For the past six weeks Rellik has taken the nation on an epic hunt for a vicious serial killer. Now this may sound like I’m describing any other BBC crime drama that we’ve seen of late, but Rellik is different. The story is told in reverse, reflected in the title (Rellik is killer backwards). It begins at the point of which the killer is found and the case seemingly solved, then each episode takes us back in time unravelling the murders one by one.
DCI Gabriel Markham (Richard Dormer) becomes increasingly obsessed with finding the killer who chooses acid as their weapon, and even becomes one of the killer’s victim’s in a brutal acid assault, leaving him with horrific facial scars. Gabriel isn’t a particularly likeable main character, he appears slightly unhinged, someone who doesn’t go by the book and overall not a very nice person. Viewers may not like him although may find themselves feeling sorry for his character at the same time.
He is a troubled character, the scars from his attack do not just run skin deep. As a result, his competency as a detective is being questioned and his boss threatens to take him off the case he has become so heavily involved with, a case that is now also personal. His partner DI Elaine Shepard (Jodi Balfour) is drawn into the investigation eager to please Gabriel and their relationship grows into far more than just a professional one. Like many of the characters in Rellik, Elaine seems to have demons of her own, very dark demons indeed.
I first feared that consisting of six parts would mean Rellik would be slow paced and a little dragged out, but in fact I couldn’t have been more wrong. The pace is fast, regularly going further back in time to reveal more of the story and with each episode the plot thickens. More and more sub-narratives begin to unfold alongside and there’s more red herrings than hot dinners. It certainly keeps the series interesting week by week, if not a little hard to keep up with all that’s happening.
Unlike other crime dramas also, Rellik appears to do the big reveal of the serial killer in the penultimate episode rather than the finale. It’s no mistake, going by the rest of the series, consisting of mysteries, shock twists and revelations, it’s unlikely that the finale will be any different and so don’t stop watching now. I suspect Harry and Jack Williams still have a few tricks up their sleeve and have saved the best till last.
Tune in to what’s predicted to be an explosive finale this Monday on BBC One, 9pm. And if you haven’t been watching you can catch up with Rellik on BBC iPlayer, it’s certainly worth doing so.
Dir: Sam Miller, Hans Herbots
Prd: Chris Clough
Scr: Harry and Jack Williams
Starring: Reece Ritchie, Richard Dormer, Jodi Balfour