The BBC has acquired Australian noir, The Secrets She Keeps, and French ‘eco-thriller’ The Last Wave.
Based on Michael Robotham’s best-selling novel, the six-part The Secrets She Keeps tells the story of two women who live in a Sydney suburb and have a chance encounter in a supermarket.
They are the same age, both pregnant and due to give birth at the same time. Agatha works in the supermarket as a shelf-stacker whilst Meghan is a ‘mummy blogger’ on the rise.
Although they live in roughly the same part of the city, they come from different worlds – their lives on radically different trajectories. Agatha subsists just above the poverty line in a grubby flat with few real friends. She immigrated to Katoomba (on the outskirts of Sydney) from the UK with her family when she was 14 but has no real connection to her Jehovah’s Witness mother who still lives there. The father of her baby, Hayden, whom Agatha had a brief relationship is a sailor serving on HMAS Sutherland. He is oblivious that he has a child on the way.
Meghan is comfortably upper middle class. Her husband, Jack, an ambitious TV sports reporter, is often recognised at the pub. We meet Agatha first, and we see Meghan initially through her eyes. There is something off balance about Agatha. She’s not exactly dishonest, but she watches Meghan with the gaze of a voyeur who has a disturbing, covetous streak.
After engineering a situation intended to get closer to Meghan which involves her toddler son Agatha succeeds in ingratiating herself to Meghan and the pair begin to begin an unlikely friendship.
Agatha is both impressed and irritated by the beautiful Meghan with her glamorous partner, her blog and her two kids. Why can’t she have that life? Agatha’s envious obsession with Meghan escalates into full-blown stalking. She hides in Meghan’s backyard, spying on her perfect life, gathering information on her new friend in attempts to get closer to her. She lies to Meghan about
her past and it starts to emerge that perhaps Agatha has done all of this before…
Drip-fed throughout the story, we find that Agatha has a secret, dark past when it comes to new born babies. And with history threatening to repeat itself, not all is as it seems regarding Agatha’s own pregnancy.
But Meghan too is hiding secrets and when Agatha begins to enact her awful plan, Meghan is faced with admitting her transgression. Both women’s lives are set to implode.
Inspired by a real-life hospital kidnap incident from the 1990s, The Secrets She Keeps is an adroit look at the media feeding frenzy that surrounds such cases. It is a taut thriller as well as a sociological portrait of a society where cupidity, stupidity and fame often coalesce to make a toxic brew.
Meanwhile, six-part French drama, The Last Wave, is set during a surfing competition in Biarritz when a huge ominous cloud takes over the sky. As the cloud and sea meet, a jaw-dropping 3km wave appears, engulfing all the participants. As the days pass, the mystery deepens when the surfers begin to return home dazed and confused, with no memory of where they have been or what happened to them.
One by one, the returning surfers discover that they have been changed by the event and each possesses exceptional and inexplicable powers. With the town united in fear, waiting for another wave to strike, scientist Ben Lebon makes an amazing discovery concerning the mysterious cloud hovering over the ocean: a discovery that has far-reaching consequences for all of Brizan’s residents.
It’s expected that both dramas will air on BBC Four.