This four part thriller has been a ratings success for Channel 5, and I don’t think it’s any surprise why when you consider it is from the writer of ‘Derry Girls’ and stars ‘Normal People’ breakout megastar Paul Mescal (more on his role later).
It is very much cut from the cloth of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and it’s like, a slow burn thriller that hints at supernatural. Telling the story of a University girl’s affair with a lecturer, who’s wife then mysteriously dies in a fire and a whole range of mysteries begin to unravel.
The show is very much a two hander between Emily Reid and Emmett J. Scanlan, and both do a good job. Reid is compelling as a version of the ‘Hitchcock Blonde’ and I hope to see her career continue to grow after this. As for Scanlan, he’s playing a very unlikable character here and he has to use all his acting ability to keep us so engaged with his story.
Likely the main reason many young people will be watching this show (which they usually wouldn’t have) is the presence of Paul Mescal. After his remarkable performance in ‘Normal People’ he has quickly become a internet heartthrob and those tuning in will he very sad to see that he has a small supporting role in which he is unable to do anything with apart from show the same one emotion throughout.
That isn’t the fault of Mescal, it is just how the character is written. He is definitely his usual charismatic self and very few actors have such a natural on screen presence like Mescal, but so much more could have been done with his character and he was really wasted.
We also get canoes from some of the ‘Derry Girls’ cast and other character actors in supporting roles throughout but few manage to make an impact.
Most of the story beats were predictable if you know the genre well, but a strong cast and compelling atmosphere made it an enjoyable watch and a success for Tobias Beer and Lisa McGee.
Rating = 3.5/5