Public Service Announcement 7 of 2015: Murder in the First, Ascension

The more I think about Murder in the First, the more I realise that I’m going to watch the pilot at least. From cable network TNT, it’s a detective drama which, in its temptingly short season of ten episodes, follows a single case in San Francisco. After reasonable reviews and viewing figures, it’s finished its American run and has been renewed for a second season. A decent cast includes Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson as the detectives investigating two apparently unrelated murders, with James Cromwell, Richard Schiff, Ian Anthony Dale, Steven Weber, and Tom Felton in the house as well. And the first episode is directed by West Wing alum Tommy Schlamme.

Most of all, though, Murder in the First is created and exec produced by Steven Bochco. He, of course, rewrote the TV drama rulebook with the brilliant and innovative Hill Street Blues – which, by coincidence, started on this day in 1981 in America – following it with LA Law and NYPD Blue among others. His CV has at least as many misses as hits – Cop Rock, anyone? – but as far as I’m concerned his most overlooked show is Murder One, a show I’ve mentioned on here several times, which of course also focussed on a single case. So I’m in for – and reviewing – the first episode to start with (Friday, FOX UK, 10pm).

After all that I’m unable to get too excited about Ascension, a miniseries import from Syfy, about a spaceship which took off in 1963 at the height of the cold war, with the intention of keeping the human race alive should life on Earth be wiped out. Sky is desperate to tout this as ‘Mad Men In Space’, but the lukewarm reviews when it was shown in America would suggest that it isn’t fit to lace Roger Sterling’s drinks. On the other hand the cast includes sci-fi’s go-to actor Tricia Helfer, along with Brian Van Holt, Catherine from Ringer, and Billy off of Ally McBeal. Not for me, but undoubtedly for someone (Friday, Sky 1, 9pm).

In other news, Call The Midwife’s back for more 50’s based ob/gyn fun (Sunday, BBC One, 8pm); and season 8 of Psych starts on the same night (Universal, 7pm).

More next week, including The Mysteries Of Laura; and we’re now only a fortnight away from the return of The Good Wife…

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4 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement 7 of 2015: Murder in the First, Ascension

  1. Tim January 15, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    Murder in the First caught my eye too – I’ll be giving it a go.

  2. Snoskred January 16, 2015 / 8:28 am

    I loved Murder in the First. Might be time for a rewatch, for me, if you’re going to review it.

    Nice new theme! 🙂

  3. Jed Bartlet January 16, 2015 / 8:42 am

    Thanks! (And welcome back under your “real” name.) I think I remember you saying before that you liked MitF, so I’m looking forward to it.

  4. Snoskred January 16, 2015 / 10:25 am

    Yay, I’m out of the spam bin jail at last.

    Tom Felton was good in MITF and I thought, brilliant in Belle. Both roles made me want to slap him across the face, which generally is a sign of excellence, for me anyway. 🙂

    I find I either love or really don’t love Kathleen Robertson. I loved her in Boss and I loved her in this – for the most part.

    I was on board as soon as they said Steven Bochco, though. I’m a huge NYPD Blue fan, I revisit it at least once a year. 🙂

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