Tonight’s two-hour episode gives the whole series (which ran in Britain in six one-hour segments, rather than three parts) its title. It’s based on the 2004 novel Case Histories, and finds former police detective Brodie--played by English actor Jason Isaacs--becoming involved in a trio of explains further that
Brodie is a man whose need to do right has gotten him kicked off the police force--some old colleagues regard him as “a nutter”--whose resources he nevertheless continues to employ, courtesy reluctantly [of] accommodating Detective Constable Louise Munroe (Amanda Abbington). Munroe, who regards him both with trust and expectation of disappointment, calls him “the most irritating man north of Hadrian’s Wall and a better cop” than any of his critics--which is to say they might be in love. They are, at least, lovely to watch together.Case Histories will continue for the next two Sundays. Its second installment, adapted from Atkinson’s One Good Turn--and the least satisfying of these three episodes--is scheduled for broadcast on October 23; with episode three, about a resourceful and charming teenage nanny looking for her missing employer, set to show on October 30. Masterpiece Mystery! begins each Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
You needn’t have read Atkinson’s books to enjoy or understand this mini-series (although if you have read the books already, you’ll notice right away that Brodie’s turf has been moved from Cambridge to Edinburgh). Between its engaging cast, led by Isaacs, its sometimes-unexpected story turns, and its layerings of humor, Case Histories is a welcome addition to PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery! line-up.
READ MORE: Criminal Element’s Leslie Gilbert Elman reviewed all three episodes of this first Case Histories series--“Case Histories,” “One Good Turn,” and “When Will There Be Good News”; “This Is the Good News, Right Here,” by Ali Karim (The Rap Sheet).