- Series Title: No Offence
- Season: 3
- Episodes: 6
- Discs: 2
- Network: ITV
- Cast: Joanna Scanlan, Elaine Cassidy, Will Mellor, Saira Choudhry, Paul Ritter
- DVD: Widescreen DVD (R1, NTSC)
This review contains spoilers for Series 3 of No Offence.
No Offence Series 3 opens in the last days of the mayoral campaign in Manchester. A far-right terrorist group has staged a protest outside the town hall where the candidates are to have an open debate. DI Viv Deering and her team are providing security in a situation that is becoming more and more volatile. A person of color throws a drink at one candidate (a blonde woman) while shouting anti-Muslim rhetoric. Deering and company try to deal with that and get the woman inside – she’s shaken but unhurt. It turns out that Caroline McCoy is an old friend of Deering, who knew her mother. They get her to the stage, and just as the debate gets started, Deering spots a shooter on the balcony and pushes McCoy out of the way. Spike, Joy, and Dinah give chase. Dinah is pushed down a flight of stairs but not seriously hurt. Spike and Joy continue the chase outside the building, and Spike tries to stop the shooter from getting on a getaway bike. In the fracas, he is beaten and Joy is shot. Joy dies.
The team is understandably upset by the loss of DS Joy Friers. However, Series 3 is not simply about revenge. The team spends the first three episodes of the story investigating the far-right racist terrorist group Albion, especially it’s leaders Caddy and Dirkin and the hired assassin Beckett. Dirkin is also a wealthy businessman with plans to literally buy the Manchester police – to purchase it and privatize it under his control, piece by piece. Did I mention this guy is a racist who’s sponsored the bombing of Muslim Mosques, Jewish Temples as well as schools? And he wants to own the police. The current mayor wants to prevent Dirkin’s buyout and has blocked his plans in the council – but his re-election campaign isn’t a sure thing anymore after the assassination attempt on McCoy. McCoy wins the election on sympathy.
The first three episodes have Deering and company chasing down leads in their barely-legal style we’ve seen in the previous two seasons. We also find out quickly that the woman of color who threw the drink at the debate is an undercover operative named Bonnie from Special Branch. Her assignment is to get close to Caddy the head of Albion and find out how much of a threat they are (Dirkin supplies their money.) Dinah becomes her field handler, as Bonnie has stopped trusting her Special Branch handler seeing it as too much of a risk to contact him.
After catching Beckett in episode three, Deering realizes that he was paid by McCoy to fake an assignation attempt. This is a betrayal, as Deering was close personal friends with McCoy and Viv is still smarting from Joy’s death. The second three episodes have Deering and company out to get McCoy – with evidence. DCI Marilyn Marchant is temporarily suspended because the tactics Deering and her team use to get Beckett are a bit underhanded. McCoy replaces Marchant with Terry Taylor a creep, racist, and incompetent DCI who pretty much represents not old the Old Guard but everything wrong with the Manchester police.
Deering and company have to dodge Taylor, protect Bonnie, and prove with solid evidence that McCoy is corrupt and faked her own assignation attempt. Beyond that (as if it wasn’t enough), they discover that McCoy is secretly a member of Albion with hands that are just as dirty as Beckett, Caddy, and Dirkin. Watching how Deering’s team does this is fascinating. And as with previous seasons, they do manage to catch the Big Bad by the end of the series.
I love watching No Offence – it’s a genuinely surprising and enjoyable cop show and there are so many twists and turns in the plot that you never know how it will turn out – well, other than that they will catch the person they want to catch. But in series three, who that is changes mid-season, which keeps the viewer on their toes watching this. Also, Deering’s team is largely female – with the except of DC Tanner, forsenic expert Miller, and a few PCs.