This was instantly noticeable when the first episode opened with Jenna Coelman in two different timeframes, both facing the press, and as she leads on to say, “Everyone wants to look at you and judge you… look for clues… so it won’t happen to them… Two faces. Two Joannas.”
Trying to put this into some semblance of order, if anyone’s as confused as me, a relationship with Aussie MP Alistair(Ewen Leslie) – after they meet when he does a tour of her school – leads to the end result of baby Noah. However, he already has a child with Alexandra (Asher Keddie), with whom he split from some years earlier, as she took their daughter Chloe back to Australia while he remained in England.
Cue scenes of “Justice for Noah” posters as Joanna goes into the dock, then it flashes back to earlier scenes, such as the pivotal one where their child disappears. Presumably, someone has kidnapped him, since unless he’s Stewie from Family Guy, he’s unlikely to have the means to head off on his own, even though his endless crying showed dissatisfaction on a regualr basis.
Apart from the fact that watching this first episode makes me feel like I’ve seen only a quarter of a four-hour film, and in this case, it’s difficult to assess on the basis of one episode, the constant cutting back and forth between a number of points in time was exhausting to follow, and makes me feel like someone cut up the episode, turned it into a sliding block puzzle and then someone randomly pushed all the blocks about. That can be a useful style in some films, but I think it was done way too much with this, and to its detriment. I *think* I got it, but you do have to work at it, and if you’re expecting an easy 60 minutes of viewing for a Sunday evening, you won’t get that.
As such, while I am intrigued to learn more and see how things go, I do feel that the formatting was crazy-confusing at times and was to the drama’s detriment so, on the basis of the one episode that I’ve seen, I’m going straight down the middle with the score.
For episodes 2, 3 and 4, I will add my comments below about each episode after it has broadcast, but will still hide them behind individual spoiler headings for anyone who is just reading this for episode 1.
The Cry continues next Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm, and then is regularly on subsequent Sunday nights at 9pm. The series is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD, fand you can watch each episode on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission.
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Episode 2 Score: 3/10
Episode 3 Score: 6/10
Episode 4 Score: 6/10
Director: Glendyn Ivin
Producer: Brian Kaczynski
Writer: Jacquelin Perske
Joanna: Jenna Coleman
Alistair: Ewen Leslie
Alexandra: Asher Keddie
Detective Peter Alexiades: Alex Dimitriades
Kirsty: Sophie Kennedy Clark
Chloe: Markella Kavenagh
Detective Lorna Jones: Shareena Clanton
Elizabeth: Stella Gonet
Air Hostess: Kim Adis
Defence Lawyer: Moyo Akande
Police Officer Woods: Billierose Cachia
Morven Davis: Kate Dickie
Henry McCallum: David Elliot
David Fossery: Nicholas Farrell
Checkout Kid: Ollie Ivin Poole
Mrs Wilson: Sue Jones
Jane: Emma King
Local Woman: Amanda Labonte
Dr Wallace: Shauna Macdonald
Fish and Chip Shop Owner: Michael Morley
Jean-Louise Talbot: Anneika Rose
Mrs Amery: Amanda Walker
The Cry stars Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as Joanna, and Ewen Leslie as Alistair, and they’re a young couple who travel with their baby from Scotland to Australia to see Alistair’s mother, Elizabeth (Stella Gonet) and to fight for custody of Alistair’s daughter, Chloe, against his Australian ex-wife Alexandra (Asher Keddie).
However, when they arrive in Australia, the couple are forced to face an unthinkable tragedy that changes their lives and their marriage forever. It is the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young woman, exposing the myths and truths of motherhood.
The Cry is a four-part drama which begins this Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm, and we’ll bring you our review as soon as the episode has aired.
Check out the trailer below:
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.