User Reviews (76)

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  • marycat-222972 September 2017
    'Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling' is on the Poirot-Marple-Midsomers branch of the mystery tree with its irresistible stars in the lead roles, its slow but never time-wasting character developments, its high-on- thinking and low-on-physical-violence story, and its beautiful camera work. If you like all of the above features and a good, escape-for-an- hour mystery, please watch this. J.K. Rowling wrote the book and I'm glad that the British television peeps had the great good sense to bring this to us as beautifully as they did. I hope they make more.
  • Tom Burke and Holiday Grainger are a stand out team in what could easily have been a tawdry run of the mill Detective trawl.

    Cormeran Strike is a lovable mess of a reinvented down at heels gumshoe. The pacing manages too drag the fashionable locations and characters into the gutter along with him, humanising them all in his search for the truth over the death of a model.

    There is an endearing quality to this show which so readily could have been destroyed by bad casting. Ignore any opinion drawn from knowing the writer. Approach with a fresh face. Definitely a good first outing for Strike.
  • GwydionMW13 September 2017
    I'd already read the book, but Strike as portrayed was more convincing than my own prior vision.

    You get a nice range of people in one limited slice of London, as well as a series of puzzles that get solved.

    They improve the ending, giving a better excuse for the murderer doing something I can't detail without giving away the plot.
  • I LOVE these books. I was very anxious about watching the show because I personally hate the Harry Potter adaptations. The casting was great especially Robin. I honestly thought they might have changed the ending from the book, it had me guessing (and I've read the book more than once). I have read mixed reviews about this show and I understand the criticism, however, I think it deserves a bigger audience. There are a few nitpicks I had, when I read the books I pictured Luther.. and Tom Burke seems to have stolen his coat from BBC props.

    Read the books and watch the show. I am not sure how I would have felt if hadn't read them. So to conclude.. best JKR adaptation out there. Watch this show.
  • reneedlittle18 September 2017
    Excellent cast, dynamic story line, unique cinematography all combine for an outstanding series. The nonexistence of over the top completely impossible special effects is refreshing. It's intelligent and sophisticated in it's execution. There is no quick fix to each case, yet the writers don't drag the story along simply to fill time and episodes, instead time is utilized efficiently and very effectively creating a great deal of intrigue and suspense which will keep you up at night to watch an episode instead of going to bed. A definite must watch series.
  • lindastroud454 September 2017
    All I can say is watch it....I watched the first three episodes In one go it was that good.i was only going to watch one but it got me hooked immediately . The acting was brilliant,Tom Burke who I have to admit I've never seen before played a brilliant part,he was like a young modern day Columbo..The story line had you guessing from the start and there was a great twist at the end. 10 out of 10. I can't wait for more.
  • The Cuckoo's Calling is extraordinary, with a stellar cast with Very impressive performances that makes the series even better. the chemistry between the protagonists is stupendously grandiose, as in the book. the series is very true to the book, with some small changes but still impressive. the strike adaptation honors its source material, which is a masterpiece of a book
  • writeus-13 September 2017
    I have just watched 'The Cuckoo's Calling'. This is a great take on the hard on his heels private investigator gets an opportunity story. JK Rowling's content is as well written as a John Grisham/Agatha Christie with the added frisson of cool London locations and culture. I particularly like the casting of Tom Bell as the rough-round-the-edges sleuth and the engaging Holliday Grainger as his ever so capable assistant; they are both so watchable. I look forward to the next series (and for any critics of this series yes I am perfectly happy to overlook any plot holes).
  • Holliday Grainger lights up the screen. She is one of the best actors I have ever seen. She conveys so many moods and emotions with slightest glance.

    Also, I enjoy the story. It is my cup of tea.
  • The first time I read 'The Cuckoo's Calling', I was pleasantly surprised by the unconventional detective and his assistant. This series lives up to every one of my expectations and more. Maybe because our very own talented witch is the executive producer. Giving a 9 because I think the Silkworm should have had 3 episodes too.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What a refreshing show. So disappointed they only made these few episodes but happy to hear they're doing more.

    I love how JK Rowling's ill feelings towards the publishing industry are subtly (and sometimes no so subtly) sprinkled about the stories. A bit of revenge. I wasn't familiar with the books, and never saw any Harry Potter films, but have come to appreciate Rowling for her political views.

    Even though this could have been a standard, down-on-his-luck detective story, it's a new feeling and very fresh writing. I especially enjoyed the real Soho locations. The relationship between Cormoran and Robin is so very believable, you just root for them to get together. Holliday Grainger is excellent, she seems to be everywhere all of a sudden, which is great for we the viewers.

    Terrific show, can't wait till next season.
  • I've listened to first 4 audiobooks and really liked them so was looking forward to watching series. Maybe the series would be more satisfying if I hadn't "read" the books! So much was cut to condense them to just 2 or 3 episodes. Really disappointing. I note 4th season has 4 episodes so maybe it will be somewhat more satisfying. That said, the acting is superb - just wish the seasons were longer developed plots better.
  • bjane-6191526 February 2018
    Really thought this series was going to be worth watching but I am not enjoying it. It has an interesting hero in Strike played by a good actor in Thom Burke and I thought it would turn into a gripping murder mystery. It doesn't at all, its become a romantic drama with the crimes as a sort of backdrop. It didn't need all the clichéd stuff and its disappointing because it looked like it was going to be a bit quirky and different. Its ok to have romance in the story, but it cant BE the story and still be a crime series. Great theme tune though
  • You can review Strike in reference to the original book, that is, considering how efficiently or accurately the TV show has captured the source characters, atmosphere and plot. Or comment Strike as an original work in itself, without any comparative reference to the J. K. Rawling's books.

    As I haven't read them and I am not a particular fan of hers, I will refer to the show as an orginal production.

    I liked it generally, and I enjoyed the whole story and pace. It is the traditional, Christie-style private detective-and-his-femele-sideling story. The tone is not tormented noir (no Luther, nor Y Gwyll here), although some degree of light-weight mess is shown around the main character. I didn't find the script so unbelievable or nonsensical as a couple of reviewers have stated, although I concede that one or two lines were a bit too disconnected or far-fetched.

    Strike is a well composed and interesting character, I think finely interpreted by Tom Burke, whom I found convicing and charming considering the not-too-deep atmosphere or intensity of the script.

    I cannot know how faithfully Holliday Grainger plays her role in terms of the original character in the book. In non-comparative terms, I found her acting a bit annoying and, in fact, anti-climactic. Her pouting, overacting and excessive facial language, in a comedic key, pulled me away from the dramatic tension all the time. In my opinion, the production could have gained from a more subtle interpretation or actress, while also keeping the naive, well-meant spirit of the character.

    I hope the next series will be as fine and enjoyable as this.
  • It feels like ages since we've had a Private Investigator series on mainstream TV, enter Cormoran Strike, from a series of books penned by J.K. Rowling. I have to admit my expectations were high, and after ten minutes of watching The Cuckoo's Calling I realised I wasn't to be let down. This series is absolutely incredible, of course the plots and production values are impeccable as would be inspected, but it's the performances and character play that are the key. Tom Burke, always a quality actor, has possibly found his star role as Strike, he is absolutely brilliant, as is Holliday Grainger, the pair work beautifully together.

    I can't decide if I preferred The Cuckoo's calling or the Silkworm, both are superb. Awesome guest performances from Sian Phillips, Monica Dolan, Tara Fitzgerald, Martin Shaw, Tim McInnerny, and a huge shout out to Leo Bill.

    Bring on Career of Evil. 10/10
  • I wish the producers had made this into a mini series and given the secondary characters more to do (they are wonderfully written in the book). There is certainly enough of a story there. Still, the two main actors are portrayed well and really embody their characters.
  • tomsview30 May 2018
    During the 150th rerun of the "Counter Culture Blues" episode of "Lewis" on Foxtel, it seemed there wouldn't be anything fresh to take the place of those British detective mystery series I loved: "Morse", "Lewis", "Vera", "Shetland" etc.

    Then along came "C.B. Strike". It has a slightly different vibe but it has the basic ingredients that made those older series work so well.

    Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) is a private investigator. He's ex-British army and has lost a leg in Afghanistan. There is pain, physically and emotionally. However, no training for Invictus for him, he often ties one on at his local pub, smokes and has a haphazard diet rich in saturated fats. He crashes in his office, which looks so rank you automatically reach for the Air Wick.

    Burke is not unlike Stacy Keach, an actor who always had edge. As he walks through chilly streets, collar of his coat turned up and hands in pockets, he conjures up the iconic image of James Dean or even Sam Spade transposed to London.

    J. K. Rowland and the filmmakers have hit on things that elevate the great detective series from the ordinary. The main character must have empathy. They don't have to be particularly articulate, but you need to feel their innate understanding of the human condition.

    Strike is a man of few words, but he is a good listener. We sense wisdom gained through adversity. Strike joins characters like George Gently, Vera Stanhope, Tom Mathias and even Bogie's Sam Spade - all graduates of the school of hard knocks.

    "Strike" ticks another box: the Butch and Sundance one - the buddy at your back. But again there's a difference, Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) starts out as a temp in Strike's messy office, organises it, becomes his girl Friday and then partner. At episode five, it's still not a romance, she's engaged to someone else anyway, but the rapport is strong, she likes the work and she's smart.

    The stories so far have been good even if "The Cuckoo's Calling" was possibly stretched out one episode too long. However the second one, "The Silkworm", is tighter.

    There are only three novels so far (another on the way), but like the stories of Ann Cleeves ("Vera", "Shetland"), there is room for whole seasons based on the original characters. Here's hoping.
  • ChrisaRafa29 August 2017
    I'm a big fan of Tom Burke. (And a bit in love with him, lol) I've decided it to watch it only for him. I did my research and found out that the story is based on a series of books of J. K. Rowling.

    The pros: It is a good production. Good actors. Tom Burke (the most important advantage) It has mystery. Only 3 episodes

    The cons: It is a typical Crime Mystery Series. Nothing new It's a bit slow. Because it's based on the books can be a bit boring sometimes. But I suspect that it's the poor writing of the book. (Yes I'm not a big fan of Rowling.) Many clichés

    Tom Burke is excellent as usual. And that voice!!! Holliday Grainger is very good.

    The series is not a 10 but it's a solid 7 and worth your time.
  • Just finished watching all 11 episodes on the bbc iplayer after being recommended by a friend A real quality show with top class lead actors and some great writing from what I gather is an adaptation from a book series

    The 2 part third season is by far the best story with the main focus on the lead protagonists and building there relationship It just make you hope they don't take an age to film the next season
  • Enjoyable trip through familiar haunts in London. That aside, weak plot and full of holes. Only watched the first 3 episodes. Wanted it to be okay but sadly it wasn't. Predictable, porous and pretentious.

    If you like great crime series, give this a miss
  • westsideschl29 October 2018
    Overview: Why is it that most contemporary British detective/cop series (and other countries to some lesser extent) seem to involve a dysfunctional, drinking. smoking, physically & socially unkempt personage. And, they always have as a counterpoint a person (usually opposite sex) to balance them out, and often a nefarious street gopher to assist in the cases. Personality: C.B. Strike comes across to me as a self-centered, do what's best for me, character. His sleuthing was nothing a half way intelligent high school student couldn't ascertain. The worst part is his lack of caring & problem solving in trying to figure out how his new secretary/assistant can both handle the job and handle her future marriage. Cold! You also get a sense of male authoritarian control over a much younger attractive female worker. Script: Very typical the bad guy/gal is one of the least expected and exposed in the final minutes with a closing series rush. The exposure incidents in all cases seemed quickly & cheaply tossed together - very fast food fake. Acting: Recite the short easy lines; cut; edit; move on.
  • If you like detective stories with a noir twist this one's for you. Well written, and very well acted, it will definitely make you curious about the end. I like the fact it's just three hours worth of story not drawn out over many episodes, helps if you want to watch it in one night without it feeling like a binge.
  • taurie8130 March 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    I have loved the books of this series...this show doesn't do them any justice whatsoever. I really don't get it, people...why WHY on earth they do things with a budget (I simply refuse to believe they don't have it) and then get the work done so poorly. All the episodes are too rushed, there is no background to the story...if I hadn't read the books I wouldn't have understood anything from the show! The relationship between Robin and Strike is shown too superficial, while in the book you really feel they care for each other. I was expecting something more from this...totally disappointed. Same thing happened with The Casual Vacancy...
  • s327616925 September 2017
    Old is the new, "new". So many things these days from watches to cars to, well TV shows and films, are drawing increasingly on the past for inspiration.

    Strike is apparently a telly adaptation of a character from a series of "who dunnit" books by J K Rowlings. Much as I passionately loathed Harry Potter, I must say I have considerably warmer feelings towards Cormoran Strike.

    There's a real 70's vibe about this show. The intro right down to the fonts have a 70's look. Lead character, private eye, Cormoran Strike seems somehow displaced in a modern context too.

    Cormoran's look and attitudes take me back to 70's crime shows. There's a little dash of the tough guys from The Sweeney in this character but oddly, perhaps the character he most reminds me of is US sleuth, Colombo. The unkempt dishevelled look, the coat he seems to live in, the unassuming manner. All of which conceal a sharp, perceptive mind.

    The casting choices are excellent. Tom Burke's Cormoran shares wonderful chemistry with his "detective in training" side kick, Robin played by Holliday Grainger. To be honest I personally rather feel Grainger is the unofficial star of the show. Her warmth and personality really take centre stage and provide a nice balance to Cormoran's more subdued characterisation.

    So is there a downside here? Well for me, I did find the noticeable dash of elitism, tiresome. The only way Comoran can be a part of the celeb cases he seems to find himself embroiled in, is to come from the same stock. Much as Comoran appears to be an "every man",really he's not and I think that in some respects, that's a real shame. Why can't ordinary people do extraordinary things?

    Putting this minor gripe aside there's still far far more to like here than not. Strikes a real nostalgia trip that's capably acted, produced and directed. An addictive watch. Eight out of ten from me.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first two stories in this series, based on books by JK Rowling, are nicely varied and manage to feel modern and rather traditional. The impressively named Cormoran Strike, his father was a rock star, is a fine lead character. He previously served in the army and lost a leg in Afghanistan and is now working as a private detective in London. We are introduced to him via his new, initially temporary, assistant Robin Ellacott. Their first case together sees them investigating the death of a supermodel; the authorities believe she killed herself but her brother, an old friend of Cormoran, believes she was murdered. In second case they are employed to find a woman's husband, a writer. He is soon found dead; killed in the brutal manner described in his latest book. This book is a thinly veiled attack on fellow novelists and others in the publishing world so there are no shortage of suspects.

    As a fan of detective shows I thought I'd give this a go; I'm glad I did as it was rather good. Tom Burke does a fine job as Cormoran Strike. The character feels real and his past makes him interesting without dominating the series too much. Holliday Grainger also impresses as Robin, a more 'ordinary' character who is keen to become an investigator herself. These first two mysteries are nicely varied with plenty of suspects to keep one guessing till the end. They feature the sort of secondary characters that tend to populate such shows; larger than life and easy to suspect. This means the identity of the killer is far from obvious. On the strength of these two stories I look forward to the third, which will air next year, and hope there will be even at some point… of course that would require more books being written. I'd certainly recommend this to fans of the genre.
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