If you’ve ever wondered whether a TV show could have anything like the effect on you of The Silence of The Lambs then Prodigal Son might just be your thing. However, if you’re of a nervous disposition then seeing how serial killers get their kicks might not be for you. And we should mention is that it does star the ever-brilliant Michael Sheen.
Sheen plays the Hannibal Lecter character — in this instance a cardiothoracic surgeon named Martin Whitly — and Tom Payne plays his son Malcolm, who inevitably is a crime-solver, drawing on his knowledge of his father’s criminality. In The Times Ben Dowell claims that as “a cop show it was preposterous — full of lame wisecracking, silly chases and shoot-outs, daft coincidences and groan-inducing dialogue. However, it came fabulously alive whenever Martin and Malcolm shared screen time.”
Mike Hale in the New York Times wonders what happens when you cast Sheen, but only use him for eight or nine minutes per episode? “We spend the other 30 minutes wondering why he isn’t onscreen.” And thus, he says that when the show departs from Sheen in his cell, “it becomes an unexceptional procedural.” Sean O’Grady in the Independent also rates Sheen highly and says Prodigal Son is “ludicrous, but there’s sufficient sadism, psychobabble and Sheen to keep you distracted from the odd confusing plotline. Serial killing is a messy game, after all.”
First shown July 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.