RIVER: Season 1
Sundays, Jan. 29 - March 5, 2023 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV / Watch Season 1 now with KPBS Passport!
RIVER is as tender and witty as it is unsettling and brutal; a wholly original new six-part series for BBC One and Netflix featuring a standout cast and created and written by Emmy and BAFTA-winning screenwriter Abi Morgan (THE HOUR, "The Iron Lady"). Stellan Skarsgard ("The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") stars as John River, a brilliant police officer whose genius and fault line is the fragility of his mind – a man haunted by the murder victims whose secrets he must unlock, a man who walks a professional tightrope between a pathology so extreme he risks permanent dismissal, and a healthy state of mind that could cure him of his gift.
This enthralling thriller pushes our expectations of crime drama in bold and unexpected ways. Nicola Walker (SPOOKS) plays River’s colleague and confidant, Detective Sergeant Jackie ‘Stevie’ Stevenson, with Adeel Akhtar (UTOPIA) as Detective Sergeant Ira King and Lesley Manville ("An Adventure In Space and Time") as their boss, Chief Inspector Chrissie Reid. Eddie Marsan (SHERLOCK HOLMES) also appears as a notorious killer who taunts and torments River.
Adrift in a London full of other exiled souls, River’s own isolation helps him connect with the troubled victims who crash into his world, and to see the truth in ways his colleagues are drawn to admire and question, in equal measure. But as his long-held defenses are eroded by love and loss, River is torn between the living and the dead; will he have to choose once and for all?
Episode 1: Sunday, Jan. 29 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - Detective Inspector John River is haunted by visions of his recently murdered colleague, Detective Sergeant Jackie 'Stevie' Stevenson. He continues in his attempts to find her killer although excluded from the case on the grounds of his proximity to the events surrounding it. River is told that he must undergo psychiatric evaluation, and his commanding officer makes it clear that he expects him to fail it. Meanwhile, River pursues a potential suspect who falls to his death, and he is subsequently placed under increasing pressure from the media. Simultaneously, he faces demands from the mother of a missing teenager to find her daughter?s body.
Episode 2: Sunday, Feb. 5 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - At Stevie's wake, River has to deal with her brother Jimmy and other family members. Stevie had been estranged from them for many years because she had given crucial evidence in court against Jimmy, which resulted in a lengthy prison sentence for murder. Her subsequent decision to become a policewoman had further deepened the rift with her family. River is assaulted by the pregnant girlfriend of the man he had chased to his death. River has begun to doubt the man's guilt. Stevie had a second mobile phone. DNA evidence showed that she had previously been a passenger in the car driven by her killer. River and the pregnant woman begin to trust each other, and he examines the history of the killer's car.
Episode 3: Sunday, Feb. 12 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - River clashes with his new partner Ira, who wants to disclose the discovery of Stevie's second mobile phone to their superiors. River agrees to do so but makes it clear that he wants to personally pursue the leads the phone has provided first. Simultaneously, he and Ira investigate the serious injury of a construction site's foreman in a suspicious workplace accident. To his surprise, River finds that the psychiatric report commissioned by his commanding officers following Stevie's death has concluded that he is fit to continue working.
Episode 4: Sunday, Feb. 19 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - River investigates Stevie's relationship with a worker at a kebab shop and has concerns about his perception of her private life. He and Ira spend an evening working at Read's home. River makes a surprising discovery?one of the people Stevie called from her second mobile phone on the night of her death was Read's husband. River attends a group run by Rosa for people who hear voices.
Episode 5: Sunday, Feb. 26 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - River and Ira investigate the murder of kebab shop worker Haider Jamal Abdi in a public library. They focus on both a cleaner, who was captured on CCTV but who does not appear on the books of the library's cleaning contractor, as well as on the lawyer who represented Haider at an immigration tribunal. Their findings lead them to a possible understanding of what Stevie herself may have been investigating and which might have led to her death.
Episode 6: Sunday, March 5 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - River and Ira continue to follow the leads resulting from Stevie's earlier personal investigations. She had been examining both how undocumented immigrants were able to easily obtain official immigration status and how they were then exploited by particular businesses. They find a connection between these companies, as well as evidence of corruption, but River also uncovers major secrets concerning Stevie's private life. He resolves to find her killer, despite knowing that in doing so he will lose her forever.
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