Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Call it an “upstairs/downstairs” police procedural. Britbox’s newest original series, The Tower, follows a team of detectives investigating their fellow coppers after an incident on a London rooftop goes horribly awry, resulting in the death of a civilian and a veteran beat cop. In three short episodes, the story grows increasingly complex as secrets are revealed, careers unravel, and conflicting loyalties test every character. The British ITV series is now streaming on BritBox via Amazon.
Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones, Killing Eve) stars as DS Sarah Collins, head of the Special Investigations team (think Internal Affairs) assigned to the incident. Collins’s relentless search for the truth steadily pushes the story onward, but it’s co-star Tahirah Sharif (The Haunting of Bly Manor) as the sole survivor—and lone witness—of the incident who holds all the secrets. A rookie cop—and a woman of color—finding her feet in the Old Boys’ network, PC Lizzie Adama navigates an increasingly intolerable web of intrigue and pressure as a seemingly simple case spirals out of control.
In alternating flashbacks, the incidents leading up to the rooftop tragedy gradually come to light, while in “real time,” Collins uncovers evidence of an internal coverup. The inciting incident—the abduction of a young boy by a teenage neighbor—is bizarre, and never really gets any more believable. But the taut pacing, strong performances, and building backstory will keep you watching.
Supporting actors Emmett Scanlan (Krypton), Jimmy Akingbola (Arrow), and Nick Holder (Peaky Blinders) round out the mostly police cast of characters, while Nabil Elouahabi (His Dark Materials) and newcomer Lola Elsokari play local residents fatefully intertwined with PC Adama’s story.
Last minute surprises hint at the possibility of a second season. Recommended for fans of The Bay (reviewed here), and easily watchable in one sitting, The Tower is now streaming on BritBox via Amazon.