LATER this year, a programme which looks very old-fashioned will do something that is very revolutionary.

The programme is called New Blood and it looks old-fashioned at first because it is yet another crime drama. Since the 1960s, there have 700 police shows on British TV and most of them have done pretty much the same thing and told pretty much the same stories. The question is: do we really need another one?

What New Blood does at least attempt to do is put a new spin on the format by moving the action to the Serious Fraud Office and another good sign is that the writer is Anthony Horowitz. Not only was Horowitz responsible for Foyle’s War, he showed with his excellent Sherlock Holmes novels The House of Silk and Moriarty that he understands how a good crime thriller works as well as the thrill of a good twist.

The plot also homes in on another interesting subject: generation Y, the kids born in the 1980s and 90s who now find themselves poorer and worse off than their parents. The two in question in New Blood are Stefan and Rash who come up against the ultra-rich and powerful – corporations, individuals, governments and the new breed of criminals who hide behind legitimate facades and are guarded by lawyers.

Horowitz calls the show an interesting balance between reality and fiction, although in many ways it remains a traditional crime drama. What does make it interesting and revolutionary, though, is that the seven-part drama will premier on BBC iPlayer ahead of its transmission on BBC One, making it the first prime-time drama series to do so.

Horowitz says he is absolutely behind the move. “We have to recognise that young people don't watch TV the way we did, and it's very much in the spirit of New Blood that the show will premiere on iPlayer,” he says. “I couldn't be happier that we're going to be 'out there' on demand - it's a great way to launch a show which is very much about the younger generation - before we settle into our seven-week, 9pm slot.”

However, the iPlayer premiere is also a sign of the great change that has been coming in television for years now and is finally beginning to affect the BBC. Increasingly, viewers have been watching BBC programmes on iPlayer rather than on television, but it has created a loophole that allows some people to watch BBC programmes without paying the licence fee.

The Culture Secretary John Whittingdale needed to do something about it, but the surprise is that he has extended the scope of the licence lee rather than reduce it. It’s a surprise because this is the man who once compared the licence fee to the poll tax and yet here he is making more people pay it.

His decision may fix the problem in the short term, but the longer term problems have still not been fixed and it is a pity that Whittingdale did not think of something more revolutionary. How about a much smaller licence, for example, to cover the public service elements of the BBC such as the news and a subscription model to cover the iPlayer? New Blood has started the revolution in a very small way, but hopefully there is much more to come.