Doug Coutts’ TV Preview: Winter

TV Preview: Winter | TV1, 8.30 Sunday


By Doug Coutts

As a police officer Rebecca Gibney likes to play things by the book. In Winter, where she’s reprising the role of Detective Sergeant Eve Winter, the book is Standard Police Procedural Jargon for Television.

Not that it matters, because Winter (the show) is a whodunit and snappy original dialogue only gets in the way, and this six-parter hits the ground running.

As does one of the first two victims, after a hit-and-run. The other one gets pushed off a cliff. Are they linked? Only time will tell, although the fed – yep the feds are involved in the hit-and-run which could be linked to a court case – thinks not.

DS Winter thinks there is a link but the hit-and-run victim, who’s survived – for now – isn’t saying. DS McKenzie, Eve’s wannabe love interest, is convinced it all ties in with a cold case from eight years ago and rounds up that suspect with the idea of getting him for this one as well. The suspect has other ideas and quite effectively stalls that particular side of the investigation.

By the end of the first episode, there are enough red herrings – the dead woman’s husband is a fisherman after all – and guilty looks to get your average crime fiction fan tuning in (so out-dated a term) next week for more.

I’m hooked, although I’ve already worked out who the murderer is. I’m not saying who though. Just in case it’s the kid on the bicycle. Or the woman in the cake shop. Or the deckhand on the fishing boat.

Winter's and Antonia Prebble.

Winter’s Akos Atmont and Antonia Prebble.

What other critics said:

“There’s too much cliched dialogue, plot and relationships, and the exposition is heavy-handed. The cinematography is stunning and the acting is (mostly) good, but what could have been as sophisticated and accomplished as Happy Valley, The Tunnel or Broadchurch (the comparison is inevitable) instead gives the viewer no credit, no intrigue and nothing much to want to come back for.” — Sydney Morning Herald.

“Joining the cast are two younger detectives in Antonia Prebble as Alesia Taylor and Akos Armont as Milo Lee (no more Liam McInytre). While they get the plot offcuts as far as crime-solving goes, I thought they were good additions. Hopefully they will be afforded some sub-plots across the series.” — TV Tonight.

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years. He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at:
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