Collateral is a BBC four-part crime thriller which has a fine cast and solid production values, but for me it was ruined by the preposterous plot and a political agenda, intended or otherwise, that left me with the same bad taste it did in The Last Jedi. You might well be wondering what Star Wars and a BBC drama set in modern-day London have in common.
I’m all for inclusiveness and giving female actors major roles etc, but sometimes dear old Auntie Beeb tries too hard (it was an element in its recent series Requiem, too, but to a much lesser extent). Collateral throws the following at us: a female priest, who is a lesbian, and in love with an illegal immigrant- that ticks several boxes just by itself. The lead detective is a woman, six-months pregnant, which is immaterial to the plot but just hangs there (career girl, high-flyer, and an imminently brilliant mother too, obviously), she does very little wrong, is famous for having been in a past Olympics, and outwits all her male junior officers, who are generally portrayed as subservient and dumb. Two of the bad guys are men who are foreigners who are very stupid and mess up a murder, leaving traces and get caught by our lead detective. They are in league with an MI5 intelligence operative who is, yes, a man, and yes, a complete utter arsehole. The ‘clever’ assassin who very nearly gets away with carrying a flawless murder is a woman from the military who is suffering sexual harassment from a superior officer and is actually raped by him. She later reveals this to the superiors wife who throws the bastard out of her home. A male politician running amok in interviews is frustrated and pulled into line by the leader of the Labour party who is (you guessed it) female. I think this message was carried in The Last Jedi– women are smart and intelligent and right, and men are dumb and wrong most of the time.
Throw in some fairly heavy-handed anti-Brexit sentiments/comments/political posturing and I think this drama has covered every liberal agenda we could possibly want and more besides. Funny, I thought it was so supposed to be crime drama. Guess I was wrong.