Marcella Series 2 begins with the discovery of the body of Leo, a 9-year-old boy, who was kept prisoner in a room almost four years ago, occasionally trying – and in a futile attempt – to chisel his way out through the wall. However, while this is brief, there are a few flashbacks involved, later, so there’s definitely more to this than meets the eye.
This is set five months after the first series finished, although I had completely forgotten what happened. Plus, with a series like this, it would be best to watch the whole lot back to back, rather than weekly, given how weird and in-depth the last series became, but then it does come from the same writer as the original version of the fantastic, The Bridge.
Along the way, tempers fray (for everyone), as DI Rav Sangha (Ray Panthaki) is still a grumpy boss – even snapping at newbie DC, LeAnn Hunter (Sophia Brown), there’s interviews with reformed paedophile Phil Dawkins (Peter Sullivan) – if such an individual *can* be reformed, Marcella’s still bonking colleague DCI Tim Williamson (Jamie Bamber), there’s another young lad texting someone he shouldn’t, there’s lots of frantic shots with fast-cutting in some scenes, there’s Nigel Planer and Keith Allen as aging rock stars who may or may not be involved in dodgy goings on, and an angry shaven-headed bloke called Eric who has “1996” tattooed on the side of his head (presumably we’ll discover the reason eventually), plus it took about 3 seconds before Anna Friel perfected that ‘constipated’ look… and she also proved she has a cracking arse as she reveals it to the world (Hey, ladies, you have your Christian Grey at the moment, yeah?)
There’s a lot that’s set out in this first episode which really needs the gaps filling in, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store. It also feels a lot less ‘Nordic Noir’ than the first series, which is a help, as the first series rather did tie itself in knots.
I know the trailer for this new series hasn’t helped a great deal, since it features Ms Friel shouting over and over, “I’M NOT WELL!!!!!”, but then how many of us are?
If you missed the first series, then the entire thing is on the ITV Hub right now, and once series 2 has finished, the entire lot of that will stay online for a further 30 days.
Update 9.4.18 10pm: Overall – and without giving spoilers in case you haven’t seen any of it, I enjoyed series 2 more than series 1 as, while all the bizarre stuff from the creator’s The Bridge works great in that show – especially when you’re ‘bingeing’ it, it just didn’t quite sit right in this, and also because Marcella is released in weekly installments, so I kept forgetting what was happening from one week to the next. Series 2 flowed much better in that respect. However, when it came to the revelation of the baddie at the end of the penultimate episode, it felt like one of those dramas where they had no idea who to frame as that person, so lined up all the potentials and thought, “Oh, erm… I don’t know… let’s say… it’s that one!”, and then just tried to back this up with a silly finale.
This won’t be the first drama to do that, but it does feel lazy, either way.
Beyond that, I expect we will get a third series at some point – since TV and movie companies love a successful trilogy – but, and without giving spoilers, I expect it’ll be set a few years after this one. Quite where Marcella’s ranking in the police service will be, who knows…
Either way, when it came to the finale, I haven’t had to put my head in my hands – over my eyes – for a VERY long time, but I did with the final part of this. Marcella, as a character, is seriously off her meds!
Now, I wrote the above before I saw the very end, so one point about that, which I’ll hide behind a spoiler section:
Marcella Series 2 beings on Monday at 9pm, and then will be the ITV Hub. You can pre-order series 2 on DVD, as well as the Series 1 & 2 DVD boxset, ahead of their release on April 16th, and Series 1 on DVD is already out now.
Director: Charles Martin
Producer: Ann Harrison Baxter
Creator/Writer: Hans Rosenfeldt
Music: Lorne Balfe
DS Marcella Backland: Anna Friel
Jason Backland: Nicholas Pinnock
DI Rav Sangha: Ray Panthaki
Luke Howell: Aldo Maland
DC Mark Travis: Jack Doolan
Phil Dawkins: Peter Sullivan
Reg Reynolds: Nigel Planer
Alan Summers: Keith Allen
Edward Backland: Asher Flowers
DCI Tim Williamson: Jamie Bamber
DC LeAnn Hunter: Sophia Brown
Eric Davidson: Josh Herdman
Nick: Joplin Sibtain
Gail Davidson: Harriet Cains
Adam Evans: Oaklee Pendergast
Mr Yusef: Tariq Jordan
Leslie Evans: Lucy Speed
Amanda Priestley: Clara Indrani
Nathan Priestley: Michael Wildman
Becky Marani: Yolanda Kettle
Emma Backland: Imogen Faires
Vince Whitman: Jason Hughes
Maya Whitman: Victoria Smurfit
Journalist: Gareth Cooke
Yanis: Nadia Albina
Samantha Coletti: Lara Decaro
Jane Coletti: Michelle Terry
Andrew: Harry Lawtey
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.