'New Blood' Review: 5 Reasons We're Loving New BBC Crime Drama Starring Ben Tassavoli, Mark Strepan

Writer Anthony Horowitz wanted to bring the fun back to crime drama.

'Peaky Blinders' may have bid bloody adieu for now, but the Thursday evening crime drama baton has been handed safely over to BBC One, with the debut of 'New Blood'.

Writer Anthony Horowitz has said he wanted to inject some fun back into the crime drama genre after that huge body of dark, unsettling stories we've welcomed from the Nordic regions, and he's succeeded.

Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli are the leads in brand new drama 'New Blood'
Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli are the leads in brand new drama 'New Blood'

'New Blood' brings together two investigators, Rash and Stefan, from CID and the Serious Fraud Office respectively, as they trace the links between a series of unexplained deaths of drug trial participants, and a global pharmaceutical enterprise. Think 'The Constant Gardener' but with the Shard gleaming in the background.

Here are 5 reasons, judging from Episode 1, 'New Blood' is a keeper...

The setting - after all the dark alley ways and misty warehouses of Scandi-Noir, here's a bright, almost sunny London. Yes, there's loads of crime being committed, naturally, but at last we have two investigators jumping on the DLR to Canary Wharf, not going out alone into the deep, dark night with torches and a death wish.

The leads - two dashing young Alpha males, British-Iranian Rash and British-Polish Stefan. No middle-aged existential angst here, instead we get tons of ambition, testosterone and perfect stubble. And such a breath of fresh air to have two unknowns, Ben Tavassoli and Mark Strepan in the lead roles of a primetime drama, so we can fully lose ourselves in the story.

Their first appearances - Rash, all nervous, trying to impress his senior officers, but clearly going places with his CID attachment, Stefan undercover for the Serious Fraud Office and fending off the bumbling bully advances of someone hopefully up to his crooked neck. To paraphrase the Harts' butler Max, by the time these two met, knocking knees in a weekend race, it was inevitable mayhem.

The crimes - set in the big-money business of global pharma, from the personal pitfalls of drug trials to the inevitable opportunities for corruption when you have the purses of the world's health practitioners to dip your hand into. Through the eyes of Rash and Stefan, we head into a world that we never much think about, although it sits on our doorstep and affects all our lives.

The fleeting but always welcome appearance of Mark Bonnar. I know I'm applauding the rest of the 'new blood' on show but, well, it wouldn't be a BBC crime drama without the clipped Scottish tones of this veteran of 'Line of Duty', 'Shetland' and 'Undercover'. He tried to disguise himself with a pair of specs, but we haven't watched all these hundreds of hours of police drama without learning a thing or two.

What did you think of 'New Blood'? Let us know below... It continues next week on BBC One, and is available on BBCiPlayer. Tap the first picture below to open the slideshow:

New Blood

New Blood


What's Hot