Bake-Off's Nadiya lights up the darkness

Woozy thinking scene alert... Anne-Marie Duff in the new BBC drama From Darkness
Woozy thinking scene alert... Anne-Marie Duff in the new BBC drama From Darkness
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I’ve been Googling some statistics on violent crime recently, as you do, and came up with the fact that, in 2013/14, two-thirds of homicide victims were men.

The same figures* also threw up the fact that the number of recorded homicides was the lowest since 1989.

The same figures also revealed that women were far more likely to be killed by their partners or ex-partners than some random maniac.

If I can find these figures via a quick internet search, why can’t the nation’s television scriptwriters?

In their world, the victims of murder are young women – often prostitutes – slain in various imaginative and gruesome ways by a lone, usually psychotic, often good-looking and charismatic, killer.

We’ve had Luther, The Fall, Sky’s DI Thorne series, Lynda La Plante’s Above Suspicion, among many others, and now From Darkness (BBC1, Sundays, 9pm).

In this one, the bodies of two prostitutes are discovered on a Manchester building site, and a former copper (Anne-Marie Duff) is brought back from an idyllic new life in the Western Isles to work on the case. It’s got a lot of slo-mo, woozy thinking scenes, featuring Duff’s furrowed brow, in which the background noise goes all distorted and quiet, before suddenly GETTING REALLY LOUD as she comes round from her reverie.

And there are lovely moody shots of a rainy, neo-noir Manchester, or tense conversations in steamy greasy spoons.

The trouble is, it is still bound by cop drama cliches, not least the continued insistence that all young women are potential victims of horrific crime.

Thankfully, this week’s Great British Bake-Off finale (BBC1, Wednesday, 8pm) proved that is not the case. Winner Nadiya consistently stole this particular show, being brilliant at baking and generally really nice.

A nice show, with nice people, showing off a high level of skill. Brilliant.

* Crime Statistics, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2013/14, Office for National Statistics, www.ons.gov.uk