Cinemax is set to import the UK thriller Rellik this April, and the full trailer reveals a dark murder mystery with a unique narrative device. The network has already teased the series with a cryptic trailer that hinted at how the show would play with time, and while it’s tricky to covey how a story that begins at the end will work in under two minutes, the new trailer at least does a good job of establishing the show’s ultra-bleak atmosphere, which should suit fans of crime dramas just fine.
Rellik has already aired in the UK, but it will be a new experience for Cinemax subscribers in the States, one that comes with a few familiar faces. The series stars Richard Dormer as DCI Gabriel Markham, who was seriously disfigured on the job when an assailant threw acid on his face. Viewers will likely recognize Dormer as the oft-resurrected Beric Dondarrian from Game of Thrones, as well as a doomed sherif on the surprisingly gory arctic crime drama Fortitude. It also stars Jodi Balfour (Quarry, The Crown) as DI Elaine Shepard, Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone, Black Sails) as DSI Edward Benton, and Patterson Joseph (The Leftovers, Timeless) as Dr. Isaac Taylor.
But a great cast isn’t enough to get people to tune into your show anymore; you also need a great hook. And while grim crime dramas unfolding in rain-soaked urban areas are basically a dime a dozen in this era of Peak TV, Rellik makes the bold choice to go full Memento with its story, promising a TV series that begins at the end and works its way back in an effort to not only understand who committed the crime but why the crime was committed in the first place.
If that sort of storytelling gymnastics gets your juices juicing, then Rellik is probably going to be up your alley. Again, the selling point of the series is difficult to convey in a 90-second trailer, but it makes do by hinting at the way the narrative runs in reverse, all while ratcheting up the tension in Markham’s investigation. As with any good drama about a damaged detective, the killer’s methods appear to hit very close to home, making the search something of a personal crusade.
There’s all sorts of wonderful detective genre tropes on display, so it will be interesting to see if Rellik attempts to subvert them as well. Either way, the twisty concept, terrific cast, and chilly atmosphere, makes the six-part series look like a thrillingly gloomy viewing experience.
Rellik premieres Friday, April 13 @10pm on Cinemax.
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