"Manhunt" is a captivating mini series based on the true story of a murder investigation that kept the people of Britain gripped - and defined a detective's career. Starring Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as DCI Colin Sutton, the story begins in August 2004 when a young woman's body is found. Sutton is appointed senior investigating officer but initially struggles: there's no forensics, motive or witnesses. Painstaking detective work finally delivers a suspect - Levi Bellfield (Celyn Jones), but now the hunt is on for enough evidence to arrest him and make sure he's found guilty at trial. 'Manhunt' follows the compelling story of how DCI Sutton charged one of Britain's most notorious killers with two murders, as well as an attempted murder, whilst also impelling Surrey police to consider Bellfield as prime suspect in the high-profile murder of Milly Dowler.
This is produced as a three part crime series but it is based on the memoirs of an actual met detective, Colin Sutton and the hunt for a serial killer. Martin Clunes plays the lead role very well, bringing a down to earth seriousness to the role that is hard to reconcile with his other TV roles involving comedy. All the cast give good performances and portray very well the huge effort that goes into solving crimes when evidence that will convict is hard to come by. There is some tension between characters but it doesn't evolve into the melodrama that soaps and thriller crime series descend to. It all seems very real and true to life. It paints things as they are, as a documentary would, but is satisfying as a drama. The production team must have put a lot of effort into trying to do justice to the memory of the real life victims. In my view they can be proud of what they achieved.