Netflix Review: “Collateral,” British Crime Mini-Series

If you are looking for a TV series with dark aesthetic imagery, twinkly etheric music that draws in themes of mystery and murderous crime, then Netflix’s TV mini-series Collateral is a must watch.

It’s a four-part British TV dramatic serial, written and created by David Hare, and directed by S.J. Clarkson  – two heavyweights in TV and film.

Clarkson has directed episodes of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black and The Defenders. Collateral follows the story arc of one of the main characters, British DI Kip Glaspie, a sanguine detective inspector – female, pregnant and uncompromising even with her superiors – assigned to investigate a murder of a pizza delivery driver in London. Investigation of his death, as the series involved, reveals layers and layers of intrigue.

The show has basic elements of a classic cop show – who did it and why – but it also brings about its own unique flair with dark and dreary imagery. It also incorporates contemporary issues in England, such as immigration, the war in Syria, refugees, and sexism and violence against women. And lots more.

I don’t watch a lot of British crime shows, I live in Staten Island, why should I be concerned about British entertainment? But this assignment has been a plum. Collateral’s script teases viewers with the this: How will all the plot elements for the antagonists and protagonists come together at the end of the series? It’s a fine example of the fine storytelling that has evolved due to the popularity of Game of Thrones, which  uses multiple characters in its story arcs and the plot jumps – some would say soars – and has them interconnected in imaginative ways.

I said there was an eclectic mix of characters, not only in the literal sense that there is a lot of them and that they are interesting but also because the cast is highly diverse. For example, a lesbian couple in the is composed of a young, hip Asian youth with her lover who is middle age and a member of the clergy. Collateral shows the issues and struggles that gay couples can face, and Collateral keeps it real.

Representation is an important thing these days, and even more important than that is realistic representation because we live in a day and age of people who want to see themselves represented in art and media and who do not want to be whitewashed heterosexual.

I definitely recommend this series. It grips you with intrigue straight from the opening minutes of the first episode and from there on, it just doesn’t let go.


Larry Romanovich can be reached at