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Jericho is the latest British import in public television’s Mystery! series that asks us to identify with a less-than-dashing not-quite-dude and accept as our hero a middle-aged mug. In this case, it’s Robert Lindsay (Hornblower, Oliver Twist) as a Scotland Yard inspector beloved of the tabloid media but secretly tormented by childhood trauma and blighted romance. Brainy, of course, sensitive to sinews, lashed by scruple, and furiously impatient, but, in a brown suit under a brown hat, sort of schlumpy. Since the setting is London in the postwar fifties, and the style is pulpy noir with neon throb, and the situation in the first two-hour installment, “A Pair of Ragged Claws,” involves private clubs, class war, race hate, kidnapping, bigamy, ransom, and murder, and the situation in the second installment, “The Killing of Johnny Swan,” involves competitive runners, KGB agents, the bad old Soviets, and the slaughter of a brand-new bride, almost everything about Jericho is more thrilling than Inspector Jericho himself. On the other hand, he’s smarter than anybody else. For example, instead of going upstairs for another insomniac night, he stops at the door of the French prostitute Juliette (Aurélie Bargème).

Channel 13, Premieres April 30, 9 P.M.


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