REVIEW: Dublin Murders (S1 E6/8)

Throughout this series, we’ve examined the theme of identity – who we once were, and how experiences change us.

There were no more stark examples of these shifting identities than Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox. We know all about Rob’s previous identity, but Cassie’s previous identity story is more complex. After she lost her parents, she coped with the trauma by inventing an imaginary friend called Lexie. She used this identity when she became an undercover police officer. And now? The real Lexie Mangan turned up dead and she has assumed the real Lexie Mangan’s identity to infiltrate a houseful of students to find who killed her.

With nothing too much happening in the Katy Devlin case, we spent pretty much the whole episode with Cassie/Lexie. And of course, this is a problem for many people – halfway through a compelling murder case, we were off to meet and get to know a new bunch of characters and dive headfirst into what is essentially a brand new story.

And so we saw Cassie/Lexie creep around the house, trying to get to know her housemates. Abby, in particular, was acting a bit too friendly-friendly, and Daniel was obviously the leader of the group, even though some of the others resented his quiet and menacing superiority.

She also met the mysterious figure who sent threatening messages to Jonathan Devlin – it was obvious that Lexie was into something way above her head.

There was plenty of edgy jeopardy scenes here where Cassie may or may not be found out, especially when Daniel spiked her drink at a party, wrapped his hands around her neck as she floundered and asked her who she was.

Back in Dublin, Rob was further coming apart at the seams – he also went to a party, had a knee-trembler with a young woman in an alleyway and then had an attack of some nature, which left him incapacitated

There’s still no sign of Shane Waters, and it still feels like the whole Cassie/Lexie story is a bit of a distraction. But these two stories, however disparate they seem at the moment will come together, and I’m still intrigued to find out how they will come together.

Paul Hirons







REVIEW: Dublin Murders (S1 5/8)

I’ve taken a break for the past week, so I’m just catching up with a few things. One of those things is Dublin Murders, the Sarah Phelps adaptation of two Tana French novels.

It’s been an atmospheric, tense and compelling four episodes so far, but in episode four there was a sense that the fault lines between the two (very) different stories were beginning to show. In this episode, the two separate stories – one involving Rob Reilly investigating the murder of Katy Devlin back in Dublin, and his ex-partner Cassie Maddox assuming the identity of Lexie Mangan – went off in their own directions.

This wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

To kick things off, Rob was in Dublin interviewing Jonathan Devlin and Cathal Mills – seen arguing together in the woods in episode four. As ever, Cathal was being set up as the prime suspect. He’s sneering, arrogant, and everything the Celtic Tiger breed of über-capitalist seemed to be at the time. Rob’s flashbacks seemed to support Mills as a villain.

Rob then visited the Devlin family as they holidayed in a caravan park by the coast. Rob, once again was intent on finding out what happened to himself, Peter and Jamie 20 years before as much as who was the culprit in the Alice Devlin murder. He put pressure on Margaret Devlin – who was obviously hiding something – and then had an uncomfortable meeting with Rosalind

She thought he was taking an interest because he like her, but Rob recoiled from her when she made a play for him. It was an interesting scene, and with some nice characterisation – Rosalind admitted that caring for her mentally impaired sister often took its toll, and that she had wished she had been killed and not Katy. But what was even more interesting, and something that played into this series’ theme of identity, was x’s switch from a dressed-up young woman, to the dowdy unshowy young persona she assumed during most of her days.

All this stuff with the Devlin family pointed to the fact that Rob was becoming more and more unhinged. He was breaking rules left, right and centre and in the end he told a big, fat porkie to O’Kelly – he said that he had found out that Adam had been found dead in New Zealand.

We also saw Rob – without his steadying ship, Cassie, remember – go for a night walk in the woods, where he had an almighty flashback: he and his young friends witnessed Cathal raping Sandra Sculley.

Then we shot off down to the coast, to see how Cassie was doing as she began her infiltration of the group of students.

And this is where things got a little frayed. I’m so invested in the search for Katy Devlin’s killer, my heart sank a bit at the idea we were opening a new story elsewhere. It took the heat out of the story.

These two separate stories are connected, make no bones about it, but you have to wonder why they weren’t filmed as two four-part series.

Paul Hirons





Sky developing English-language version of Beau Séjour

Sky has a history of English-language versions of foreign-language shows. The network did it with The Bridge (The Tunnel) and Valkyrien (Temple), and now it’s doing it with Belgian series Beau Séjour.

The original series – which recently aired in the UK on All4/Walter Presents – tells the story of Belgian teenager Kato Hoeven. In the small village of Lanklaar, in Limburg, Maasland, near Belgium’s Dutch border, Hoeven wakes up at the Hotel Beau Séjour to find a bloody corpse in the bathtub – her own. She has no memory of the day before her death or why she was there. She soon discovers that five people are able to see her and communicate with her as she desperately tries to find out who was responsible for her murder and why they killed her.

We’ll be carrying a review of the Belgian series before the year is out.

Erin Brockovich series in development for ABC

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff is bringing legendary activist Erin Brockovich’s life to the small screen.

Vernoff is teaming with Brockovich for an ABC drama called Rebel that focuses on what life has been life for the legal consultant some 20 years after Julia Roberts brought her story to the big screen in 2000’s Erin Brockovich.

Rebelwhich has received a pilot commitment from the Disney-owned network, is inspired by Brockovich’s life today. Two decades after the Steven Soderbergh and Susannah Grant feature film made her famous, Annie “Rebel” Rebelsky is still working as a legal consultant without a law degree. The project is described as revolving around a funny, messy, brilliant and fearless real-life superhero who cares desperately about the causes she fights for and the people she loves — when Rebel applies herself to a fight she believes in, she will win at almost any cost.

More news as we get it…

BBC orders Responsible Child

Based on real events, Responsible Child is the story of Ray, a 12-year-old boy on trial for murder. 12-year-old Billy Barratt takes the titular role and is joined by Michelle Fairley, Tom Burke and Stephen Campbell Moore.

Also starring is Owen McDonnell, Shaun Dingwall, Debbie Honeywood, Angela Wynter and James Tarpey.

Told in two time frames, Responsible Child follows both the events that led up to the murder and the unfolding drama of the trial.

Ray (Barratt) and his 23-year-old brother Nathan (Tarpey) are arrested after stabbing their mother’s partner. Whatever the circumstances that have led a child to kill, the law is clear: the age of criminal responsibility is 10, and at 12 years-old, Ray must stand trial in adult court.

Virgin Media picks up Canadian series Pure

Virgin Media has acquired the Canadian series Pure and premiered it yesterday Virgin TV Ultra HD today (Thursday 31st October).

Created by Michael Amo, Pure tells the story of Noah Funk a newly-elected Mennonite pastor, who is determined to rid his community of the scourge of drugs and its nefarious ties to a trans-border smuggling alliance with ruthless Mexican cocaine cartels.

Here’s a trailer…