Crime Drama Has a New Identity
Identity, a British series released on DVD (May 3, 2011) by Acorn Media, puts a stolen identity twist on crime drama and police procedurals. The cases that Scotland Yard’s Identity Unit (IDU) investigates all involve murder, but each one is complicated by a case of identity theft—and each is different.
The criminals don’t merely get a mother’s maiden name and work their way into their victims’ finances for pecuniary gain; their motives run the gamut from assuming another lifestyle, to bilking the government out of fifty-million pounds, to revenge. Another question of identity runs through the six episodes in this two-DVD set: a brash, former-undercover officer, DI John Bloom (Aidan Gillen), joined the team after fifteen years on one assignment and he seems to be caught between his true identity and his cover, which was his life for so long.
Other members of the IDU are DSI Martha Lawson (Keeley Hawes), DS Anthony Wareing (Shaun Parkes) who harbors deep reservations and suspicions about Bloom, DC Jose Rodriguez (Elyes Gabel), and IT expert Tessa Stein (Holly Aird) who knows exactly when it’s time to turn to Google. Identity feels a lot like CSI, with an emphasis on information technology instead of forensics.
Viewers who watch only one or two episodes may feel that Identity is just another crime drama covering familiar territory, but if they commit to all six episodes they will be drawn into DI Bloom’s story arc as the series progresses. Bloom is a complex, insightful character whose undercover experience allows him a close understanding of the cases he is assigned. His conflicts affect both his investigations and his relationships with the rest of the IDU, particularly DS Wareing.
The May 3 release of Identity is the first time the show has been available to U.S. audiences. An American version of Identity is planned by ABC, starring Angela Bassett and Wentworth Miller.