As a concept, a programme about a detective with a heavy gambling addiction and a penchant for trouble being gifted an immovable bracelet that allows him to control his own luck, is pretty far-fetched.
But it’s a concept that has worked a treat and, as the ten episodes of Lucky Man on Sky1 have unfolded, it’s a story that has got more and more exciting with every twist.
James Nesbitt, the go-to man for gritty crime dramas, plays the enigmatic London cop Harry Clayton. When Clayton wakes to find Eve, the woman he has slept with, has placed a mysterious bracelet on his wrist, it’s the start of a gripping spiral of events including several murders, police cover-ups and betrayal.
Armed with his superhero-esque powers courtesy of the bracelet and the confidence it brings him, Clayton starts to feel invincible as the world around him begins to crumble. But as the show points out with irritating regularity – such luck comes at a cost. It’s not your regular London cop show and fresh from the brain of Marvel’s superhero legend Stan Lee has a glossy, unique edge.
Lucky Man’s strength has been the way the plot has been refreshed every week as Clayton attempts to get to the bottom of who is behind the killings on London’s streets while fending off those who are out to kill him for the bracelet he now possesses. With a new murder has come new intrigue and kept the audience guessing as to who is behind the sinister events – with no shortage of potential suspects. At every turn, the story has become shrouded deeper in mystery and the tension has risen a few notches every week.
It’s hard to sustain a plot over a ten-week run and perhaps Lucky Man has succeeded due to the strength of its casting. Nesbitt is captivating and this role has demonstrated his ability to draw an audience in to the drama that is unfolding around him and underlined his status as one of the most-watchable actors on British television. Add to that the diversity of the characters, including the quite-wonderful cameos from Omid Djalili and the brilliant Steven Mackintosh, and Lucky Man has remained engaging, witty and dramatic week after week.
As with any programme of this sort, you need to take events with a pinch of salt. Realism is at times thrown out of the window – no police force would ever really act like this – and to be frank some events stretch believability. But if you’re prepared to sit back and take it for what it is, Lucky Man is a pulsating crime drama with a superhero vibe that has plot twists aplenty and an enviable cast. That recipe has made it a thoroughly enjoyable watch every Friday for the last ten weeks – and you can’t ask for more than that.
Feature Image: Sky