This week Sky continued its bid to compete with the terrestrial channels to be seen as a force in homegrown drama with Lucky Man. Ok, it’s written by an American and owes a lot to glossy US Dramas but it’s certainly set in the UK (sort of). It stars James Nesbitt as a divorced, heavy drinking, gambling addicted Detective Inspector Harry Clayton who finds himself a possible suspect in a murder he is investigating (so no clichés so far). After a liaison with a lady on a motorbike (she dismounted the bike before they liaised) Harry wakes up to find himself the proud owner of a bracelet which he can’t seem to remove. But this is no Elizabeth Duke bracelet with a dodgy clasp or the one Joey got Chandler in Friendsepisode. This bracelet makes him lucky without any bunnies being required to lose their appendages. The only problem is that other people want his luckiness (Luckanation?… Luckability?…oh just lucked, I mean looked it up. It’s simply luck).
It’s written by Stan Lee who is best known as the creator of the Marvel superheroes including Spiderman, The Hulk and Thor and for having more cameos in his films that even Alfred Hithcock did (this series being no exception). This is more suspense than superhero. However the artificialness of big movies comes across in the location. London. Yep, I didn’t think that was possible either. A lot has been made of the how beautiful London looks in the series, and yes, it does. It doesn’t however look remotely like the London I know. Harry’s office at the Police headquarters comes straight out of Bondrather than The Bill. The casino is full of glamorous gamblers, drinking champagne and cocktails, dressed in evening suits. The only time I have been in a casino (admittedly it was in Birmingham) it was full of off-duty taxi drivers wearing cardigans, eating sandwiches. The hospital waiting room was immaculate with no slashed seats, drunks or even patients for that matter. We never saw any sight of the night bus; no one was run over by a bicycle courier and there was no evidence of tourists with selfie sticks. This was not the London I recognised.
Once you get over this and the fact that Darren Boyd (Spy, Smack the Pony) is playing a nasty character, Lucky Man could become an enjoyable yarn. We haven’t really seen what good luck this bracelet can bring Harry yet. In fact since he’s had it there has been another murder; his daughter was involved in a bike accident and he’s crashed a boat. Let’s hope he kept the receipt.