Created by Lynda La Plante, The Commander is a superior crime drama series that is something of a companion piece to Prime Suspect with Burton’s Commander Clare, like DI Jane Tennison, having risen to the top in a man’s world and mostly on her own terms.
The first story, The Devil You Know, is pretty disturbing, dealing as it does with the murder of a very young girl, lots of distressing and dark imagery and a stressed atmosphere sees Blake crossing swords with new DCI Doug James (Mark Lewis Jones), which all makes for a hugely tense episode. By comparison Fraudster focuses on the death of a successful businessman who was being investigated by the Serious Fraud Squad, the third episode WIndows of the Soul goes inside an East London boxing club to investigate the brutal murder of a local priest.
As always La Plante’s strong drama credentials make for high quality viewing and Burton is ably supported by some excellent guest stars who include Nicola Stapleton, Celia Imrie and up and coming Gerard Kearns from Shameless.
UK / ITV1 – La Plante Productions / 14×90 minute episodes and 3×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 16 February 2003 – 12 November 2008
Creator and Producer: Lynda La Plante / Executive Producer: Lorraine Goodman
Amanda Burton as Commander Clare Blake
Martin Wenner as Alistair Morrison
Matthew Marsh as Detective Chief Inspector Mike Hedges
Poppy Miller as Detective Inspector Carol Browning
Anthony Valentine as D.A.C. Edward Sumpter
Patti Love as Brenda Thornton
Thomas Lockyer as Detective Inspector Ken Miles
Sean Chapman as Detective Chief Inspector Frank Lane
Pip Torrens as Detective Chief Superintendent Les Branton
THE PILOT (2 part story) 16 and 17 February 2003
SEASON ONE 17 and 18 January 2005
1. BLACK DOG (two part story)
SEASON TWO 27 March – 3 April 2006
1. BLACK LIGHT (two part story)
SEASON THREE 8 July – 12 August 2007
1. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (two part story)
2. FRAUDSTER (two part story)
3. WINDOWS OF THE SOUL (two part story)
SEASON FOUR 10 – 12 November 2008
1. ABDUCTION (a three part story)
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