Saturday 7 July 2018

Apple Tree Yard

Apparently, the book, by Louise Doughty, is much more substantial than this BBC serialised, so called, thriller. Actually, it's not really very thrilling but rather a slow-paced drama with few twists and turns that one might expect of a thriller.

It's the story of a professional woman living a dullish life with a dullish husband who is swept off her feet, unexpectedly, by a suave operator who tells her that he's some bigwig in the secret service, a subsequent rape, attack and murder. The story then unfolds around her, the other side of her husband, her reflections on behaviour, her appraisal of her dullish life and ultimately the effect her actions have on everyone around her. It latterly turns into a courtroom drama, with, as I say, little zest or thrill.

Emily Watson plays the lead and, as usual for her, steals the show. She's a very capable, flexible and convincing actor with a remarkable list of credits as long as your arm. My personal highlights are Breaking the Waves, Angela's Ashes and Red Dragon, with a further littering of stuff made for TV. Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line, Dorian Gray, Cinderella, The Legend of Tarzan) plays the seducer horribly well and with dark menace.

So that's about it, really. Won't give too much away, but, as I say, it's fairly straight forward and I feel somewhat cheated by the BBC as I settled down to consume what they staged as a thriller. Maybe I'm being a little harsh. It makes for reasonably good viewing still, in a kind of Broadchurch-without-the-surprises type of way!

At time of writing, it's still available on the BBC iPlayer, but you'll have to be quick as each of the four episodes will no doubt drop off the end in turn.

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