Passenger – The DVDfever Review – ITV drama – Wunmi Mosaku

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Passenger sees ITV breaking out the A.I. script generator marked “cop drama”, this time even asking it to include “Twin Peaks” feelings, to the point where someone even references David Lynch’s bizarro world, claiming the area of Chadder Vale is not like that at all.

Plus, almost everything takes place in the dark, first with a man’s truck having to stop when there’s a mysterious crash, two young adults – Katie Wells and Mehmet Shah – driving home from pub, then running into a stag, people being confronted by something in the dark and screaming… and so on.

In her first scene, why is lead cop Riya Ajunwa (Wunmi MosakuHis House) using her windscreen wipers when there’s no snowfall?

Either way, there’s no major stories in this sleepy town, the biggest case being the theft of a stolen ladder. Based on the premise, we know that Katie’s going to go missing at some point, which finally gives Riya the golden ticket she’s been waiting for, but given how so little normally happens – making it seem like Nicholas Angel’s experiences in Hot Fuzz – it makes me wonder why she left London to this sleepy town.

Mixed into the tale are a dangerous man called Eddie Wells who’s being released after 5 years of a 10-year sentence, fracking protests, the stag now being disembowelled, and Frank Gallagher turns up as a scruffy bum in a caravan. Okay, so here, David Threlfall (Funny Woman) is playing Jim Bracknell, and while it’s not exactly clear from the opener, we get the impression that his life was destroyed by Wells.

Elsewhere, there’s a reference to someone owning a PS4, but in 2024, shouldn’t it be PS5? Didn’t someone update the script? Meanwhile, the lad is playing an 8-bit-style text adventure game – very retro!

So far, it’s just endless ‘things that go bump in the night’ and I’m not impressed. I’ll try a second episode, but I’ll watch it live. As is often the case, it’s more interesting to follow the tweets made at the same time as the broadcast. All episodes are online now, as I type, but I’m not in a massive rush to continue this.

I also need subtitles for this as the dialogue sounds a bit muffled in places.

Oh, and yes, I know the script was written by fellow Stockport creation Andrew Buchan (Better), but that’s how it feels.

UPDATE Episode 2:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Passenger continues tonight at 9pm on ITV, and is then on every Monday and Tuesday. It’s already online at ITVX.

It’s also available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release date of May 27th.


Director: Lee Haven Jones
Producer: Sumrah Mohammed
Writer/Creator: Andrew Buchan
Music: Keaton Henson

Riya Ajunwa: Wunmi Mosaku
Jim Bracknell: David Threlfall
Kane Jackson: Nico Mirallegro
Tony Corrigan: Sean Gilder
Nish Chowdry: Arian Nik
Katie Wells: Rowan Robinson
Mehmet Shah: Shervin Alenabi
Mike Barton: Neil Sandland
Lilly Wells: Matilda Freeman
John Trowbridge: Jack James Ryan
Jakub Makowski: Hubert Hanowicz
Ali Day: Ella Bruccoleri
Linda Martel: Jo Hartley
Joanne Wells: Natalie Gavin
Terry Jackson: Debbie Rush
Vicky Trowbridge: Gemma Wardle
Debbie Nickson: Alexandra Hannant
Inaya Shah: Anna Tymoshenko
Eddie Wells: Barry Sloane
Derek Jackson: Daniel Ryan
Sue Goodheart: Clare Burt
Bev Broadbent: Sophie Ellicott
Dina Daeson: Shelley Williams