I recently stumbled across a show from a few years ago featuring not one but two of DW’s fabulous lady guest stars: Suranne Jones (Idris, “The Doctor’s Wife”) and Lesley Sharpe (Sky Silvestry, “Midnight”). The two co-star as police detectives in ITV’s Scott and Bailey: Jones as erratic but brilliant DC Rachel Bailey, nicknamed Sherlock, and Sharpe as her steady family-woman partner and best friend, DC Janet Scott. Just watching them together is treat enough, but the show as a whole fills a role rarely seen on television: police procedural drama led entirely by women, in front of and behind the camera.
The two main characters are women. Their boss is a woman. Most of the writers and directors are women. Minor characters – cops, victims, perpetrators – may be men or women. But the major male characters are love interests, exes, and comic relief. It’s a big switch for the genre, and a welcome one. The scripts are strong, the acting flawless. This isn’t a bone thrown to women: it’s the real thing, done really well. It’s a model for what half of all television should be.
Recommended for fans of police drama, as well as fans of these two spectacular actresses.