What would it take for you to commit murder? And, before you say, “Not me,” remember that there is a dark side within each of us. Inside Man reveals to us just how easily that trip down the rabbit hole can be.
Inside Man is a four-part black comedy-drama from the brilliant mind of Steven Moffat. The series is directed by Paul McGuigan and stars David Tennant, Stanley Tucci, Dolly Wells, Lydia West, Lyndsey Marshal, Louis Oliver, Atkins Estimond, Dylan Baker, Kate Dickie, and Mark Quartley. The series begins in Britain with the sexual harassment of Journalist Beth Davenport (Lydia West) on a train, and her rescue by a math tutor, Janice Fife (Dolly Wells).
The ladies exchange phone numbers and keep in touch with each other. The story then jumps to an American prison where murderer Jefferson Grieff (Stanley Tucci) is awaiting execution on Death Row. Jefferson, with the help of fellow Death Row prisoner Dillon (Atkins Estimond) are solving cold cases as they await their execution.
Now while this is going on, we jump back to Britain where Vicar Harry Watling (David Tennant) is preparing to go home when one of his parishioners, Edgar (Mark Quartley) gives Harry a flash drive that contains images of child sexual abuse. Harry has been trying to help Edgar stop this disgusting habit of his, but he takes the flash drive because Edgar’s mom is a rather frightening force to deal with. Now comes the good part. You remember that math tutor? Well she was tutoring the Vicar’s son, Ben (Louis Oliver), and she comes over and is accidentally given the flash drive with porn on it, and that is when all hell breaks loose in an unlucky chain of events that has Harry panicking and pushing Janice down the basement stairs. What Harry doesn’t know is that Janice was able to send a photo of her being attacked to the journalist.
I am not going to reveal any more of the plot because it will ruin the joy of watching. What I do want to talk about is the brilliance of Stanley Tucci as the soft-spoken murderer who is trying to help Beth find Janice. Stanley’s character is like a cooler version of Hannibal Lecter. He is a master of the criminal mind. He murdered his wife and then cut off her head and hid it. His reason, as he explains to Beth is this, “Anyone can become a murderer. All it takes is a good reason and a bad day.” The kindly Warden (Dylan Baker) allows Jefferson to take on cases with the hope that Jefferson will finally reveal where his wife’s head is buried. Stanley’s Jefferson is a work of art to watch, but he is almost overshadowed by the acting of Atkins Estimond, the serial killer with a photographic memory. I am guaranteeing that you will enjoy this limited series just to watch these two men interact.
David Tennant is at his best as the Vicar. He is a man of God…that is until he thinks his son’s life will be ruined by Janice. David’s Harry and Lyndsey Marshal’s Mary Watling are mesmerizing to watch as they flip flop between releasing Janice or killing her. Why didn’t Harry just tell Janice the truth? Every single plan of Harry’s to solve the dilemma opens the door to more insane craziness. And then there is the victim, Janice (Dolly Wells) but is she really a victim? One soon realizes just how clever Janice is and that she has a unique gift of reading people.
I’ve watched this limited series on Netflix twice, but I could watch it again and again. Inside Man is like a puzzle with no corners. All the pieces are there, but you have to put it together while wearing a blindfold…lol. Inside Man is a delicious dark comedy, and one worthy of a Biff Bam Pop! review. Catch it on Netflix.