08 September, 2007
City Homicide is a new show from Channel 7 in Australia and it's the best new detective drama I've seen in years. I've been thinking about creating a new police series myself but worried I didn't have a big enough gimmick. But there's nothing original to the City Homicide premise at all - a dead body is discovered and detectives find out who killed them. You might have seen that before.
What makes it original and interesting are the characters and their relationships. They just seem like real people who react like real people to things happening. That really shouldn't be so unusual but it is. And rather than being a po-faced bore as much of the genre is, City Homicide is quite funny. You can have humour while still having respect for the loss of human life.
There is conflict with the inter-departmental rivalries and within the homicide-team itself but the focus is on the story of the week, which I now realise, through the feedback on my Red Planet Prize script, is more important than I thought. But I'll post about that another time, probably.
John Hugginson and John Banas, the creators and writers of City Homicide give some pretty good pointers in creating a show in an interview on the official website (with some good advice for new writers). Also the writer's blog for the show is excellent.
Having to travel back and forth to Australia each week to watch it is really putting a strain on my bank balance so I urge UK broadcasters to snap it up quick. They may think the obvious home would be on one of their digital channels but this quality drama deserves a chance on prime-time on a main channel.
It's bonzer, cobber!