Anyone who claims Clive Owen can't act should watch this show - and think again. He's riveting as Ross Tanner, a tough detective chief inspector who suddenly discovers he is suffering from a rare eye condition. As he starts to go blind, he tries desperately to hide his condition from his colleagues. For me I must say the main interest lies in this personal dilemma rather than the mysteries themselves, where it is often (not always) pretty obvious whodunit. The moody, noirish camerawork and the special effects to suggest Tanner's blurred vision and hallucinations add to the atmosphere, as does the music, though I could do without the corny song I Can See Clearly Now turning up in quite so many scenes. But the best thing of all is the sharp dialogue, with loads of quotable lines. It's a pity that there were so few episodes made - though, realistically, it would be hard to make Tanner's struggle to cover up his disability last for any length of time. And it's also a shame that the interesting romantic situation, with Tanner falling for DI Catherine Tully (Claire Skinner), who helps him to cover up his failing eyesight, doesn't last for the whole series.
This is a remarkable series, richly dramatic and with one of those "twists" that lends an added element to each of the stories. Clive Owens is quite a powerful character as Ross Tanner, a hard drinking, hard boiled detective with a knack for solving some of the most difficult crimes. Unfortunately, he's cursed with a rare disorder causing him to go permanently blind. We watch Tanner's painful struggle as he attempts to keep this news to himself, relying ever higher on his other senses compensating for his loss of vision. He keeps everyone at bay, including his ex-wife and partners. Eventually, of course, those closest to him are onto the situation but everyone plays along as best they can - at least for as long as they can.
Owen's is one of those "must see" performances and he makes Tanner a character both irascible and likeable - not an easy accomplishment.
The mysteries of the crimes are fairly standard British "Mystery" which means they are always a notch or two above American crime dramas. In addition to the mystery aspect, we get to know and like (or loathe) a number of fascinating characters that make up the cast.
Second Sight is a worthy series that didn't get enough attention Stateside, but makes for some highly watchable television.
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