First-rate ‘The Capture’ part of launch of Peacock

Rick's Reviews

Among the original offerings when the new streaming service Peacock launches July 15 will be the six-part British series “The Capture.” There are a multitude of police dramas on television but this may be the first one that completely reflects the 21st Century.

The thriller unfolds in the current wired world where there is video footage captured and available for almost every action. And, the technology is so compelling it’s naturally easy to accept everything that is seen as being fact. That is the main focus of “The Capture.”

How truthful what is being seen in videos comes under question through Shaun Emery (Callum Turner), a British soldier who has been convicted of committing murder in Afghanistan. The series opens with his conviction being overturned when it is shown the video of his crime had technical problems.

That’s only the start of Emery’s rocky relationship with video technology. On the day he is freed, the police appear to have captured on video Emery committing another crime. Newly promoted detective Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) begins to dig into Emery’s mysterious past only to discover that even video evidence can’t be accepted on face value as being the truth.

“The Capture” deals with two perfect storms colliding. There is a very complicated mystery surround Emery as he goes from caring father to murder suspect. The first episode only hints at the complexity of the character but more elements become visible quickly as each episode unfolds.

Turner, an English actor best known for his role as Theseus Scamander in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” plays Emery in such a way that the character always seems to be hiding something. It would have been easy to play the role as too sympathetic or too cold but he finds the exact middle ground. This is vital as he continues to be caught in video nets.

His performance is made better by Grainger who adds the other strong element to the program. Her portrayal of DI Rachel Carey balances the efforts of a person trying to get ahead in their chosen profession with someone dealing with their own flaws and secrets. This is not surprising as Grainger has always shown an ability to play characters as complicated beings as she showed masterfully in the 2013 miniseries “Bonnie & Clyde.”

She found the right line of a woman full of determination but never to the super cop level. This allows her room to play with the flawed elements of Carey.

“The Capture” originally aired on the BBC but it could not have been set in a better location. London is one of the top cities in the world when it comes to cameras covering events on the street. It makes perfect sense that a production that looks at the good and bad of video technology would unfold there.

The use of video footage has almost become a cliché in film and television projects. The ability of a person sitting in front of a computer to find and follow a suspect looks as easy as having a police officer at every street corner. It is an easy way to move a storyline along without much dialogue.

“The Capture” shows that such technological leaps of faith come with a downside. The production shows that with great technology comes great responsibility.

Peacock is NBCUniversal’s new free streaming service. It will feature  exclusive original programs, on-demand libraries of hit TV shows including “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” plus critically-acclaimed films from the vaults of Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and Hollywood’s biggest studios.

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