Things liven up even more in Before We Die

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Wednesday: Before We Die; (Channel 4, 9pm)

Although the Swedish noir series on which it was based was a massive success, reviews have been mixed for this six-part police drama.

After the first episode, one reviewer called it “terribly good fun” and an “exemplary example of a newly coined genre, Bristol Noir”.

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However, another said it featured “downright woeful acting – and a script that seems cobbled together via Google Translate”.

Palve, Bianca and JovanPalve, Bianca and Jovan
Palve, Bianca and Jovan

Nevertheless, plenty of viewers have been hooked by the trails and tribulations of Lesley Sharp’s Hannah Laing a Detective Inspector with the South Western Police’s Organised Crime Unit, as she struggles to balance her personal and professional lives.

And the 61-year-old actress, who spent five years playing DC Janet Scott in ITV series Scott & Bailey, thinks Before We Die stands out in the somewhat flooded crime drama genre.

“The police genre is capable of holding and shaping many forms of storytelling,” she explains. “Our show investigates a character at the centre of a crime thriller who is also trying to learn something about all the mistakes they’ve made as a partner, a mother and a colleague. I think that the aspiration for the show is that it doesn’t look or sound like a UK cop drama. European shows are unafraid of investigating philosophical questions on behalf of their characters or elevating imagery or letting moments play out.

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“I think that while there will still be those elements of ‘who did what’, in our version, hopefully the audience will get engaged with the psychology of these characters, invest in them and want them to find resolution and forgiveness.”

A lot of Before We Die revolves around Hannah’s relationship with her wayward son Christian (Patrick Gibson) who has gone roundly off the rails after his parents’ split.

And according to Leslie, family element will also appeal to viewers.

“She’s got it wrong with her ex-husband and with her son,” the actress says. “She and her husband couldn’t make their relationship work and their parenting was caught up in the fallout of that. The back story is that Hannah and her ex-husband have not parented their son well. They have not been able to help Christian at a crucial stage in his life and in trying to make that right, Hannah makes a catastrophic mistake. Ironically, given that she is a police officer and has an interest in staying on the right side of the law, her son takes a different path and gets involved in criminal activity.”

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In tonight’s penultimate episode, Hannah and Billy (Vincent Regan) have worked out how the Mimica family and crime organisation plans to smuggle the cocaine into the UK. But with Christian out of action, they have no way of knowing when or where the consignment will be delivered. Meanwhile, as another drug dealer confesses to Sean’s murder, it looks like the Mimicas will get away with their crime. However, when the conflicted Bianca (Issy Knopfler) makes a discovery, it turns everything on its head.

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