The series premiered on Sunday evening. It was produced by Jed Mercurio, who was also behind Line of Duty and Bodyguard, both of which were a huge hit for the station.
In Bloodlands, Nesbitt DCI plays Tom Brannick, whose past takes center stage after a car with a Harland and Wolff crane postcard and a picture is pulled out of Strangford Lough. The car later belongs to a missing freight forwarder with IRA connections.
Brannick links the discovery to a cold case and the hunt for Goliath, a serial killer who may have operated in the police force and is known to have murdered everyone who threatened the peace process in the 1990s. The twist in the story is the murder of the policeman’s wife Emma, who may have been one of the killer’s victims.
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The plot of the four-part drama is murky in several ways. The setting in Northern Ireland offers a somber backdrop and the impression that the ghosts of the past are always present.
The prime-time drama has been described by writer and comedian Tim McGarry as the perfect series for Northern Ireland, which aired on Sunday night to “divide people 50/50”.
Viewers also spotted some familiar faces from another popular series in Northern Ireland. Kathy Kiera Clarke and Ian McElhinney of Derry Girls appeared in the first episode.
“There is obviously only a limited supply of Northern Irish actors. We’re working our way through the cast of Derry Girls, ”tweeted Louise Paterson.
Others were just waiting for Line of Duty Ted Hastings to come to the rescue.
“Time to get Ted Hastings and the AC-12 team. They’ll sort it out, ”Vince Bishop said on Twitter.
In the meantime, others were only there for the location. Brendan Rogan tweeted, “Like most programs in and around Belfast, my main reason to see Bloodlands is that I get dizzy when I find a place I recognize.”
Despite the familiar characters, the new series couldn’t strike a chord with some. Paul McAleer said it was “definitely the worst thing I’ve seen this year”.
“A number of stereotypes from Northern Ireland with a lot of bad acting and cinematography – shockingly bad,” he said.
Dan Wilson had a suggestion: “I enjoyed Bloodlands. But do you think the UK audience wants to see a representation of Northern Ireland that does not focus on violent crime, problems or police corruption.
“Our tourism companies would certainly prefer more scenery and drama based on baked cake,” he said.
And for politics professor Jon Tonge, the series finale is not very fascinating:
“This Bloodlands conspiracy is already evident.
“The killer escapes via Belfast to the Isle of Man tunnel,” he said.