Sometimes you want a programme to work, you really, really want it to, and it starts off well. Tennant is Aiden Hoynes, an MP who’s poised for a leadership bid against his party leader – and he’s dropped at the last minute.
His wife, Freya (Watson), is drafted in pretty much as his replacement and we watch his embittered power struggle to get back at her, assuming first her loyalty and then not.
The central problem with this is that there is so little to empathise with in any of the characters. Apart from his relationship with his autistic son, which is played sensitively, Hoynes is simply a BAD man. He rapes his wife to assert control, he is impatient with his dad and he tries to get his old colleagues to play against each other. So he is BAD to prove that Tennant can play BAD. Freya, on the other hand, is GOOD. She thinks for herself and still cares for her family. She is GOOD, ARE YOU GETTING THIS?
For all that, it’s well played until the last few scenes. It’s a side issue and I hope not a spoiler, but when Hoynes has a fierce argument with his dad (played by the always-watchable Jack Sheppard) you just know dad’s going to walk out and have a heart attack and die. Which he duly does. And then the big reveal at the end…well, anyone who doesn’t see it coming has to be a bit dim.
The cast and director frankly deserved a script with more twists and turns. For a plot about political intrigue this one’s telegraphed pretty clearly right from the beginning.
EXTRAS ★★★ Deleted scenes, featurettes, commentaries ... pretty run of the mill stuff for a pretty run of the mill if glossy programme.