The Control Room is a new BBC drama set in an emergency services department, starting with Gabe (Iain de Caestecker – Roadkill) taking a call which leads to him effectively helping deliver a baby, but then another call straight after, is from a woman also in distress, but where things are really not good at all. This call has come from a woman who’s in dire need of help…
There’s not too much I can say about her prior to broadcast, but initially, there’s not much to go on, since the odd thing for our lead is that the woman recognises his voice… and then hangs up soon after, leaving us with more questions than answers.
Before too long, though, thanks to her calling again, we discover her name is Sam (Joanna Vanderham – Crime (Britbox)), he knows her some time back from his past, and it’s going to cause a bit of trouble for him. And since this is a TV drama, “a bit” means a lot. It also causes consternation for colleague Leigh (Taj Atwal – Hullraisers), with whom he’s had a dalliance, and now she’s not sure what to think. Is he interested or not? Ooh, men!!!!
Since this is a three-parter, it means they have to move the plot along fairly quicky, and it gets very daft, very quickly. I was going to say this highlights the stresses of his job, but for someone who started off relatively normal, he soon acts completely out of character way too soon.
And just when you think it can’t get any more ridiculous, it does, especially when you’re in a vehicle, trying to evade the police. You can’t just turn down a side street, like in Grand Theft Auto, and hope the cops don’t notice.
Very early on, it’s not in the least bit believable, and as such, I watched it all, but it didn’t have any impact on me. Even when we get various sideplots I won’t go into prior to broadcast, I was already not caring about his plight at all. It comes across as a load of preposterous nonsense, just like one of those dumb Hollywood ‘thrillers’ where nothing is what it seems, and even the protagonist is questioning their own sanity. We’ve seen these countless times, with credibility being stretched so much, it’s going to snap.
As an aside, why does he and his employees have to sign in and out when they get to work? You’d have a pass!
And in another scene, you wouldn’t just leave your mobile phone on your desk, unattended, unless you wanted to have it stolen.
In short, when it comes to The Control Room, this is going to be one of those dramas where the live Twitter reactions are more enjoyable than the drama, itself. You’ll be able to follow the hashtag here.
The Control Room begins on BBC1 on Sunday at 9pm. It’s available to pre-order on DVD.
After each episode is broadcast, they will be on the BBC iPlayer.
Director: Amy Neil
Producer: Eric Coulter
Writer: Nick Leather
Music: Carly Paradis
Gabe: Iain de Caestecker
Sam: Joanna Vanderham
Anthony: Daniel Portman
Danni: Rona Morison
Ross: Conor McLeod
Jal: Taqi Nazeer
Leigh: Taj Atwal
Breck: Sharon Rooney
Lennie: Natali McCleary
Tah: Jatinder Singh Randhawa
Young Gabe: Harvey Calderwood
Young Sam: Farrah Thomas
Ian: Stuart Bowman
Robbo: Daniel Cahill
Eilidh: Charlene Boyd
Young Robbo: Ty McPhee
Young Eilidh: Charlotte Gemmell
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.