REVIEW Viewpoint (S1 E2/5)

Last night’s opening episode of Viewpoint gave us an intriguing story influenced by Rear Window.

Traumatised cop Martin Young (Noel Clarke, on fine form) was tasked with staking out missing schoolteacher Gemma Hillman’s apartment. To do this, he needed to more or less take over the home of single mum Zoe, who became increasingly fascinated by Young’s work, but also the people he was snooping at.

At the end of episode, Zoe went into the house of Greg Sullivan against the wishes of Young.

Now, for Viewpoint to work you really have to suspend some disbelief for it to work.

No on has curtains for a start, and Zoe’s very presence in her apartment seems a bit odd procedurally to me. And then, as she gets ever close to the case, that would also never be allowed to happen in the real world.

However, there’s an intriguing case to be processed here, and Viewpoint is at its best when there’s no dialogue and the camera is framed on to the neighbours opposite. There’s a Zen-like quality to these scenes, and yes a certain amount of voyeurism involved – you feel a bit naughty but also like an actual surveillance operative.

As for the case itself, I found it a bit dizzying.

Greg found a bag stuffed full of cash and a fake passport (belonging to Gemma) and it emerged that she had been involved in some sort of money laundering scam, while next-door neighbours – the Tuckmans – began to look anything like the perfect middle-class couple they’re so keen to promote.

All this was fine, but I began to lose track – estate agents, a possible back door somewhere, Carl Tuckman having a fight with someone from his construction company, this business with the school… it all got a bit much, too soon.

I’m going to have to seriously concentrate tonight.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.


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