Life is going well for law clerk Dee Stanton (Jemma Redgrave); her son Jamie (Somerset Prew) is a typical teen starting to get an interest in girls whilst she is dating Dominic Milne (Robson Green), one of Jamie's teachers. But Dee has a secret, she was married to Paul Barker (Philip Davis) a serial killer, something which she hasn't told Dominic and also kept hidden from Jamie who believes his father was a war hero who died in action. But Dee isn't the only one with secrets as Dominic has one of his own, his wife committed suicide when she learned that he was having an affair with a former student. But both Jamie and Dominic become suspects when a school girl is murdered and D.I. Harkness (Tara Fitzgerald) starts investigating.
"Like Father Like Son" sounds simple enough doesn't it, we have a crime, we have an investigation and after a first half of carefully setting up characters we have some suspects. We have the obvious ones as there is Jamie who as a son of a serial killing psychopath may have the same murderous tendencies especially after being lied to but we also have Dominic the teacher who has a history of becoming too close to students. But then there are other characters; there is Jamie's psychopath father who might be in a secure psychiatric hospital has a controlling demeanour, there is also Dominic's daughter and there is even Dee as well. As such "Like Father Like Son" isn't completely simple and with 160 minutes to fill it has time to establish characters and create doubt in your mind as to who could have done it.
But "Like Father Like Son" has something else and that is Nicholas Laughland, a director who may have been a fan of magicians in his youth as he leads us to focus on certain characters such as Jamie and Dominic whilst all the time establishing something else. Basically it is that sense of watch what my right hand is doing whilst my left hand is lifting your wallet out of your pocket. It is because of this that once "Like Father Like Son" is over you will want to watch it again to see if the clues are there when it comes to who did it.
What "Like Father Like Son" also has is a good British cast with the likes of Jemma Redgrave and Robson Green doing a solid job of playing the central characters whilst the rest of the cast add flare around them. Philip Davis gives us manipulative as Paul Barker right from the word go gaining control over young Jamie's mind by playing on the lie his mother has been feeding him. Then there is Tara Fitzgerald is assertive from start to finish, no messing but not so determined that she is blinkered. It is the combination of good actors with well written characters which makes this movie so engaging.
What this all boils down to is that "Like Father Like Son" is an engaging and in truth a typical British mini-series/TV movie with a murder, various suspects and an investigation which looks like it will go after the wrong person. But with 160 minutes to fill it is able to establish character and lead you to focus on certain aspects more than others.