadcast on Europe’s Sky cable station, the first series of author Mark Billingham’s best-selling crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne sport a terrific cast but the end results are modest. The six episodes contained in Series One include adaptations of the first two Thorne novels. In the first, Sleepyhead, Thorne has to track down and stop a serial killer who aims to leave his victims alive but unable to communicate because of locked-in syndrome, whatever the hell that is. The second is Scaredy Cat, which features two serial killers apparently working in tandem.
David Morrisey, who plays the lead, is excellent (as is the rest of the cast) but the stories are a little bland and too predictable. These are mood pieces instead of proper mysteries and if you keep your expectations in check, they’re probably worth a look for fans of British crime dramas. Red Riding this isn’t, but the Brits have the corner on haunted cop dramas and Thorne is a worthwhile investment if you like that sort of thing.