Gold Digger stars Julia Ormond as Julia Day who, at 60, she’s single after splitting up from a 35-year-marriage, but then she falls into a relationship with a young man. She’s in love, but the kids sense danger. We gather from the title that he’s a… yep. Or is he?
That’s the billing for this drama, anyhoo, and the pre-credits sequence hints at all that, so you watch this drama to see how it’ll all play out as it begins one year earlier.
In this first episode, there was an ‘oops!’ moment when both Julia and Benjamin go to a bar, and one of the staff comments that she is his mum. Ben (ooh, he doesn’t like the shortened form) meets her offspring, and that goes down like the expected lead balloon, with No.1 son – Patrick (Sebastian Armesto) – taking a particular extreme dislike to him. Then, fast-forward one year, and they’re about to get married…
Overall, I wasn’t wowed with episode 1. It’s worth a look for Ms Ormond (I love her nervous reactions to the situation, and it’s been too long since she’s been in anything major), and seeing how she takes her charater into this age-gap relationship, but I can’t say I’m massively gripped by this after one episode, so watching a second is certainly the next step to see if it has legs. It may do, given that there’s some bizarre flashbacks also thrown in, but I need it to really give us something to chew on because the opener just rather drifted with nothing unexpected.
However, for me at least, after episode one, the question is: Is Ben a gold digger, or is that just the assumption by her children? It’s not 100% clear.
BTW, Julia Ormond is only 56, in case you were wondering…
Episode 2 was more intriguing, but still has more of these weird flashbacks, the concept of which I haven’t grasped yet. As for whether Benjamin is good or bad, I hope it’s not just a simple case of either – he’s a baddie, or he’s good and they’ve simply misinterpreted things. But then what else is there?
Episode 3 bored me silly. The premise is that Marsha has slept with Benjamin at some point. Overall, either it’s bad writing or it keeps jumping about in time, as continuity seems to have gone out of the window. Either way, very little of it is interesting.
Gold Digger continues on BBC1 next Tuesday, and the series is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on December 30th.
Also, the entire series is now available on the BBC iPlayer.
Episode 1 Score: 4/10
Episode 2 Score: 6/10
Episode 3 Score: 2/10
Series Directors: Vanessa Caswill, David Evans
Producer: Ani Kevork
Creator/Writer: Marnie Dickens
Music: Stuart Earl
Julia Day: Julia Ormond
Benjamin Greene: Ben Barnes
Patrick: Sebastian Armesto
Della: Jemima Rooper
Leo: Archie Renaux
Ted: Alex Jennings
Marsha: Nikki Amuka-Bird
Young Julia: Fleur Keith
Hazel: Julia McKenzie
Young Ted: William Vasey
Young Patrick: Tylan Bayram
Charlotte: Indica Watson
Young Della: Kate Kennedy
Heidi James: Katie Clarkson-Hill
Bianca: Elena Saurel
Young Marsha: Tracy Anne Green
Cali Okello: Karla-Simone Spence
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.