In Season 1 of Code 404 we are introduced to Detective Inspectors Major (Daniel Mays) and Carver (Stephen Graham) the top crime-fighting duo at the Met Police’s Special Investigation Unit until Major is gunned down on the job; in an experimental artificial intelligence project, Major is brought back from the dead. So there you the premise, a Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) meets The Six Million Dollar Man meets Robocop Met Police mash-up!
Set “a few years from now” Code 404 treads between comedy and drama. When this works it is outstanding – my personal favourites involve Officer Not Judy (Michelle Greenidge) but when it doesn’t work it pulls the show down. Season 1 runs for six episodes and at times the comedy surrounding the “not working properly” D.I. Major seems to either fall a bit flat or just go on too long. Perhaps running at five episodes for the season may have helped trim the fat more and allowed the humour to have more of a punch.
By the way this is no fault of Mays, Graham or the rest of the cast. All deliver on the screen and deliver what they have been given. This can be seen especially in the tense triad of Major, Carver and Major’s wife Kelly (Anna Maxwell Martin). The drama that unravels between the three adds a needed pace and tension to the show, it is just a shame it really hits its stride halfway through the series, but when it does hit it is outstanding.
Like D.I. Major, the show hits its full potential near the end of the series and shows just what is possible with Code 404 and leaves you wanting more. With the groundwork all now laid the potential of what can happen in Season 2 (if they make one) is exciting.
Verdict: 6.5/10. A cyborg of a show. Half comedy/ Half drama that finally found its true self a little late into the first season. Further adventures though, have a great potential.