This April, Cinemax will offer subscribers a chance to check out Rellik, a U.K. murder mystery with a distinctive narrative device: the story moves in reverse. The Memento-like conceit should be a draw for audiences not already hooked by the promise of a six-episode series following a pair of intense detectives played by Game of Thrones’ Richard Dormer and The Crown’s Jodi Balfour, as they hunt down a serial killer.
The series has already aired in the U.K. on BBC One, and points to HBO and Cinemax’s continued partnership with the British broadcaster, not only as a means of giving shows like Gunpowder or the upcoming C.B. Strike a wider audience, but also adding to their own growing and increasingly important library of original content. And as Cinemax is finally back in the business of airing original shows, beginning with the fifth season of Strike Back and continuing later in the year with season 2 of Outcast, Rellik makes for an appealing addition to the network’s darker, more action-focused offerings.
There are plenty of dark shows about intense cops tracking killers out there, but Rellik’s unique angle will need to be more than just a gimmick to keep people watching. In its favor is a strong supporting cast that includes HBO veterans Ray Stevenson (Rome), and Patterson Joseph (The Leftovers). Learn more about the series in the synopsis below:
“RELLIK, an original six-part thriller, stars Richard Dormer (HBO’s “Game Of Thrones”) as Gabriel, an obsessive and disfigured UK police detective, and Jodi Balfour (CINEMAX’s “Quarry”) as Elaine, his bright and intense partner. Focusing on a serial killer, the story begins with the capture of the suspect and moves backwards in time to the crime itself. Obsessed with his hunt for the killer, Gabriel’s story becomes intrinsically bound to that of his suspect, asking the question, “What are the experiences that forge the people we all become?” Four episodes are directed by Sam Miller, and two by Hans Herbots.”
The cast certainly helps make Rellik’s appealing beyond its intriguing premise. Dormer is a charismatic actor who knows a thing or two about breathing life into tortured characters, some with more than their fair share of scars. In addition to playing the routinely resurrected Beric Dondarrion on Thrones, he recently played doomed policeman Dan Anderson on season 1 of the creepy arctic mystery series Fortitude. Meanwhile, Balfour, who made an impressive showing in Cinemax’s pulpy Quarry, most recently turned in a memorable performance as Jackie Kennedy in season 2 of The Crown.
It’s anyone’s guess as to how Rellik will be received by audiences in the States, but the series’ unusual format might make it appealing enough for subscribers to give it a chance. That's especially true now that Cinemax is once again in the business of delivering original TV shows.
Rellik premieres on Friday, April 13 on Cinemax.