Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series Review

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‘Dark City-The Cleaner’ is a fascinating crime drama from the down under. Interestingly, it is the first series from New Zealand that we have reviewed for our focus magazine and it narrates a delectable tale about serial killers.

This series is based on the 2006 novel “The Cleaner” by Paul Cleave. In a certain way, it reminds us of a popular American series “Dexter” too. Perhaps because the protagonists of both series share a couple of similarities.

Trailer: Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series

Trailer ~ Dark City: The Cleaner – Sky TV | YouTube.

Synopsis: Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series

By day, Joe (Cohen Holloway) is a cleaner at the police station, but by night, he’s a serial killer known as The Christchurch Carver. When a woman is killed, the police suspect The Carver, but Joe knows it isn’t him.

‘Dark City-The Cleaner’ Series Is A Grippingly Good Serial-Killer Drama

Spoiler Free Review: Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series

The brief storyline/plotline

Joe Middleton (Cohen Holloway) exercises complete dominion over every facet of his unassuming existence, encompassing his day job as the cleaner (a janitor) at the police department and his clandestine activities during the night. The incessant news reports detailing the Christchurch Carver‘s alleged slaying of seven women fail to unsettle Joe. He possesses an unwavering conviction that the Carver is accountable for only six of those heinous acts. This unwavering belief fuels his resolute determination to apprehend the imitator.

Joe plans to exact retribution for the one crime committed by the copycat and subsequently manipulate the evidence to incriminate him in the remaining six. This intricately devised plan is flawless in Joe’s estimation, as he is already cognizant of his ability to outsmart the police force. Joe’s current priority is to handle the various women who consistently obstruct his path.

Such as his peculiar, excessively cautious mother Evelyn (Elizabeth Hawthorne) and Sally (Dea Doglione), the maintenance worker who perceives him as a substitute for her deceased brother. Additionally, there is the enigmatic Melissa (Chelsie Preston Crayford), the sole woman who has truly comprehended him, although her notions of extortion and torment do not align with Joe’s ongoing inquiry.

So, in six episodes of the first season, the story packs a lot of engaging and provocative content involving crime.

What did we like in this series?

The story is set in Christchurch, New Zealand. And from a distance, it looks like a very peaceful place. But then, we were in for so many shocking surprises. Also, the idea of using the insightful and colourful narration by the lead actor Cohen Holloway (Joe Middleton) is entertaining. In the first (& other five) episodes, we felt as if we were listening to a live commentary about the life of a serial killer, who incidentally leads a double life.

That lively narration gave a peek into the mind of a serial killer/janitor, which was a fascinating aspect of this dark crime drama. It added an element of fun too. Then there is a copycat serial killer as well as the vigilante serial killer. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of crime (juice and drama) packed into its unusual storyline. No wonder, we get to meet all kinds of devilish characters.

Especially the lead pair of Joe Middleton (Cohen Holloway) and Melissa Flowers (Chelsie Preston Crayford) in this series. Both of them play mischievous and unapologetic serial killers. We liked their playful and hard-to-miss chemistry in the show. They have completed each other very well. The other actress – Dea Doglione (Sally Galletly) and Elizabeth Hawthorne (Evelyn Middleton) have enacted their roles admirably too.

The background music and cinematography sets the perfect eerie mood in it.

The conclusion

This is a dark and intriguing take on the lives of serial killers, and we liked it very much. And the way the first season of the series ended on a cliffhanger, we might see them in action in the next one, sooner rather than later. More so, when there is already a second book by the same author waiting to be adapted for the second season. Till that happens, watch this alluring and amusing crime series from down under, New Zealand. Enjoy!!

Rating: Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
FM Rating3.60/5
Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series ~ FM Rating.

Poster: Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series

Key Details: Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series

GenreCrime, Drama
Original languageEnglish (New Zealand)
SeasonOne (1) Season
EpisodesSix (6) Episodes
WritersPaul Cleave, Rachel Lang, Simone Nathan, & Gavin Strawhan
DirectorRick Jacobson
CastCohen Holloway (Joe Middleton), Chelsie Preston Crayford (Melissa Flowers), Dea Doglione (Sally Galletly), Robbie Magasiva (DI Carl Schroder), Elizabeth Hawthorne (Evelyn Middleton), David de Lautour (DSS Robert Calhoun), Tom Eason (DS Shane O’Connell), Barry Tomkinson
(DSS Wilson Hutton), Nikki Si’ulepa (SI Dominique Stevens), etc.
NetworkSky Originals
Dark City-The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series ~ About

Spoilers Alert: Episode Summary

Summary [Official] of the Six Episodes of the First Season
The missing puzzle pieces that make up the title 'THE CLEANER' decrease as the episodes progress.

First (S1, E1) Episode | March 4, 2024

Meet Joe: overlooked cleaner by day, serial killer by night. When a copycat appears, Joe sets out to find him before the police do – but a potential victim turns the tables and Joe is now the prey.

Second (S1, E2) Episode | March 4, 2024

After surviving Melissa’s attack, Joe is forced to rely on Sally’s help. Later, Melissa issues Joe a challenge – find the copycat in two days or she’ll finish what she started.

Third (S1, E3) Episode | March 11, 2024

As the clock ticks down on Melissa’s ultimatum, Joe realises the killer he’s looking for may be right under his nose. Joe sets a risky plan in motion to draw his target out.

Fourth (S1, E4) Episode | March 18, 2024

Joe drives off with two bodies in his trunk, frustrated that Melissa has put him in such a position. As Joe’s worlds collide, the noose tightens.

Fifth (S1, E5) Episode | March 25, 2024

Joe zeros in on the copycat, but he may have met his match. Inspector Stevens ups the ante.

Sixth (S1, E) Episode | April 1, 2024

Despite all his careful planning, Joe gets caught in his web.

Poster and Featured Image of the Dark City – The Cleaner (S1/2024) Series are courtesy of Sky Sky Originals.

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