“Manages compelling drama while still treating the events with the gravity they deserve”

The Woman In the Wall

“The mystery of the two murders unfolds with just enough twists and turns to keep things compelling without losing credibility. It is beautifully and harrowingly done. And – such a rarity this – the gothic element, spilling out of Lorna’s mind and home, feels not like a bolt-on to add drama lacking elsewhere but an integral part of the story.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

“Survivors are still sharing their stories and the true horrors of the Magdalene Laundries are still coming to light, making it an uneasy subject for an entertaining Sunday night BBC thriller. But The Woman in the Wall manages compelling drama while still treating the events with the gravity – and the victims with the respect – they deserve.”
Emily Baker, The i

“The Woman in the Wall throws a whole load of stuff at the wall to see what sticks. The murder prompts a visit from a detective (Daryl McCormack), though this crazy mystery thriller with k–b gags feels far from a conventional procedural. In theory, perhaps, Lorna is so traumatised that she’s almost literally in her own parallel world. In practice, a story with dark howls and silly giggles is tonally all over the shop.”
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph

“In the end, The Woman in the Wall is never able to quite overcome the fragmentary, shape-shifting nature of its narrative. The combination of a murder investigation, on one hand, and the Catholic establishment on trial, on the other, could be an effective one. But creator Joe Murtagh and director Harry Wootliff can’t quite stick the landing. The result relies too often on pained expressions, distorted flashbacks, and cop drama tropes to really do this story justice.”
Nick Hilton, The Independent

The Tower, ITV1

“This is a neatly realised show, adapted by Patrick Harbinson from the books by Kate London, and this new series spins two murder plots with skill and verve and a tighter focus on crimes against women. No, this isn’t glamorous, but it feels authentic.”
Ben Dowell, The Times

“This crime drama made a shaky start when it launched in 2019. DS Collins seemed to be defined by her orange anorak and her strops, rather than any talent as a detective. But the series has found its feet and so has she, so much that ITV has already ordered a third season. It’s particularly good at building an interview scene, allowing time for the dialogue to circle and then spiral inwards until it reaches the point.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“A female officer facing an antediluvian police culture (why, hello again Prime Suspect) and a cold case involving a missing teenage girl (ditto any number of crime dramas) – the new series was arguably a tower of cop-show clichés. The over-familiarity was however displaced by the feeling that Harbison is too smart a writer not to eventually subvert any dramatic formulas. Being so grounded in realism helps dispel the impression that the narrative is in the hands of a hack.”
Gerard Gilbert, The i

“This opener had fixed its mumbly dialogue problem, but plodded along with all the urgency of a doughnut-scoffing copper who’s counting the days until retirement. It didn’t help that the crimes happened off-camera. Presumably we’ll see them in flashback later. Will viewers stay that long?”
Michael Hogan, The Telegraph

Starstruck, BBC3

“By the end of these transitional six episodes, Starstruck has become a better – more interesting, more relatable, more affecting – show, one that no longer revolves around its original premise, but instead deals in distinctly un-gimmicky reflections on life’s trajectory.”
Rachel Aroesti, The Guardian

“Judging by the first two episodes of the new series, the writers have managed to pull it off, freshening up the format while retaining the screwball comedy’s characteristic cheeky charm, messiness and wit.”
Kirsten Grant, The Telegraph