1 June 2016 | TheLittleSongbird
Not that much of an improvement over the previous three series
This reviewer neither loves or hates 'Above Suspicion'. In every series/season it has its good points, but also an equal number and in the case of the third season even more problems (with at least two of them quite big).
"Silent Scream" is an improvement over "Deadly Intent", and of the four series of 'Above Suspicion' is perhaps second best to the first series, which as aforementioned is also heavily problematic. Starting with the positives, it's well made visually. It is filmed stylishly, tautly and atmospherically, it's moodily lit without being drab, the editing is never choppy or stiff and the locations are well utilised.
It's capably directed and scored ominously, and the portrayal of the acting world is convincing though shocking (scabrous is a good way to describe it too). Generally, apart from some stiffness here and there and major reservations still about the lead actress, "Silent Scream" contains the best acting of all four series. Ciaran Hinds is authoritative and also pleasingly much more subtle than before, effort is also made to develop Langton and here he is surprisingly much easier to relate to thanks to more balanced character writing.
Kelly Reilly however from the very start has been one of 'Above Suspicion's' biggest flaws, and it's the same here sadly. Other than that she looks implausibly young and sexy for the position her character is in the police force, Reilly is still very wooden with a limited range, a pallid presence and flat delivery of lines. The script has a little more intrigue, but is still riddled with clichés, lack of natural flow and triteness.
Despite Langton being more sympathetically written, the relationship between the two characters still doesn't convince with not enough time spent on it. The characters are very cardboard, sketchy in the case of most of the supporting characters, with only Langton getting any development. The story doesn't make one look at the watch or want to do something else, but it is not edge-of-your-seat compelling enough and it's sometimes convoluted. Tighter pacing, more development and a few parts trimmed would have helped things. Use of flashbacks are a mixed bag, some are interesting, others clumsily inserted. The anaemic, rather underdeveloped and incomplete-feeling ending underwhelms as well.
Overall, some good, some not so good, while the second best series of the whole show it's not much of an improvement over what proceeded it. 5/10 Bethany Cox