Culprits

Culprits

Summer, or anytime really, feels like the perfect time for a rollercoast heist series.

Culprits on SBS is here to entertain.

Entertainment is just what you get with this 8 part UK series in which the former members of a heist gang start being killed off, one by one.

The series centres around Joe, played by former Misfits star Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, introduced as a black father of two who is looking to open a local bar in Washington State.

But he encounters local pushback and prejudice from an all-white council. It will prove to be the least of his problems given his secret past.

Joe was previously known as David, a London-based heavy working for crime bosses until he was hired for the job of a lifetime.

That entailed all manner of espionage and subterfuge, no questions asked, for a loot worth millions.

The tension in some scenes is positively exhilarating as Joe / David gets caught up in chases, shoot-outs, and narrow escapes all whilst juggling his own Mr & Mrs Smith history.

But maintaining a cosy home life, with a same-sex partner and school drop-off, is no mean feat when there is cash to hide and revelations that your former gang members are being mysteriously bumped off.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett is a brilliant linchpin in this series created and directed by J. Blakeson (I Care a Lot). He’s up for both the essential action scenes and the tenderness of domestic duplicity.

Gemma Arterton plays a showy, if rather unlikely, crime boss who masterminds the heist and leans into theatrics. It’s here that the fairly slim genre credibility begins to waver most, but the strengths of the first few episodes compensate for the such shortcomings.

Spanning two time periods -both past and present lives of our hero- Culprits rattles along with speed, twists and zest. There’s also a splashy dose of colour and visuals for the eye, especially in the highly choreographed action scenes.

Don’t probe too hard, just get the popcorn and enjoy the ride.

Culprits screens 9:25pm Thursday on SBS.