TV Review: Code 404, Sky One

News: Second Series For Code 404

When you hear that two of the UK's finest actors, Stephen Graham and Daniel Mays, are starring in a new series as crimebusting cops you kind of what to expect. Something hard and gritty, with plenty of fights, muscle and characters that don't pull their punches when it comes to getting results. What you don't expect is a comedy, which is what Code 404 certainly is.

Detective Inspectors DI John Major (Mays) and DI Roy Carver (Graham) are the top crime fighting duo in the Unit. Until, that is, Major is fatally shot during a confrontatiom with local villains. Luckily the Met has the technology to rebuild him and a year later he is back with Carver. And this time he is bionic. Some thing about this Poundland Robocop haven't changed though. He is still a prize knob who hoovers up a bag of cocaine thinking it won't affect him and is soon grinning inanely.

Daniel Peak's Hot Fuzzy fast-paced script plays around with all the usual police procedural tropes and then adds a few new ones of its own. The setting is a kind of brutalist concrete jungle London in the near future. Shoot-outs tend to take place on the top of deserted car parks. The cars don't just turn corners, they screech around them. There is a road accident in the second half of the opening episode that manges to be both grisly and hilarious.

The two lead actors are very good at subverting Line of Duty-style expectations and they are helped by a very strong supporting cast. Anna Maxwell Martin plays Major's wife Kelly, who is now living with Carver, but Major doesn't know this yet – and despite being a crack cop misses all the obvious clues staring him in the reconstructed face when he goes home. Rosie Cavaleiro plays it straight as another officer while Richard Gadd does the honours as a vicious drug-dealing villain from central casting.

The comedy is pretty broad at times, but what Code 404 lacks in subtlety it makes up for in laughs. I presume Mays' character being called John Major is less of a nod rowards the former Prime Minister with the same name and more a nod towards actor Lee Majors, who played the original Six Million Dollar Man. By comparison Mays' Major probably cost a couple of thousand pounds – and he's only a prototype, meaning that there is plenty of scope for comedy when things go wrong, which they frequently do. After all, isn't Code 404 what your computer says when things don't work properly?

Code 404, Sky One, Wednesdays at 10pm from April 29 and on NOW TV. The full series is available as a boxed set after broadcast.

Watch a trailer below. 



Hello! Thanks for reading all the way down. I wish I could give you a prize. But BTJ needs your support to continue - if you would like to help to keep the site going, please consider donating.

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.