Criminal Record: a British police mystery series

Cush Jumbo and Peter Capaldi in Criminal Record

Criminal Record has lots of male energy, nevertheless it stars Cush Jumbo as DS June Lenker. When a worrisome 999 call comes in June is put at odds with the powerful DCI Daniel Hegarty (Peter Capaldi) over an old murder case.

Criminal Record is an 8 episode series. The first 6 episodes were well plotted, but the final two episodes were shaky. After 6 episodes of trying to find answers, the last two episodes show flashbacks of what actually happened, but in a disjointed way that doesn’t really provide all the answers.

When a frightened woman calls from a public phone booth in fear for her life, she mentions a man who is in prison for a crime committed by the man currently threatening her. June Lenker’s colleague DS Chloe Summers (Dionne Brown) brings it to June’s attention. The thought that there’s a wrongfully convicted man in prison grabs June and she takes hold of the question and won’t let go.

Peter Capaldi and Cush Jumbo in Criminal Record

Even when her investigation into the old crime runs her smack up against Dan Hegerty, she won’t let it rest. It was his work all those years ago that put Errol Mathis (Tom Moutchi) in prison. Hegerty worked with a couple of his long-time cronies, DS Tony Gilfoyle (Charlie Creed-Miles) and DS Kim Cardwell (Shaun Dooley).

None of those three cops wanted June looking into that old case. They knew it had been a bad conviction. They did multiple things to keep her away from it including harass her family. None of it stopped her.

The unexpected aspect of what she was doing with Hegerty was that she treated him with respect and never threatened him. Hegerty managed to maintain some integrity, even as his wrongdoing was exposed. When the series ended, June and Hegerty were actually on decent terms. Cush Jumbo hinted recently that there was a second season coming, so that may be why the series ended on that note. I thought the questionable cops should have had consequences, but if the two leads are going to work together in another season, they both have to be in good standing on the force.

Errol Mathis was supported by his mother, Doris Mathis (Cathy Tyson), and a social media savvy lawyer, Sonya Singh (Aysha Kala). They kept Errol’s name in the public eye, much to the dismay of the police.

There were subplots with some of the witnesses and with Hegerty’s daughter (Maisie Ayres) and a boy Errol Mathis regarded as a son, played as a teen by Rasaq Kukoyi. Racism was a subplot.

Peter Capaldi and Cush Jumbo were both producers on the series, by the way. The writers and directors were all men. I think they all expected the series to belong to Peter Capaldi, but Cush Jumbo was not to be outshone. The entire series is available on Apple TV+.

2 thoughts on “Criminal Record: a British police mystery series”

  1. First off, have to say I was loving the short hairdo Cush sported throughout this series. It was very attractive and quite different from her usual wigs on The Good Fight.

    I agree that the last two episodes were odd and I was starting to doze off but I am happy to learn from you there may be a season two. I will definitely tune in.

    It was also so lovely to see Cathy Tyson as Errol’s mother. She always elevates any drama. I think I may revisit her breakout performance in the movie Mona Lisa with Bob Hoskins. Haven’t see it in decades.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner