Coleman plays Joanna, a mother struggling at home to care of her baby while the husband-and-father Alistair (Ewen Leslie) goes to work as a government advisor. He never pulls his weight with baby Noah – barely tending to him, not even when he cries in the night (that’s for Joanna to sort out, apparently). Deeper complications rise when Alistair has to travel with Joanna and Noah to Australia to win custody of his daughter from a previous marriage. And it’s in Australia where Noah goes missing.
There’s a certain Gone Girl quality straight from the off, as the opening shows Joanna applying make-up and wearing a pretty red dress in front of a gaggle of snapping cameras. The first episode doesn’t reveal much, but the constant media attention is going to be a likely torment for her.
The story blinks back and forth between various stages: before the kidnapping, after, how Joanna and Alistair met one another. Writer Jacquelin Perske (adapting the novel by Helen FitzGerald) throws in some enigmatically presented fragments, leaving us, like any good mystery-drama, to figure out their significance.
This episode is strongest in depicting the struggles of motherhood: the judgemental eyes, the not knowing certain facts about children, the desperation to keep a baby quiet on a long-haul flight. Perske and director Glendyn Ivin plunges us into Joanna’s mind as she starts to lose it, like there’s no way out. The closeness on Coleman is difficult, considering the emotional weight she has to carry, but she’s so absorbing in her character that it’s impossible to look away.
From what we’ve seen, with glimpses of lies and ambiguity spread across three timelines, this is not going to be a clear-cut case. Like Bodyguard, The Cry’s Sunday slot predecessor, this series is likely to keep everyone guessing and tweeting until the muscles in their thumbs wear out. What has happened to baby Noah?
|What||The Cry episode 1 review|
|Where||BBC One, BBC One | MAP|
On 30 Sep 18, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM