JK Rowling's crime drama C.B. Strike is coming to New Zealand television

by Fiona Rae / 07 June, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - CB Strike JK Rowling

C.B. Strike.

After JK Rowling was revealed as the creator of Cormoran Strike, it was only a matter of time before the character was made into a TV show.

It’s tough being the most famous author on the planet. Is it any wonder that when JK Rowling decided she would like to have a bash at crime writing, she decided to write under a pseudonym?

Her first book after the Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy, was subjected to the most intense scrutiny. Could she write adult fiction? Not very well, according to some critics.

However, the first novel in her Cormoran Strike series was received rather better. Even before reviewers knew that “Robert Galbraith” was really Rowling, the book sold a respectable 1500 copies in print and another 7000 in e-book and audiobook formats. Then in 2013 came the reveal and Rowling was No 1 again.

She is now three books in, with reported plans for another 10. It was a dead cert that there would be a television adaptation and it arrives here this week: C.B. Strike (SoHo, Sky 010, Thursday, 8.30pm) comprises seven episodes that bring to life The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career of Evil.

In many ways, the character of Cormoran Strike is a detective-novel cliché: a dishevelled, hard-drinking smoker whose personal life is as messy as his Soho office.

However, Tom Burke (War & Peace) gives him a rough charm to go with his incisive mind and Rowling has fleshed him out with a simultaneously glamorous and tragic background. His father is a famous rock star whom he has only met twice, and his mother was a hippie/model/groupie who named him after a Cornish giant.

There is trauma surrounding her death, although this is not explained. Strike is also a former soldier who lost the lower half of his leg to an improvised bomb in Afghanistan.

As the first story begins, Strike is on his uppers, in debt and about to lose his business. However, into his life steps sunny temp Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger), who makes immediate improvements and inadvertently finds her calling as a private investigator. There is a hint of sexual tension between Strike and Robin, which is as it should be.

The series has a nice, grainy, slightly noir look, but doesn’t overdo it. The bustle and messiness of Soho fit with Strike’s gumshoe persona and, thankfully, there is a wry humour to the show that is perhaps Rowling having her own kind of fun: the first story is set among the super-famous of the fashion industry, the second in the backbiting publishing world.

This article was first published in the June 2, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage


Vincent O’Malley: Why we need to open up about past Māori and Pākehā conflict
106234 2019-05-26 00:00:00Z History

Vincent O’Malley: Why we need to open up about pas…

by Sally Blundell

Calls are growing for us to take a more honest look at our past, particularly the wars over land and power that shaped the country.

Read more
Scott Morrison: How a 'doomed' PM stormed the country with one killer line
106291 2019-05-26 00:00:00Z World

Scott Morrison: How a 'doomed' PM stormed the coun…

by Bernard Lagan

As Australia’s tourism tsar 13 years ago, Scott Morrison oversaw the rollicking “So where the bloody hell are you?’’ ad campaign.

Read more
What you need to know about knee replacements
105774 2019-05-26 00:00:00Z Health

What you need to know about knee replacements

by Ruth Nichol

Replacement knee joints are giving thousands of Kiwis decades of service, but don’t rush to get one.

Read more
How a hit romcom took indigenous Aussie star Miranda Tapsell back to her roots
106072 2019-05-25 00:00:00Z Movies

How a hit romcom took indigenous Aussie star Miran…

by Russell Baillie

Miranda Tapsell tells Russell Baillie how she came up with Top End Wedding and why its Northern Territory setting means so much.

Read more
The link between cardiovascular health and dementia
105915 2019-05-25 00:00:00Z Health

The link between cardiovascular health and dementi…

by Nicky Pellegrino

New research into the brain has found that cardiovascular ill health is linked to cognitive decline and dementia.

Read more
Following the call of New Zealand's abandoned freezing works
106317 2019-05-25 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Following the call of New Zealand's abandoned free…

by John Summers

John Summers wonders if his abiding interest in New Zealand’s abandoned freezing works is actually a long farewell to his grandfather.

Read more
Tech Week: Time to celebrate Aotearoa’s own overlooked moonshot
106359 2019-05-25 00:00:00Z Tech

Tech Week: Time to celebrate Aotearoa’s own overlo…

by Peter Griffin

“We bow down to this idea of Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos going to Mars, when here in our own country, we had the equivalent."

Read more
Kiwi composer John Rimmer: An instrumental figure
106331 2019-05-24 11:09:35Z Music

Kiwi composer John Rimmer: An instrumental figure

by Elizabeth Kerr

Contemporaries and students are paying tribute to composer John Rimmer and his musical legacy.

Read more