Detective Inspector Harry Clayton is a London cop with plenty of the usual DI baggage – he’s got a massive gambling habit, he’s separated from his lovely lawyer wife (the gambling habit had something to do with it), he still loves her, though; it’s complicated. So far, so a million other cop shows.
But Stan Lee’s Lucky Man (Sky1), as you might guess from the title, is created byStan Lee, Marvel legend and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man and dozens of other comic-book heroes. So our Harry gets himself a little superpower, too: the ability to control his own luck.
The luck comes via an ancient-looking bronze bracelet, which Harry finds on his wrist one morning after a passionate night with a mysterious lady on a black motorcyle. See, it’s working already. And he won at roulette the night before, too.
He’s going to need it, though – the luck, given that the body that turns up in an alley belonged to the boss of the casino where Harry has a massive debt. Awkward – for him, and for the investigation. Did Harry have something to do with it?
There are plenty of other questions that require answers. Like, who is this dead woman washed up by the side of the Thames and did Harry have something to do with that as well? And what about the man at the beginning – also wearing a bronze bracelet – leaping off the building and landing very hard on the roof of a taxi? That doesn’t look so lucky. And, actually, would being able to determine your own luck really be so great after all?
Some of the dialogue sticks in the throat a little. Like: “You know luck is a revolving door, you just need to know when it’s your turn to walk through,” from Motorbike Lady Luck. I know superheroes and revolving doors often go hand in hand, but as a metaphor it’s cliched. Maybe that’s intentional. Anyway, the superpower thing does give a bit of CPR to the genre. James Nesbitt, who plays Harry, is thoroughly watchable, as ever. And London looks fabulous – shiny and thrusty, it’s a long way up, and a long way down. I’m sticking with it, for now