One Of Us, one of us, one of us, one of us… sorry, no, there’s no repetitive chanting, here.
The four-parter begins with the lovely tale of Adam and Grace (Jeremy Newmark Jones and Kate Bracken), childhood sweethearts who went to the same Uni and then got married, but it’s worse than that, they’re dead, Jim, dead Jim, dead Jim, it’s worse than that, they’re dead, Jim, dead Jim, dead.
But who did the deed? Well, the title states that it was ‘one of us’, i.e. not you reading this, nor me writing it, but one of those members of the small community. On seeing the trailer, I figured we wouldn’t get to know who it was until much later in this four-part series, but the answer is given early on.
So who was it? You mean, you didn’t watch it? Well, get thee to the iPlayer and find out!
And why was Rob (Joe Dempsie) shouted at to “watch his mouth” when he hadn’t sworn? That smacks of an alternate take originally featured swearing which was later excised.
Beyond that, while the trailer made it sound like they’d all sit around pondering who the baddie is, but it didn’t take long before they all figured it out thanks to a convenient plot point.
One Of Us also had one of the most predictable scripts ever written. When a watch is found about the killer’s person, after they were left rather out-for-the-count, Clare (Joanna Vanderham) starts bawling her eyes out, and another character stupidly asks “What?? What is it???” Well, duh! Isn’t it damn obvious? The watch clearly belongs to one of the victims. Please, don’t take us for idiots.
Oh, oh, oh…. but there still IS a mystery to be solved, because – to nobody’s amazement – as morning comes around, the killer is brown bread, too! And THAT is where they’re all banging on about “It was one of us” in the trailer. However, the fact we got to this point is certainly of no confusion to the viewer who could’ve predicted it from a million miles away?
So who bumped them off? Well, it wasn’t Professor Plum with the candlestick in the drawing room, but it may as well be a game of Cluedo, and for some inexplicable reason, a lot of the characters were in anguish about the fact that the problem has been eradicated. In reality, they’d do a ‘Trevor Jordache’ and hide the corpse under the patio.
Meanwhile, some of them have everyday problems to deal with, but as soon as these come up, they’re quickly brushed aside for more board game-style banalities.
All that said, many millions may watch this first episode, and one of them might still make it to the end of the fourth and final installment in three weeks time.
Personally, I will stick it out to find out who killed the killer, but I really don’t feel like I care. As far as I can see, they’ve done the world a favour.
One Of Us is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on October 3rd, and the episode is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until September 22nd. Also, click on the packshot for the full-size version.
Episode 1 Score: 3/10
Director: William McGregor
Producer: Colin Wratten
WriterS: Harry Williams and Jack Williams
Anna: Georgina Campbell
Rob: Joe Dempsie
Peter Elliot: Adrian Edmondson
Bill Douglas: John Lynch
Moira Douglas: Julie Graham
Louise Elliot: Juliet Stevenson
Claire Elliot: Joanna Vanderham
Adam Elliot: Jeremy Newmark Jones
Grace Douglas: Kate Bracken
Lee Walsh: Owen Whitelaw
Jamie Douglas: Cristian Ortega
Juliet: Laura Fraser
Andrew: Steve Evets
Alastair: Gary Lewis
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.