Parminder Nagra brings this boring crime drama to life

The manufacturers of Radius ID (ITV) spent a lot of time on their lead character. She is an Anglo-Asian detective, played by Parminder Nagra. The “Asian” side seems to preoccupy her colleagues much more than her. She is drafted into the crime squad as a token hire because her bosses classified their latest case as a “culturally specific homicide” (i.e. the victim is Asian, so it must be… a kind of honor killing). Ray is asked what languages ​​she speaks. “I got a C in Spanish GCSE,” she shrugs. Being brown-skinned also affects her in minute ways: being mixed with another Asian woman who looks nothing like her; being mistaken for a storekeeper while buying wine at the supermarket.

It’s a clever representation of the assumptions and stereotypes that come with the territory, and feels authentic. It was written by Maya Sondhi (PC Maneet Bindra of Line of Duty), who drew on her own experiences. Unfortunately, Sondhi spent so much time working on the issues that she completely forgot about the plot.

The story is deadly boring. A man is found dead in a car on a deserted industrial estate, and everyone assumes it’s an honor killing because he was dating a girl of a different religion, but it was actually something to do with business rivals or organized crime. There are long, tedious cases about alibis and gas station CCTV footage.

The executive producer is Jed Mercurio from Line of Duty. Maybe he used all of his trademark twists in Trigger Point, because his fingerprints were nowhere to be found on this one. Nothing important is happening and the tension is non-existent.

The members of Ray’s team are one-dimensional — there to say something slightly culturally insensitive once in a while — and his boss (Gemma Whelan) is awful. But the show’s only saving grace is Nagra, who rose to fame 20 years ago in Bend It Like Beckham and went on to pursue a career in the United States and a long stint in the ER. She comfortably fills the role of DI Ray, which makes her feel like a proper, well-rounded person (a special mention should go to whoever is in charge of the costumes, as they gave Ray some nice coats ).

It’s also refreshing to have a crime drama in which the detective isn’t a depressive with a drinking problem and a disastrous home life. Ray is a good character who could have a long life on TV, but she deserves better scripts and storylines than this.

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