TV Review: Strike - The Cuckoo's Calling (Episode 1)
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With an amiable new detective duo and an intriguing case, the first chapter of J.K. Rowling's latest adaptation, Strike - The Cuckoo's Calling, gets off to a promising start. Based on Rowling's 2013 novel of the same name - written under the pseudonym, Robert Galbraith - this new BBC crime drama follows the investigative exploits of Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) as he delves deeper into a suspicious high profile suicide. The episode's opening scene, which instigates the case at the heart of this three-part drama, certainly does well to set the mood of the series. Lula Landry is a glamourous supermodel, adorned with fame and beauty. After emerging from a high profile event, Lula sets for home - stalked by a man in a wolf mask. Though this could very well be a red herring, Lula's final moments are littered with peculiar happenings and small clues that seem queer to an inquisitive eye. This, along with Adrian Johnston's chilling four-note piano motif and the leering tracking of the camera, creates an exquisitely tense atmosphere, laced with intrigue and suspicion as Lula heads towards her inevitable doom. A sudden cut to her lifeless body, splayed across a sheet of fresh snow, only begs more questions - and so begins the show. In present day, the newly engaged Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) seems content as she travels for a new temp job. Wide-eyed and optimistic, she heads for Cormoran Strike's office with a pep in her step - only to have a dramatic first encounter with her new employer. In the aftermath of a loud, passionate argument with a woman, Strike bounds forcefully through the door just as Robin reaches the top of the stairs - leaving her teetering over the edge. Though Strike is quick to save her from a nasty fall, this first meeting is certainly distinctive - as is the eponymous detective himself.
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