Come Home centres around the break-up of a family, the difference compared to most dramas being that it’s the woman who’s just walked out on everyone for reasons unknown to those left remaining in the family home.
As this first episode begins – which centres mainly on Greg’s story (Christopher Eccleston), Marie (Paula Malcomson) has already left him and their three children, and early on, it’s clear he’s just not ready to get back out on the dating scene yet, leading him to chatting to his workplace’s sandwich lady, Brenna (Kerri Quinn), who he chances upon in the pub while she’s there with her angry ex.
We see Marie as she meets up with him for marriage mediation, but as a drama, it gets a bit predictable, such as when Greg and Brenna start to do the do in his car and the police catch them unawares, and how he’s constantly in a funk about wishing he with with Marie instead. For a while it seemed just okay and far from taxing, but the more it went on, the more it felt like standard kitchen sink drama, as it doesn’t really do anything different from this sort of drama other than the initial premise that she walks out on him.
This drama really shows that this comes from the makers of Ordinary Lies, since while that was okay, this follows a similar path, but in a very pedestrian style.
Come Home is shot in a cinemascope-style 2.35:1 widescreen ratio, like Trust Me and Doctor Foster, and while I like that for movies, I really don’t think it’s necessary for TV dramas… and all the years the BBC resisted showing films that way! (See? I was right all along!)
Paula Malcomson is an actress I hadn’t come across until last year’s Broken, also starring Sean Bean, and out of all the strong stories in that series, hers was the most incredible, as Roz Demichellis, who told Bean’s priest character that she was simply going to kill herself, and we went through with her to find out why she wanted to do this and whether or not she carried it out, and if you haven’t seen Broken, I urge you to do so, and I’ll give no spoilers here.
In order to review this, I watched it without subtitles as I’m watching a preview version, and while I know it’s set in Northern Ireland, man, these accents are stronger than a pint of vodka!
Meanwhile, Brenna asserted control over her new ‘family’, while Marie couldn’t stop lying to everyone including her colleagues. It highlighted that motherhood just doesn’t seem right to her, while they’re both pretty much bobbins at being parents, and so far, it seems to be a mishmash of meandering stories that aren’t really going anywhere.
Update April 3rd: Episode 2 was seen from the point of view of Marie, for the most part, whilst also continuing the storyline, and we could see how she dotes on her kids, yet was already dating a bloke at the time she did a bunk from Greg, whilst also trying to rekindle lost love with another guy, and the revelation that followed.
Update April 10th: When it came to the finale, it resulted in little more than a bog-standard court case. As for who won, you’ll have to watch it to find out…
Come Home continues next Tuesday on BBC1 at 9pm, and but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. After broadcast, you can watch each episode on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission, and click on the packshot for the full-size version.
Complete Series Score: 4/10
Director: Andrea Harkin
Producer: Madonna Baptiste
Writer: Daniel Brocklehurst
Greg Farrell: Christopher Eccleston
Marie Farrell: Paula Malcomson
Brenna Coyle: Kerri Quinn
Liam Farrell: Anthony Boyle
Laura Farrell: Lola Petticrew
Molly Farrell: Darcey McNeeley
Davey Coyle: Brandon Brownlee
Garry Coyle: Patrick O’Kane
Niamh Kenning: Brid Brennan
Billy Rockwell: Edward MacLiam
Carol Simm: Derbhle Crotty
Lucy: Susan Ateh
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.