A Confession is based on the true story from March 2011, when Elaine Pickford’s (Siobhan Finneran – Apostasy) daughter, Sian, hasn’t come home and no-one knows where she is.
As such, she cuts her holiday in the country short and comes home and finds police standing in her house as she arrives.
What follows shows us the police interviewing her boyfriend, Kevin (Charlie Cooper), with whom she shares a house, everyone’s full of angst, there’s a helicopter search of the area, there’s a press conference – all of which is led by DS Steve Fulcher (Martin Freeman).
Elsewhere, Cold Feet‘s John Thomson plays Deputy Chief Constable Ray Hayward, who’s up on a sexual harrassment charge because he thinks it’s still the time of Gene Hunt from Life on Mars.
However, while Siobhan Finneran is a solid actress, everyone else either looks bored or is just going through the motions in a perfunctory fashion, and we have a drama whose first episode is all done in a very pedestrian fashion. I understand that this would’ve been a harrowing ordeal for those involved, but it doesn’t translate into a watchable drama.
Overall, this is just episode one of six, and I’ll probably give this a second episode to see if it improves, but not every real life disappearance needs to be put on TV.
UPDATE Episode 2: Well, I gave it a second episode, but it’s still depressingly slow when it doesn’t need to be, and feels ridiculously exploitative with the flashbacks. This could easily have been wrapped up in a three-parter.
Oh, and these tweets below, especially, highlight the zoom/shaky camera issues…
"How shall we shoot this scene?"
"I know how about another quick camera zoom"
— Paul Gibbons (@funkygibbons) September 2, 2019
Episode 1 Score: 2/10
Episode 2 Score: 1/10
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Producer: Tom Dunbar
Writer: Jeff Pope
Music: Niall Byrne
DS Steve Fulcher: Martin Freeman
Elaine Pickford: Siobhan Finneran
Liam O’Callaghan: Jake Davies
Pete Shawe: Derek Riddell
Sian O’Callaghan: Florence Howard
DCC Ray Hayward: John Thomson
Kevin Reape: Charlie Cooper
Karen Edwards: Imelda Staunton
Charlie Edwards: Peter Wight
Ollie: Joshua Parris
Steven Edwards: Darcy Vanhinsbergh
Kelly: Lolly Jones
DS Sarah Bilston: Caroline Bartleet
Aiden O’Callaghan: Rufus Gerhardt-Williams
Mick O’Callaghan: Ian Puleston-Davies
Debbie: Simone Lahbib
DI Sean Memory: Owain Arthur
DS Bob Cooper: Dominic Tighe
DC Tracy Joyce: Maimie McCoy
Uniformed officer: Dan Linney
CC Brian Moore: David Keeling
PS Marcus Beresford-Smith: Jonny Lavelle
DI Steve Kirby: David Nellist
Deborah Peach: Faye McKeever
John Godden: Christopher Fulford
Barlow: Martyn Ellis
Lora O’Callaghan: Jessica D’Arcy
ACC Mike Veale: Daniel Betts
Annette: Emma Clifford
Jackie: Anna Wilson-Jones
Yvonne Fulcher: Kate Ashfield
John Beggs: Will Barton
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.