Review: With silly new BBC crime thriller Inside Man, stupid is as David Tennant does

At one point during BBC1’s new thriller, Inside Man (BBC1, Mon/Tues, 9pm) troubled vicar Harry (David Tennant) said: “We need to take a step back from this whole stupid business.”

Which summed up exactly what most viewers were thinking. For this Steven Moffat-scripted crime drama was most definitely stupid, in so many ways.

Tennant’s conscientious vicar is happily married with a son and – bucking a trend – a popular church. For several inexplicable reasons involving a memory stick filled with child porn, he ends up with his son’s maths tutor (Dolly Wells) locked in his cellar and the police knocking at his door.

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Meanwhile, on death row in a US prison, mild-mannered academic wife-killer Jefferson Grieff (Stanley Tucci) uses his time before an appointment with a hypodermic solving baffling crimes.

David Tennant starred in new BBC thriller Inside Man

Of course, like Moffat’s previous dazzling detective, Sherlock, he does this with a very condescending attitude, while Grieff’s solutions to the crimes leave you scratching your head at their outlandishness.

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Oh, and his ‘Dr Watson’ is a burly serial killer with a photographic memory.

No one in Inside Man is remotely believable, while plot springs from the vicar’s totally ridiculous decision in episode one, which derails it entirely. He is asked repeatedly why he is making these decisions, to which he only replies: “I don’t know. God knows. Because…”

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Lauren Lyle starred as rising young detective Karen Pirie in the new ITV police drama of the same name

Anyone with kids knows that a shrug of the shoulders and a “because” is not a good reason for anything – certainly not for four hours of drama. Take a step back, and watch something else.

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Set against the ludicrous Inside Man, ITV’s new crime series Karen Pirie (ITV, Sun, 8pm) looks like Ingmar Bergman. Lauren Lyle plays Karen, a rising young detective assigned to a cold case after a podcaster raises questions about the initial enquiry. Solid, well-plotted, with a charismatic lead, it’s worth a watch.

The makers of Make Me Prime Minister (Channel 4, Tues, 9pm) evidently thought The Apprentice wasn’t annoying enough, so added in some politics. Although the contenders were put through hoops, formulating policies and press strategies, none seemed as the current incumbent of No.10.