So, the good news is that you can scratch Strangers on ITV off of your list of 'must-watch' autumn TV. And the bad news is that is because, althoughStrangers has a great premise, there's one too many plot holes to make an entirely convincing watch.
But then, a few minutes in, we get our first taste of nonsense. The crying woman's husband Jonah (John Simm) is called out of a lecture hall by a man who inanely stands at the top of the auditorium and announces to the room of students that something has happened.
Sometime after receiving the shocking news of his wife's death, Jonah is driven to the airport and swallows a valium en-route to help him cope with being on a plane. What? Have you really never gone through check-in before Jonah? It takes hours. That little valium is going to render you unconscious whilst you're trying to navigate your suitcases through the little x-ray machine.
At any rate, Jonah eventually arrives in Hong Kong and is taken by Sally Porter (Emilia Fox) to identify the body. At the police station / morgue Jonah sees another man looking at a picture of his wife. A tense wait outside the station gives Jonah some unwanted answers: this unimpressed, emotionless man from the police office has been married to Jonah's wife for twenty years.
Great. A bit of intrigue. But, like, why were both men there at the same time? And why did the police decide to speak to one of the husbands in a glass interrogation room with A4 pictures of the dead men's wife? This man was apparently married to her for 20 years, so he probably knows what she looks like.
By the time we made it to the end of the first episode, we had questions. Some of them juicy, enticing questions about the dead wife's lives and her spiky daughter (played by Harry Potter's Cho Chang: Katie Leung). But mostly our questions were: what's happening, why would he do that? Even a good performances by John Simm and Kae Alexander weren't quite enough to win us round.
|What||Strangers, ITV review|
|Where||ITV 1 | MAP|
10 Sep 18 – 30 Sep 19, Strangers airs on ITV Monday 9pm