My Contemporary British TV Detectives

Who Loves You, Lynley?

Who Loves You, Lynley?

To try and demonstrate why Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is the third best detective in contemporary British television, as viewed by me, I bottomed out in YouTube and woke up in a dumpster of mush clips, or mash videos, or something—I have no idea what they’re called, but my eyes are quivering, and I think I rode a unicorn.

If you’ve been following this column and generally agreeing, and you haven’t already watched The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, take my word that Sharon Small as Sgt. Havers is superlative, leagues above and below Lynley (Nathaniel Parker, who’s better seen in Bleak House).

For now, however, I want to focus on these videos.

In the show, in all its seasons, Lynley and Havers never backed the beast, so I can understand Lynley buffs feeling thwarted. And with YouTube and desktop video-editing software, unrequited love can be requited pretty quickly—crib a few scenes from a DVD, overlay a pop song. Ergo this kind of stuff:

 

But the genre is bigger than Lynley ♥ Havers. YouTube appears to be inundated with tribute videos—sentimental, earnest, frequently tasteless, and less elaborate than fan-fiction, but something more than a slideshow.

I won’t bore you with the results of “Hitler+tribute”—the more unexpected tributes are chilling enough:

 
 
 

 

biopic

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of 2017). His articles and essays appear in a variety of magazines, including GQ, Travel + Leisure and The Paris Review, and he’s written opinion pieces for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian. More information can be found at his website. More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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