Okay, it turned out it wasn’t her’s, as June (Lindsay) was standing over man’s bed before it cut to the opening credits. After that, she was back to reality: her daughter is pregnant, she gets the sack from her residential care home job because it’s cheaper to hire temps.
The trailer made it sound all spooky and weird and clandestine, as if everything would verge into Hollywood slasher thriller-style movie, but no… the cold call is a simple one from a savings company, where they expect you to confirm all your private details before actually telling you what they’re calling about. There’s been some fraudulent activity on her account, apparently and they want her to move her money to a new account… after which, she’ll never see it again.
Quite frankly, people who do this sort of scamming need throttling and stringing up from the rooftops. I would happily…
At a victims support group, she’s approached by old school friend Des who says he can help her out… or are things going to get even worse for her? The rest of the premise shows that he thinks he can track the money and suspects a man called Kirk Wiley. Des is clearly, surprisingly resourceful, with things even leading to June taking a job as a carer for Wiley’s mother – who suffers from dementia – in his fancy house, which takes us back to the pre-credits tease…
So, is Wiley the bad guy? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out, but then he’s played by Paul Higgins, who was the evil Alistair Campbell-like Jamie in The Thick Of It, so that did sway my thoughts 😉
There’s potentially a fair number of things going on here, so I’m wondering if it does turn out to be that multi-layered – as I was trying to decipher the elderly mother’s witterings, or if it’ll bin that in favour of playing a straight bat and following the path of other drams that have gone by. Time will tell, but so far, I really enjoyed this first episode.
There was also a scene in the first episode where I had to suspend an incredible amount of disbelief – and you’ll know it when you see it – but then this IS a TV drama and not a documentary. Even though this episode has now already aired, without giving spoilers (since some will watch on catch-up), I could think of what SHOULD be said as the last line in the episode in answer to the question posed, but they went for a cliffhanger instead. I think it’s easy to work out, however.
The ‘next time’ clip makes it look like the plot is moving on rather more quickly than I expected, but then there’s only four episodes.
Oh, and there’s also an actress called Elizabeth Counsell playing the character Elisabeth. I’ve not seen anything so confusing since new ‘Dora the Explorer‘ Isabella Moner played a character called Izabella in 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight, and then in May 2018, in Sicario 2: Soldado, she was Isabel.
While watching episode 2, I reckon there’s one important thing I must add: Wiley’s house is entirely covered with WHITE CARPET, and everyone is walking around inside with OUTDOOR SHOES ON! Just look at how scuffed it’s becoming! TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF!!!
For episode 3, a big thing happened in tonight’s episode, but all I’ll say is that if you want to see more Dan Skinner (aka Aubrey), then check out the brilliant Notes on Blindness, which features his incredible performance.
And after the finale, overall, this series wasn’t wholly what I was expecting, and yes, you did have to stretch credibility at times, but it still came to a satisfying conclusion, and I liked Geoffrey McGivern (once the original Ford Prefect) as big baddie Simon Zima, and his line to Kirk: “Elderly women die with alarming frequency, Mr Wiley… best not to become too attached”.
Oh, and for Aubrey’s final scene in episode 3…
Cold Call continues tomorrow night on Channel 5 at 9pm, and each night until Thursday when it concludes. It is available to pre-order on DVD ahead of its released on January 13th 2020.
If you missed it, you can watch the each episode on the My5 for 30 days after transmission.
Episode 1 Score: 8/10
Episode 2 Score: 7.5/10
Episode 3 Score: 8/10
Episode 4 Score: 8/10
Director: Gareth Tunley
Producer: Rebecca Davies
Writers: Mark Buckland, Karyn Dougan-Buckland
Jane Clarke: Sally Lindsay
Des Grigsby: Daniel Ryan
Kirk Wiley: Paul Higgins
Hana: Taj Atwal
Laura: Samantha Power
Aubrey: Dan Skinner
Irene: Rosina Carbone
Elisabeth: Elizabeth Counsell
Lizzie: Katie Redford
Ally: Rayna Campbell
Pauline: Tigga Goulding
Ann: Jenny Jordan-O’Neill
Sophie: Melanie Kilbur
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.