Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Oops - ITV1 has done it again!

Oonagh Robinson on the new ITV drama Place of Execution...

Oh dear. We’ve gone and done it again.
Just when we promised ourselves we would try not to fall for the three-part ITV Drama Premiere Scam - we accidentally caught the first episode of Place of Execution (ITV1, Mon).
And it was really rather good. And now we need to find out what happens next. And it’s bound to have a really rubbish ending (like The Children).
There really is no hope for us, is there?
This thriller about the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl in 1963 and the present-day investigation of the case by TV journalist Catherine Heathcoate (a fabulous Juliet Stevenson) had a more than usually authentic feel.
Okay, the girl in question actually looked at least 33 in the photo and film footage of her.
And there were cliches galore. The slimy upper class step father; the suspicious villagers; the oh-so-unnecessary “two day deadline” for Catherine to complete her documentary.
But there was something about Lee Ingleby, playing the nerdy young hot shot detective leading the highly realistic looking 1963 investigation, we found strangely mesmerising.
Maybe it was just the over-sized glasses and dodgy mac.
But he made a welcome change to the tiresome disheveled, maverick yet dishy detectives who usually populate these stories.
Plus he turned into the marvellous Philip Jackson (he’s from Retford you know) when we moved forward to the present day. Brilliant.
But maybe you better ask us again in a fortnight, when we’ve seen how it all ends.