Inside Man is a four-part murder mystery miniseries available on Netflix, starring David Tennant, Stanley Tucci, Dolly Wells, Lydia West, and Lyndsey Marshal. It’s also written by Steven Moffat of Doctor Who and Sherlock fame.
We watched it over the weekend and it is… extremely Moffat-y. Whoo, boy. All Moffat’s tropes are here in spades.
It’s not bad. I mean, look at the cast up there. You could have those folks read your grocery list and it would be riveting. There are a couple of just stand-out supporting roles, like Atkins Estimond’s Dillon, who stole just about every scene he was in, and Kate Dickie’s Morag, who was also delightful. There’s a handful of clever twists. It’s pretty funny.
But the whole thing relies on a small handful of people being just farcically stupid. To be fair, the cast does a spectacular job trying to sell some of this stupidity, and the plot whizzes briskly past the idiocy, trying to cover it up with a lot of style and amusing one-liners.
It’s also a deeply cynical four hours. It’s a lot like Moffat read The Killing Joke one time and was like “Yeah, it really does only take one bad day to turn you into a nutball killer!” despite the fact that the whole point of that book was that the Joker was wrong. Then he went and wrote a four-hour miniseries based on that and the fact that no one will let him make anymore Sherlock episodes.
It wasn’t terrible – definitely not the worst four hours of TV I’ve ever watched. It was funny and a fair amount of fun, and David Tennant, Stanley Tucci, and Dolly Wells were amazing. If you’re willing to overlook the idiot-ball plot, you’ll enjoy it. And it looks like it’s being set up for further series, probably with Stanley Tucci’s “detective” character making a return, so that might be interesting.