Out of Blue, BBC iPlayer, written by Carol Morley and Martin Amis and directed by Carol Morley.


Schrödinger’s cat, observational effect and superposition, the multiverse, and our place in the universe to the power of…Einstein’s God doesn’t throw dice. Enough quantum physics to fill half a teaspoon. This is the backdrop for a routine murder mystery, with unsolved serial killer cases and socialites Detective Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson) is called in to investigate as a possible homicide Jennifer Rockwell (Mamie Gummer). Hoolihan has issues and is a reformed alcoholic, but she’s grown old dis-gracefully. She’s the best in the business and has a preternatural talent for linking disparate clues. Almost a one-hundred percent success rate.

Ticking in the film noirish background there are the cases that got away. A serial killer that was never caught and grown silent over the years. It’s personal, Hoolihan’s childish memories trigger clues she picks up in the case, and, vice-versa. In particular a Brenda Lee I’ll Be Seeing You soundtrack that sends her off into past and present.  In the foreground, Col Tom Rockwell’s (James Caan) a Vietnam War hero and well-respected family in New Orleans whose astrophysicist daughter’s case she’s investigating.

A closed-box mystery of the Agatha Christie variety.  Jennifer Rockwell, with a gunshot to her brain, had been found dead in observatory in which she worked. The door locked. Prof Ian Strammi (Toby Jones) is the main suspect. Being Toby Jones, we know it couldn’t have been that killed her on this or any planet.

The case is solved not by plodding, but great intuitive leaps of faith by the troubled Hoolihan. Cynical colleagues such as Tony Silvero (Aaron Tveit) can only look on in wonder. This is a pleasant enough way to spend an hour-and-a-half of your allotted time, if you’ve nothing better to do. Turn your brain off and enjoy, as I did.   

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