Mel Gibson stars in a brilliant update of a classic BBC thriller

Hollywood remakes are rarely a good idea.

If you’ve seen it once why would you bother seeing the same thing again only with a bigger budget and contemporary haircuts?

Maybe if it was on telly 25 years ago, it was a brilliant thriller and it deserves a new audience.

Mel Gibson has taken Edge Of Darkness, first shown as a BBC series in 1985, and moved it from Yorkshire to present-day Boston losing none of the suspense along the way.

No one does revenge quite like Mel and this is miles more violent than the original.

But as widowed detective Thomas Craven hunting the killers of his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic, Drag Me To Hell) the actor is also moving and convincing as a man left all alone in the world.

Such a man is dangerous – what else has he got to lose? 

The police think Emma was shot by mistake in a grudge attack on Thomas. But is the secret she was about to tell her dad anything to do her work for a private nuclear facility? 

Thomas’s hunt leads him to the cynical Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone) an ex-military man who may or may not help him – Darius is his own man and he will decide.

Director Martin Campbell, who directed the original series, makes a brilliant job of cutting it down from six hours to two and losing very little of its essence.

Classic BBC drama has been mauled by Hollywood before. Russell Crowe grandstanded in the big screen version of State Of Play and only got away with it because journalists are suckers for anything that portrays us as good guys.

But Edge Of Darkness is one cracking BBC conspiracy thriller that’s been treated with respect.

Edge Of Darkness out now

Gillian Crawley