We’ve been hooked by 24 Hours in Custody this week. Bought to us by the creators of 24 Hours in A&E, it’s more gripping TV looking into a local institution doing grueling but important work.
Like the A&E department of your local hospital, a police station is a place that you hope not to find yourself in, but still we are fascinated by the goings on here. Whilst we try and get our 8 hours a night, these places never sleep, working round the clock fighting crimes and saving lives. The people that run and work in them are vital to the maintaining of our society and are often the unsung heroes among us. Within the programme all the usual interesting characters start to emerge with their quirks and curiosities and ultimately it’s the human stories we love most in these programmes. We get to know the staff, the patients, the characters who are being arrested, those doing the arresting and everyone in-between. There’s both humour and heartbreak as we’re led through the first 24 hours that those arrested spend in custody.
For the nurses, the doctors, the police officers and the reception staff it’s just another day in the office as they go through the motions of trying to maintain order in our society. But for the viewer, it’s a journey into the unknown and a discovery of human nature. The way humans react when under extreme pressure is documented in these programmes and the way the stories are built up and unraveled over the course of an episode is fascinating. With 24 hours in custody we get to play detective along with the police. Did he do it? Is he guilty? Is he telling the truth? But it also does something else. Both the police officers and those under arrest become human to us. It gives us a different insight into the institution as a whole and those involved in it. Opening up their doors to the public is a brave thing to do and it could be that the series brings about a new found respect for the challenging work our officers are doing day to day.
For the same reason that Googlebox has been a hit with the masses, I think 24 hours in custody will resonate with the public. It’s voyeuristic TV, peering into other people’s homes and lives, which both entertains and enthralls us.
I’m itching to know where will we see 24 hours in next?