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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Noel Clarke, Ashley Walters, Christina Chong, Lashana Lynch and Mandeep Dhillon
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 23 July 2018

Buddy cop stories have a long tradition, going all the way back to the start of Dragnet in 1949. Some were played for laughs, some for a more dramatic purpose, but one thing they all have in common is that the success of the show relies on the chemistry between the two leads.

Bishop and Pike are two cops from very different backgrounds, Bishop is from the street working his way up the hard way, Pike is the son of an eminent police chief who looks down on his son's desire to work the streets.

Bulletproof (2018. 6 eps x 40+ mins variable) is a new cop drama created by Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, in collaboration with Nick Love. Clarke and Walters take the two staring roles of Bishop and Pike.

The show is really about families and as such we spend as much time in the characters personal lives as we do with them zooming around and getting into gun fights with criminals. In their working lives they are presented as mavericks, bending the rules and ignoring their superior officers to get the job done.

Bishop is spectacularly unsuccessful in his relationships which is in contrast with Pike's very middleclass relationship with his lawyer wife. Even though they come from different places it is the twos central relationship which defines them as brothers.

The first episode of the show is a relatively stand-alone story with the two investigating the theft of high end cars. It serves to introduce the characters and set the parameters of the show, a mixture of comedy and drama. Episodes two to six tell an over arcing story, although this is not obvious at the beginning.

The two are sent to apprehend Michael Sharp who has returned to England. They walk into a bank raid and when the footage is reviewed is shows that Sharpe was there. They chase Sharpe only for him to be killed by an assassin. What is happening and who is killing people becomes the central story.

Clarke and Walters have a natural chemistry which creates convincing camaraderie between the leads. It’s the first cop show with two black leads and should be commended for this. The writing remains good throughout, although I felt you could have cut one episode out too make a tighter story. Does it offer up anything particularly ground-breaking? No, not really. The writing is good with a nice delicate touch between the comedy and the drama and Clarke and Walters are a lot of fun to watch.


Charles Packer

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