Review of Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling Episode 1


Our favorite detective duo has finally made it to the screen!

Last night at BFI Southbank in London, the first episode of The Cuckoo’s Calling premiered. At the screening were Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger, as well as director Michael Keillor, writer Ben Richards and executive producer Ruth Kenley-Letts.

Also in attendance were your favorite founders! Yes, we were able to attend, and we have the scoop for you.

Fans should approach the TV show realizing that it’s noticeably different from the books. Don’t expect anything else. The show is definitely an adaptation, with book storylines and timelines condensed, characters cut, locations changed and scenes rewritten. Even many of the humorous moments in the show are not actually found in the book. But the essence of the Strike series is maintained, and both leads capture their characters more than convincingly. For one thing, we were wondering how Tom Burke — at a mere 6 feet tall and slight-ish build — would be able to carry Strike’s larger-than-life presence, but Burke’s attitude and some physical padding and clever camera angles effectively come together to bring Strike to life on screen.

Holliday Grainger is a delightful Robin, capturing not only her look, but also her pep, can-do attitude and clever initiative. She catches Strike’s attention and respect almost immediately, as well as that of the audience.

In addition to the actors’ performances, the overall atmosphere of the show is authentic to the book, the filming and editing techniques are artistic and riveting, and the music is haunting.

In other words, Strike fans are in for a treat, as long as they don’t go into it expecting The Cuckoo’s Calling that’s in print to be represented exactly on screen.

The first episode premieres on BBC One on Sunday, August 27 at 9 pm. No word yet on when it will premiere on HBO.

Q&A with Tom Burke, Holliday Grainger, writer, director and executive producer.

Stay tuned to We were graciously invited to attend a press roundtable with Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger, and we have much more Strike fun to share with you in the coming days!


14 thoughts on “Review of Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling Episode 1

  1. That was really great to discover this episode ♥ Amazing actors, amazing filming. They made a wonderful job!

    1. I think they did a great job, too. I thought I would be upset that the show is so different from the books, but I’m enjoying all the new material.

  2. Finally I found you guys! I’ve been looking for a fanpage about the Strike Series and books, now I have where to go whenever I want to know the latest news!!!

      1. Wow! Robin Venetia Ellacott just replied to my comment! Well, I’d like to know what did you think of tonight’s episode (spoilers included)

        1. I really enjoyed it! At first, I was resistant to all of the noticeable differences between the book and the show — including the appearance of Strike (he isn’t the pubeheaded giant depicted in the book) — but I decided to view the book and show as two separate entities. That said, I loved the pacing, the acting, the music, the tone, the artistic style of filming. What did you think?

          1. I love how they show Lula to us, that they made us see her as a person. And I also love the soundtrack. Do you think they’re going to change the ending the way the did with casual vacancy? Perhaps the killer will be a different person(s)?

          2. You know what? I was wondering the same thing! I think it would be fabulous if they changed the ending — it certainly makes it more interesting to those of us who are so familiar with the books.

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