Injustice Review: Is This The New Way To Watch Drama?

INJUSTICE: Monday 6th June, ITV1, 9pm

Natural disasters are sweeping the globe, social media is sticking two fingers up at the British legal system and a deluge of instant media has chronically reduced the attention span of John Q TV Viewer. Welcome to the future everyone. As far as television drama is concerned, the era of weekly episodes is being replaced by TV Catch-up binges and box-set lost weekends. People seem to be getting tired of waiting seven days to see the next episode anymore and unless the drama is in the Downton/Mad Men quality bracket, they are generally unwilling to. Could we be entering an epoch of the week-long miniseries? ITV certainly think so because they’ve boldly whacked an episode of crime thriller Injustice on at 9pm every night this week in the hope that people will invest their time in it if they start to see some fast results. Let’s see how it works out for them..

Things don’t start too badly. Instead of the obligatory troubled detective (don’t think I could have taken many more this year..) we have a vexed lawyer. James Purefoy (Rome) is a fine lead as Will Travers and Dervla Kirwan (ermm.. loads of stuff but still mostly Ballykissangel) is excellent as his wife, but what really lead me to look beyond the many anomalies which pestered me was the way the story shimmered into life as it went forward. Once the main characters were introduced, Injustice got straight down to business and by the end we had some serious controversy to get our teeth into. Our main character killing a nameless man he saw at a train station?! The next episode in less than 24 hours? ITV clearly mean business here..

If these revelations weren’t enough to make you realise that Travers might have some skeletons in his closet, then the range of unsubtle flashbacks probably should have done. Small children climbing stairs, staring at him with accusing eyes and occasionally, cars exploding in balls of flames? Not the most cryptic references. And then we have the mystery of Traver’s old friend Martin Newell, who has been accused of murder and needs his old pal to help him out of trouble. “But you promised you’d never do another murder trial!” But why Travers? “The same thing might happen again!” What are you talking about Mrs Travers? “You know.. that thing.. What if you meet.. that person?!” Right okay we see what’s going on here. What is also pretty clear is that this Mike Newell bloke used to be with Mrs Travers and Travers owes him a favour. So many little threads for the writers to bring together. And we haven’t even got on to those kids studying Animal Farm at Juvie yet..

Now it maybe quite rapid, but Injustice is hardly perfect. Three generations of the Travers family seem to be separated by about three years (their oldest daughter looks marginally younger than the lead couple, and Kirwan’s mum must have had her when she was eight or nine). The Police are implausibly blasé about corruption (we start with some coppers completely fudging an attempt to frame a young black petty offender) and as it turns out implausibly crap at planting evidence.. Maybe Travers is just that good though? Yet for all these imperfections, there should be enough intrigue and incident to keep viewers coming back. Roll on tomorrow night!

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