Round 1 of the TV Detective World Series has already seen its fair share of ups and downs, surprising results and easy wins. Ever since Jessica Fletcher cruised past Lewis in the opening bout fans have been glued to the battles and they haven’t disappointed – from the whitewashing Batman gave to Horatio Caine to the neck and neck battle between Jimmy McNulty and Miss Marple, the TV Detective World Series has had something for everyone. Well, everyone who finds such things interesting. Or just diverting.
Round One – Challenging Bureaucracy
If there’s one thing Quincy hates, it’s bureaucracy. Whether it’s those pen pushers at City Hall and their vote-chasing-re-election-attempting-muck-scraping-double-talking-backhander-accepting nonsense, or Dr Asten trying to get Quincy to sign off bodies for a quick turn around, Quincy won’t stand for any of it. In fact he will talk, at length, about just how much he hates it.
Every single episode.
Hunt opens up well in this round also. Unlikely to be accused of ticking all the boxes, dotting all the ‘i’s or crossing the ‘t’s, Hunt prefers to get things done with the application of the two main tenets of good, old-fashioned police work – extreme violence and alcohol abuse.
Round Two – Being a Moral Crusader
Now you’re talking! Quincy started well and now settles into this battle. He is so into being a moral crusader that he sets aside time at the end of every episode (and at several different points throughout) to explain the issue of the day. Whether it’s statistical sermonising (“If this doesn’t stop, there’s an 80% chance when Joey grows up he’ll beat his kids and his kids will beat their kids!”) or simply having the right retort to a rogue Doctor who claims he is not a murderer (“Try telling that to those seven dead people”), Quincy has something to say, and it will no doubt be something about how something bad should be stopped from happening.
Hunt plays a more cagey round this time. True, he was described by a colleague as an “overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding.” True, also, that he wouldn’t be welcome on a road safety campaign (“Take that seat belt off! You’re a police officer, not a bloody vicar).” But that doesn’t mean Gene Hunt is without a moral code. He has a clear sense of who is on the good side and who is on the bad – true, it may not always be correct, legal or fair, but in his own way he is one of the good ones. Take his view on drugs, for example:
“Drugs, eh? What’s the point. They make you forget, make you talk funny, make you see things that aren’t there. My old grandma got all of that for free when she had a stroke.”
Round Three – Having a Chirpy Sidekick Called Sam
A great draw for Quincy, because he does indeed have a sidekick called Sam. When Sam’s not assisting ‘Quince’ in his investigations he’s invariably making him a cup of coffee using a conical flash and a Bunsen burner, or covering for Quincy while he goes off investigating – against Dr Aston’s express orders! The capers come thick and fast, and Sam is always standing at the periphery, like a good sidekick should be.
Hunt starts this one with enthusiasm, because he’s at least half sure his sidekick is called Sam. On closer observation though, Hunt’s Sam is hardly chirpy, and barely gets involved in any light hearted high jinx – being too interested in having existential arguments about life and existence. On further observation one judge points out that Sam isn’t Hunt’s sidekick at all, but that provokes Hunt into a frenzy and in the ensuing discussion three judges’ portakabins are burnt to the ground for ‘resisting arrest’.
So that brings things to a close on this round, and the combatants are left to lick wounds and contemplate how things could have been. As ever, you decide who wins! Voting closes in a month, but if you can’t wait that long jump inside for more murder mystery fun and games!