Critical Condition: The Loch

The Loch | Lightbox, from Friday

➢ “As a murder mystery, this Broadchurch-a-like drama sounds promising on paper. The Loch has been penned by none other than Stephen Brady, formerly of Fortitude, Vera and Silent Witness. It also stars The Missing’s Laura Fraser as ambitious local detective Annie Redford tackling her first murder case, and the visiting police chief played by Siobhan Finneran who was so wonderfully horrible as lady’s maid O’Brien in Downton Abbey. And sure, the plot all sounds very exciting. But there’s something rotten here, and it’s not Nessie.” —  Radio Times.

➢ “The Loch (ITV) is the sort of drama British broadcasters brew up on autopilot: assemble a cast of good-looking actors; add a smaller sample of less beauteous supporting players; maroon in a small community with breathtaking views; and then introduce a soupçon of family niggles, a dash of dark secrets, then a grisly murder (or two). Stir, but make sure to keep the consistency frothy. After half an hour, bung in an unpopular maverick cop. Simmer pleasantly for however many episodes … Top of the Loch it is not. But entertaining nonetheless.” — The Telegraph.

➢ “This disjointed head-scratcher of a crime serial piled so many ludicrous events into its first hour that by the end I couldn’t help laughing in disbelief … The real mystery about The Loch is how it could be so preposterous yet so predictable.” — Daily Mail.

➢ “Scotland, curling stones, boats, thrawn old religion, murders, sunshiny rain, savage beauty twinned with drear glum townhood, both Siobhan Finneran and Laura Fraser … what could go wrong? As soon as a wolf appeared, louping over an abbatoir fence to devour a human heart, it became clear absolutely what could go wrong: an absent sense of reality, and a plot that owed frankly too much to the Suomi language.” — The Guardian.

➢ “[The Loch] hews strictly to the formula seen in Broadchurch and other knockoffs, but this six-episode series meets most of the requirements to keep a viewer hooked … You’ll probably figure out the ending well before the fog lifts, but my hunch is you’re here mainly for the luscious scenery.” — The Washington Post.

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