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David Tennant to star in Netflix's Criminal, an experimental police interrogation anthology

Photo: John Phillips (Getty Images)

One of the best episodes of television of all time is “Three Men and Adena,” the fifth episode of the first season of Homicide: Life On The Street. In it, two detectives interrogate a man over the death of an 11-year old girl, but fail to do so in the 12 hours they’ve been allotted. It’s intense, intimate, moving, scary, ambiguous, and simple enough to make you wonder if one could build an entire series out of this kind of claustrophobic drama. Hell, In Treatment did something similar for therapy.

Well, Netflix is giving it a shot. Set across 12 episodes, Criminal will tell four stories, each of which will unfold across three episodes and take place in a different country, with talent from that respective country handling the direction, scripting, and acting. Each story, which will be performed in the language of the particular country, will take place “exclusively within the confines of a police interview suite,” and, per Deadline, function as “a stripped down, cat-and-mouse drama that will focus on the intense mental conflict between the police officer and the suspect in question.”


Doctor Who’s David Tennant and Agent Carter’s Hayley Atwell will star in the U.K. episodes of the series. Germany, Spain, and France will set the stage for its other tales, the details of which are still under wraps for now. The concept comes from Killing Eve writer George Kay and Episodes director Jim Field Smith.

With coerced confessions and reckless interrogations popping up in both life and art lately, the show’s sure to push a button or two. See a teaser for the series below.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.