Here’s another French series heading to All4/Walter Presents.
Something To Hide(Le Mensonge) stars the legendary Daniel Auteuil as a wealthy Frenchman whose world is shattered after an accusation of rape.
Based on a harrowing true story it tells the story of a town Mayor. For Claude’s beloved grandson Lucas (Victor Meutelet), life is much less cheerful due to his parents’ divorce. Distraught that his family is torn apart, Lucas becomes violent and ill-behaved. When confronted by his mother, he reveals an unimaginable story – that he was raped by his grandfather.
Highly regarded Claude Arbona is shocked that his greatest ordeal yet is caused by the person he loves most. Subsequently, he finds himself facing the wrath of the law and those who greatly respected him as mayor and potential senator of their beloved town. His marriage, family, career and life are thrown under the harsh light of public opinion as the crude details of this twisted story are revealed. With the beautiful backdrop of the French riviera a dark story unravels – but it is just that…a story? Is this Lucas’ desperate attempt to bring his parents back into each other’s lives or is it the dark and unthinkable truth?
Something To Hide: From Friday 21st October, All4/Walter Presents
This week we say farewell to a number of shows – Inside Man finishes, as does Karen Pirie and Recipes For Love and Murder. But… we do get the excellent Red Light on All4/Walter. Enjoy!
1 Red Light *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES* S1-10/10 A swirling, current drama series about three women who lose themselves and find each other in the world of prostitution and human trafficking. Friday 7th October, All4/Walter Presents
2 Inside Man *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODES* *LAST IN SERIES* S1 E3&4/4 As Harry’s dilemma worsens, the fate of his family hangs in the balance – but he is determined to do the right thing. Meanwhile, Beth Davenport meets one of Jefferson Grieff’s helpers in the outside world who delivers a chilling warning. In the cellar, Janice’s desperation grows, and she is forced to consider what she is willing to do to get out alive. Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th October, 9pm, BBC One
3 Karen Pirie *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE* *LAST IN SERIES* S1 E3/3 Damning forensic evidence leads to a shocking arrest and Karen brings the suspect in for questioning. But with only 24 hours to build a case, is time running out? Bel’s call-out on the podcast brings forward an eyewitness whose testimony leads Karen and The Mint to a horrifying possibility. With a new lead to pursue that could change the course of the entire investigation, Karen is forced to confront why she was chosen to lead the case and a version of the truth she’d never thought possible. With everything at stake, will Karen prove she’s up to the job and finally achieve justice for Rosie after 25 years? Sunday 9th October, 8pm, ITV
4 The Old Man *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES* S1 E3/8 Forced to flee, Chase finally tells Zoe the truth about his past, but it might be too late. Wednesday 5th October, Disney+
5 Savage River*NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE* S1 E4/6 As Detective Rachel Kennedy and Sgt Bill Kirby get closer to solving the mystery, a tip-off leads them to the meatworks and the hunt for a murder weapon. Thursday 6th October, Paramount+
6 Bloodlands *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE* S2 E4/6 An American gangster arrives in Dunfolan to take back what belongs to his family. Tom and Olivia close in on the gold, while Niamh and Birdy inch closer to the truth. Izzy puts Birdy under pressure to break the news of their relationship to Tom, but then her new boyfriend makes a shocking discovery. Sunday 9th October, 9pm, BBC One
7 Agatha Christie’s Hjerson *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE* S1 E7/8 A renowned actor is shot on a movie set in Åland. Klara must take on the case herself as Hjerson has become preoccupied with digging into his own past. Friday 7th October, 9pm, More4
8 The Brokenwood Mysteries *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE* S8E2/6 Following Brokenwood’s first drum ‘n’ bass festival, the van belonging to the band Starscraper suddenly explodes seemingly from the volume of the music it was playing. Monday 3rd October, 9pm, Drama
9Pretty Hard Cases *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES* S2 E1/12 Sam and Kelly take their partnership to new heights when they go undercover as flight attendants to infiltrate a Central American gang’s drug route. Thursday 6th October, 9pm, Alibi
10 Recipes For Love And Murder *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODES* *LAST IN SERIES* S1E9&10/10 Maria tries to retrace Jessie’s steps, while the police try to track down her cousin. We finally find out who kidnapped Jessie, and we see that she wounded him when she tried to escape but was shot down. When Maria is caught by the killer he has an unusual request – he likes his steak medium rare. The police also figure out who the killer is, but are they too late? Monday 3rd October, Acorn TV
The BBC has announced a new five-part “unconventional thriller”, The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies.
It says it will tell the story of two very different women (Alice Newman and Cheryl Harker) and the conman (Dr Rob Chance) they have in common.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Alistair Petrie and Rebekah Staton lead the cast as Cheryl, Rob and Alice respectively.
Cheryl (Baptiste) is a bestselling fantasy fiction author who, recently bereaved, now lives alone with her poodle, Goblin. Alice (Staton) is a formidable PA, a mother, and a lifelong Madonna fan. Rob (Petrie) is an eccentric and celebrated ecopreneur (allegedly). Three apparent strangers with nothing in common… except Rob’s dupes, deceptions and delusions.
This is a story about lies and artifice, about our weakness for self-deception, and about the rapid ascent of the modern fraudster. Asking why do ‘respectable’ psychopaths rise to the top? Why does a posh man in a suit still seem so plausible next to a working-class mum in a pink cape? And if you can’t beat them, is joining them really so bad?
Above all, this is also the story of an unexpected friendship between two very different women and the power they’ll discover when they raise their voices in joyous rage. As they finally find the courage and self-belief to take charge, the con is on to try and take a predator down.
Joining the formidable trio are Romola Garai who plays Juno Fish, Alice’s boss and a prominent designer who is famous for her unique brand of idiosyncratic floral patterns and products, Derek Jacobi who plays Sir Ralph Unwin who may or may not be being scammed by Rob, Julian Barratt who plays Alice’s painfully predictable, deeply kind, magician husband Benjy, Karl Johnson who plays Bill, Alice’s father and confidant, and Ellie Haddington who plays Diane, Alice’s long-suffering, insufferable mother.
We’re at the half-way stage of this final series of Baptiste, and by the end of it my head was spinning after an incredibly savage massacre scene, big questions answered and a helluva twist.
Before that, however, and you got the impression that it was a quieter episode with plenty of build-up. As it turned out, the calm before the storm.
Once again we were toing and froing between the two timelines, but at this stage it was proving to be a valuable device – the constant push and pull between the two never felt like a gimmick like previous Williams brothers’ series. No, each segment in each timeline served a purpose: to keep the story moving and to keep us on the edge of our seats at all times.
There were constant set-ups. In the present-day timeline we were always told pieces of information about events that were yet to happen. And then, in the flashback segments, we saw those events unfold.
If you can forgive the odd line of brilliantly awful dialogue (tonight’s favourite? In bar, Julien sensed a couple sitting nearby were on the verge of breaking up. When they did, Zsofia asked: “How did you know? You don’t speak Hungarian.” “I speak people,” Julien replied), it was a tense and gripping episode.
Right at the beginning of the installment, we were introduced to two new characters. Interestingly, we felt sympathy for them – a man and a woman (husband and wife) suffered the heartbreak of losing a baby. By the end of the episode, that sympathy had ebbed away in spectacular fashion. The woman was Kamilla Agoston, leader of the far-right party, Hungary First, who were intent on dividing the country with fierce, racist rhetoric, fanning the flames of hate and agitating its supporters to push out the migrant community.
A member of that community was Zsofia’s father who, we had seen in past episodes, become the target of a far-right gang. Thanks to information in the present-day, we also knew that the tensions in the country bubbled over spectacularly in the flashback timeline. Zsofia referred to Julien as the ‘hero of Józsefváros’ and we were eager to find out what happened and why.
We soon did.
In the present-day, we saw Emma, Zsofia and Julien push Andras Juszt to get closer to Gamorrah. He met with Kamilla Agoston, and was soon taken hostage by her and her thugs who didn’t buy that Juszt wanted back into their gang after so much time away. All this was happening with Julien in the basement of her apartment, where he found irrefutable evidence that she – or at least an inhabitant of her apartment – was Gamorroah him or herself.
But the real action was to be found in the flashback timeline. Emma was handed her son Alex’s laptop back from the police, and she was eager to use it as a way to connect with her missing son, presumed dead. What she found in her emails caused her to call Julien immediately.
A series of emails from a mystery woman, living in Melbourne, Australia piqued their interest. These were no love letters – they were terse, to-the-point instructions telling Alex to meet at a certain place on a day at a certain time.
That date and time was happening on that day, so the pair – realising that there was something fishy going on with the email correspondence – raced to the scene. The same scene where Kamilla Agoston was to give a rally to her supporters.
The ‘hero of Józsefváros’. Whatever was coming, was definitely coming.
I liked this build up and I liked the foreshadowing but nothing – nothing – prepared me for what was going to happen next.
As Julien and Emma stood in the middle of a separate part of square – teeming with a market populated by migrants – snipers from a building opposite opened fire. Many, many people died in the carnage.
It was awful to watch. Extremely well choreographed and edited from a production perspective yes, but it was like nothing I’d ever scene on television before. Almost like a shoot ’em up video game.
It really was gruesome, terrifying and well, for some people, quite triggering I would imagine.
During this scene Emma was shot in the back and Julien, slumped in a daze with death and destruction all around him, was aghast. However, he summoned some sort of ‘not on my watch’ energy, got to his feet, and limped back out into the fray. He unfurled his pistol and shot dead one of the snipers.
It was Alex Chambers under the mask.
So we now know why Julien took to drink and grew an enormous beard, we now know why Emma was in a wheelchair, and we now know what really happened to her eldest son, Alex.
I had to suspend disbelief when Julien turned into Jack Bauer for a few minutes, but wow. This scene really was astonishing in so many ways. Did I like it? I’m not sure. It certainly was gripping and extremely intense but it was also totally awful to watch, perhaps too much.
With so many questions being answered, I do wonder whether the massacre will more or less close this flashback timeline, and the final three episodes will be spent in the present day, where the trio of Julien, Zsofia and Emma will track down Will and nail Gamorrah.
We’ll see, but for now I need to sit in a darkened room for a little while.
With Beck facing up to his mortality, and questions being raised about his conduct of an old case, will this be the last we see of Stockholm’s gloomiest detective?
As this brief season comes to an end, we’re given even more direct suggestions that Martin Beck might not be long for this world – in fact his whole team seems more fractured than ever, with internal dissension and rivalries not helped by Martin’s enforced absence after his brain surgery. Ironically, we do see a bit more of Beck than we have in previous episodes this season, as the discovery of human remains forces him to re-examine one of his greatest failures.
Five years ago, we see a troubled young man being battered to death outside a lakeside cottage; we assume from the start that it’s a family affair, but we don’t realise how literally. In the present day, the victim’s jawbone is found in a forest, and Alex presciently figures out that the rest of the remains must be in a nearby lake. Fortunately, they’re found in minutes of searching, which was a bit of luck.
The victim, Viktor, had a chaotic drug-fuelled lifestyle and had been reported missing by his family – but they’re a rum lot, a boozy mother who implausibly teaches self-awareness, a nervy daughter and a twitchy brother. Thrown into the mix are a couple of Viktor’s mates, a drug-dealing bar-owner who claims to have cleaned up his act, and a wheeler-dealer up to his neck in debt, stolen goods and illegal substances.
The question is, why Beck didn’t make any progress with the case five years ago – heavily bandaged, he claims that with no body, no weapon and no motive, he had nothing to go on, but Alex finally wheedles out of him the story of his ill-judged attempt to suborn a witness, and Klas Freden having to cover up for him. Now, Freden would be happy to throw Beck to the wolves and give Alex his job, but she’s too loyal to put up with that. Having said that, she is considering taking another position, maybe in Luxembourg, and at four times the salary – well, what’s stopping you, girl?
As usual it’s Josef who actually cracks the case, pressuring contacts from his days on the drugs squad until one reveals the possible location of the murder. Josef gets a smack on the head when he investigates, but gathers enough evidence to convict Viktor’s brother, and to catch the mother about to shoot one of the suspects.
There are tearful confessions involving child molesting, filial jealousy and financial arguments, but Beck is off the hook, because Freden had been trying to protect the mother in the original investigation – something that will now stain his reputation.
There are some telling little moments in this fast-moving case, such as Freden sitting in his office filing his nails; lonely Oskar admitting that’s he’d blabbed details of the case to a lady journalist in a bar; Josef laughing off being under investigation – again! – and the stressed Alex struggling with her own inner demons of self-doubt and almost knocking Josef’s head off when he surprises her in the bijou office kitchenette.
But what of Martin Beck himself?
He’s been given six months to live, or only a 20 per cent chance of surviving a second brain operation. Barmy neighbour Grannen gives a (probably spurious) explanation of why he wears a neck brace, and takes it off to show that any chance of living is a good chance; but as Beck is wheeled into surgery and his icy daughter finally gives vent to some emotion, the prospects don’t look good.
About the only lights on the horizon are that Steinar looks like he may return from Oslo, and Beck’s grandson says that he wants to join the Police Academy.
Maybe this is the last we’ll see of Beck himself – as we’ve noted before, actor Peter Haber is now 68 – and perhaps the next series will concentrate on Alex, Steinar, and perhaps even the younger Beck.
If that’s the case, we’ll miss the old curmudgeon, but this will have been a satisfyingly dark and complex note to go out on.
Amazon Studios is turning Finnish author Antti Tuomainen’s The Rabbit Factor into a TV series.
The streaming giant has picked up the rights to Tuomainen’s seventh novel, and will produce a series that will star Steve Carell from the US version of The Office.
It marks Tuomainen’s switch to darkly comic and quirky stories, and The Rabbit Factor is the fifth novel to be released in the UK by independent publisher, Orenda Books, and will be the first in a trilogy.
The Rabbit Factor will be launched in the UK in September.
The Rabbit Factor tells the story of insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen, who inherits an adventure park after suddenly losing his job.
The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters… and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.
But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets.
Tuomainen told The Killing Times: “I’m beyond thrilled with the news and, to be honest, still have to tell myself that it is actually true.
“I’ve been a fan of Steve Carell for a long time so this really is a dream come true. I’m also very much looking forward to unleashing insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen to the unsuspecting UK public in September when the first book in the trilogy will be published.”
Fflur Dafydd’s six-part thriller Yr Amgueddfa laid down some intriguing markers in its opening episode (yes, I know I’m late on this but I’ve had a stressful, busy couple of weeks and haven’t had a chance to write down my thoughts).
Lest we forget, Yr Amgueddfa tells the story of museum boss Della who launches into a torrid, illicit affair with the mysterious Caleb, a troubled young man half her age.
From that first episode, we know that Caleb ‘has a past’ so the intrigue centred around what kind of past Caleb actually has.
Sure enough, we found out more in episode two.
We saw Caleb visit with probation officer Kay who brought out his file. A file marked ‘violent offender’. It seems that Caleb recently got out of prison and is now trying to stay on the straight and narrow. Answering questions from Kay in a perfunctory fashion, he did mention he was seeing someone. Not who or why, just someone.
And that someone, of course, was Della. At the end of episode one she issued an ultimatum – I’ll sleep with you once and then you leave my life. Caleb seemed up for that, but you just knew this homme fatale wouldn’t leave it at that.
And so it proved.
Caleb sneaked back into her life, charming her with a vase (he had ordered online, from somewhere, probably not Wish) and then craftily turning up at Della’s own house for her mother’s birthday party. He had snuck in thanks to his own Trojan horse – Della’s smitten son, Daniel. In that house was Della’s unsuspecting husband Alun (look out for an uncomfortable role playing scene between Della and Alun designed to reignite some passion into their relationship… which absolutely didn’t work), and daughter Marged, and Della’s snipey work colleague Sadie and Elfryn.
And yet for all of her suspicion and shock at Caleb being there – in her house – all it took for her to collapse into his arms was one sultry look. The had a clinch on the stairwell and someone saw it.
So it’s all bubbling up and you have this feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach, because as the affair becomes riskier and riskier, it will no doubt be revealed.
The scenes in the house were delicious in their invention and choreography. They made us feel maximum anxiety as Caleb circled his prey like a vulture.
And yet there’s more to consider here.
How did Caleb get hold of a vase so expensive and from whom? What relationship does Caleb have with his boss at the charity shop, Fioled? What did he do time for? And what is going on with Marged and Lisa?
As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions in the past, there’s really nothing quite like Fargo on television. Really and truly, it has provided me with so many great things over the years, whether it’s character or scenes or even, yes, whole series.
Its unpredictability often makes for exciting viewing, with sequences and characters so bold and memorable it’s impossible to stop watching.
Take this episode’s opening scene.
We’re transported to a smoky jazz club, where two members of Loy Cannon’s gang are enjoying a night away from the street battles. It’s such a tonally different, exciting scene that in many other series it would’ve felt out of place. But not here in Fargo.
Unbeknown to Lemuel and Leon, Cannon’s arch-rival Josto Fadda is putting the heat on the cops, and demands they start delivering value on his bribes. So the cops raid the joint, arrest and then beat the two gang members, with Josto goading them in a visit to the holding pen.
Odis Weff, too, is feeling the heat from Josto Fadda. As we know, this curious man with the extreme OCD is in the pockets of the Italians, and once again he does their bidding. Under instruction, he raids Cannon’s warehouse.
Odis Weff is an(other) outstandingly quirky character, but I do wonder whether his idiosyncrasies are idiosyncrasies just for the sake of it. However, all that being said, there was an opportunity at least to find out more about him. After his confrontation with Cannon in the warehouse – where the gang boss employed some Grade A psychological warfare and exposed some of Weff’s weaknesses – the tables were turned.
Cannon visited Weff, where his story unravelled – Weff was a mine-sweeper in World War II and suffered from PTSD because of it. He also revealed – via the visual prop of a group of dolls on a dresser – that his intended wife-to-be (his sweetheart) was raped and murdered while he was away on duty. No wonder he’s now a broken, nervous shell of a man; his pallid, drawn look is now given extra context.
But Cannon didn’t care for trauma or sentimentality. All he saw was a weak man ripe for manipulating, and he instructed Weff that he now worked for him.
He instructed him to go to the Fadda’s and take back his boy. The truce was over.
And boy was is ever it over.
Something that had been bubbling for five episodes was now well and truly boiling over. Acts of war were undertaken.
First, by the Fadda’s. Or, more specifically, Gateano, who took marvellously-featured Constant to the diner where Doctor Senator regularly meets with Ebal. Instead this time, it was all over for the avuncular, intelligent and worldly Doctor. After a terse exchange, Constant shot him dead in the street.
(There was also a scene where Gaetano and Constant went to a bar. Gaetano got angry after he was served sub-standard coffee and took out his aggression on the poor teenage waiter and the barkeep. It was all a little bit too much like Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas.)
As ever with Fargo, it was an operatic, elegiac scene, which not only the signified the death of a very likeable character but also a way of life. As Doctor hit the dirt, so did the old way of doing things, that almost civilised code of honour that old-school gangs (sometimes) adhered to.
Doctor’s death signalled a change in pace, and in atmosphere. And it also provoked Cannon – with his back to the wall – to come out finding. He captured Zelda and Swanee – thanks to Ethelrida – and instructed them to perform a daring raid on Gaetano’s hide out.
Chaos – and some farcical, cartoon-style humour – ensued, ending with Cannon holding the dangerous rogue Italian in his basement strapped as a hostage.
So this is where we are now. Point scoring, but oh-so-eloquent point-scoring. And, it has to be said, very verbose point-scoring – it seems that characters in Fargo can’t perform an action or a walk down the road without launching into some sort of monologue. Which is fine, because these passages of speech contain such fantastical words and affectations, but sometimes, just sometimes, less can be more.
It’s the noise first. The constant noise. Then the sudden denial of space. Then the unrelenting grey and the metal, oozing rancour from every pore.
This is what you get from the opening scenes of Jimmy McGovern’s new three-part prison drama, Time, as Mark Cobden (Sean Bean) is taken to jail. In the beginning, we’re not sure why he’s in the clink, but he seems different from the rest of his new inmates.
There’s constant shouting in the transport vehicle, with one inmate accusing another of being a ‘grass’. Non-stopp shouting, aggression and malevolence.
As Cobden is taken from the transport into the prison, we then get an idea what being inside is really like: the rigorous adherence to protocol carried out by weather-worn staff who go through the motions. The personality checks, the questions, the box-ticking, the physical checks, and then for Cobden, finally into his shared cell.
It’s a blistering, terrifying start the the story.
But this is a prison drama, and you do wonder how it can possibly differ or bring something new to the sub-genre. We’ve seen the Ambiguous Prisoner in a prison drama before – you almost root for him because he seems remorseful, was a teacher on the outside, is quiet and wants to do his time without any trouble; as opposed to his contemporaries, who seem intent to engage in the game of survival of the fittest.
We soon find out that Cobden is an ex-teacher who has been sent down for four years because he killed someone while drunk-driving. He killed a man? Does this make us, the viewers, root for him less? It’s a complex moral dilemma.
In prison dramas we also often see the inmates who try to establish a territorial advantage of others, and we finally see the Ambiguous Prisoner come to terms with his surroundings and even find a way to survive in all the madness and the carnage.
All this plays out as expected in Time, but, as ever, what brings this to life and makes it different are the characters. And they’re brilliantly realised by the likes of Bean (who just seems to be getting better with age), Stephen Graham, Siobhan Finneran, Sue Johnston and others, who play the inmates with some serious edge.
What’s also brilliant about Time is the actual writing. McGovern is a genius, we know, but here he drops little bombshells into the narrative that test the characters to the limit.
For Cobden it’s navigating prison life and the inmates he encounters, from the vulnerable Bernard (Aneurin Barnard), who Cobden’s thrust into a cell with and who self-harms to a shocking extent, and then the unhinged Johnno (James Nelson-Royce) who is laying down test after test, ones that Cobden does not rise to (so far).
(There’s one particularly terrifying scene where Johnno storms into Cobden’s cell and takes some sugar. He takes it to his cell, where he boils it up in a kettle and then proceeds to go into another cell to thrown it in the face of the same inmate who he claimed was a grass in the opening scenes. Boiling sugar syrup sticks to the skin and causes more damage.)
And then we get prison officer Eric (Stephen Graham). He’s hard but fair, but is also placed in a difficult, morally contentious situation. We not only find out that Eric’s son, Daniel, is also in (a different) prison, but now an inmate is trying to blackmail him – do their bidding or his son gets beaten up, or worse. It’s one of a few interesting little bombshells that give Time a real edge, urgency and an added piquancy.
Sean Bean and Stephen Graham have worked together in a Jimmy McGovern project before, so you knew they were going to be great together. And, in Time, their chemistry works a treat in what is a grim, Brutalist but propulsive and hugely compelling drama.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Time is on BBC One in the UK and iPlayer
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