Belfast Telegraph

Mindhorn: Fallen TV star seeks redemption in madcap yarn

 

By Damon Smith

In the late Eighties, actor Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) set the nation's heart aflutter as TV detective Mindhorn, who could literally "see the truth" using his one robotic eye. Twenty-five years later, fame has cruelly deserted him.

Out of the blue, Richard's long-suffering agent (Harriet Walter) offers him a chance at redemption: return to the Isle of Man, where the TV series was filmed, to assist Chief Inspector Derek Newsome (David Schofield) in apprehending suspected serial killer Paul Melly (Russell Tovey).

Melly is a deluded fan of the TV series and tells police he will "only speak to Inspector Mindhorn or more people are going to die".

Consequently, Richard travels to his former stomping ground to work alongside DC Baines (Andrea Riseborough) on the high-profile case.

Richard revives his alter ego, while stoking the embers of romance with former co-star Patricia Deville (Essie Davis) and trading barbs with former series stunt man Clive Parnevik (Simon Farnaby).

Filmed on location on the Isle of Man, Mindhorn is a potty-mouthed escape from dreary reality that pickpockets chuckles and the occasional snort of derision as the cast surrender to the script's lunacy.

Barratt is clearly having a ball as a fallen star, who couldn't care less about the death of an innocent girl until he has his morning Americano with hot milk.

Farnaby is equally goofy and their script contrives a ramshackle murder mystery that might pass muster on Midsomer Murders, albeit with a considerably higher body count.

Extended cameos from Kenneth Branagh and Simon Callow, gleefully poking fun at their theatrical luvviness, deliver hearty laughs.

Three Stars

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph