Tuesday, 23 August 2016

One of Us - BBC 1 TV review

One of Us, the first episode of which aired on BBC 1 this evening, is a thriller written by Jack and Harry Williams, whose The Missing engrossed me not so long ago. And I must say right away that this one hooked me even more than that gripping tale of a boy abducted in France, and the impact of the crime on his parents.

The story got off to a dramatic start. We move very quickly from a family wedding to a murder scene - the two newlyweds have been killed. But this isn't a whodunit - we see the killer with his victims. And soon we see him again, desperate for cash, and eventually robbing a Lexus driver at knife point, stealing his car, and driving manically into the Scottish night.

These scenes are intercut with scenes featuring members of the families of the murdered couple. Dark secrets, needless to say, are soon hinted at. One character has been raped; another seems to be a possible stalker; a third is a troubled alcoholic; and so on. The killer crashes his car - and it turns out that his destination is the postcode of the homes of the two families. What is going on?

At first, the bereaved go to the aid of the grievously injured killer. But a news story on the TV alerts them to the fact that he is the murderer, although it's far from clear what his motive was (robbery, or something more complex?) They put him in a cage, one of them cancels the ambulance they had called, and the next morning, the murderer is found dead. But who killed him? Maybe it is a whodunit after all.

I really enjoyed this one. The storyline is powerful, and the cast, which includes Juliet Stevenson and Adrian Edmondson, is a strong one. I'll definitely tune in next week.


RJS said...

Yes, I fell for the bait and was drawn in by the first episode, but the 4 part series deteriorated each week. There were several side plots which confused matters and it fell apart with an implausible finale.

Curious that they made use of the same Breaking Bad actress who dealt in drugs - this time to fund her daughter's medical treatment.
This plagiarised subplot was ridiculous.

The LSD leaper was another cliche.

This disappointing series could serve as an example of how not to write crime fiction.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, RJS. I have to say that I too felt that the later episodes, above all the finale, did not live up to the promise of the excellent opener.