Ophelia (Emily Reid) is a student of Michael (Scanlan), and before you can say “How’s yer father?“, they’re having an affair, in a drama where she’s recounting her story to someone in flashback, but to whom and in what circumstances?
But Michael should know better because he’s married to famous writer Roisin (Catherine Walker). However, don’t expect too much in the way of originality, if at all, because a chance meeting between the two ladies in the toilets at an event comes straight out of the soap opera playbook.
Meanwhile, Shelley Conn (Liar) plays nosey colleague Ruth, who knows Ophelia is having an affair, but then sees Michael with someone else, so he’s playing ‘hide the sausage’ way too often.
But before you know what’s happened, he leaves the university and disappears overnight. Ophelia can’t let him go, tracking him down to an unhealthy point of obsession where – as was shown in the trailer – Roisin has died in a housefire, and as we saw in this episode, she’s just in time for the funeral. AWKWARD!
What we have with The Deceived is never not engaging, but it is rather daft and clichéd with jump scares and things that go bump in the night. Still, it passes the time onscreen without complaint, so enjoy the hamminess.
As an aside, similar to The Deceived, I wonder if this has also been delayed a while, since it’s set in 2019; and the end credits feature a cover of Tainted Love by Hannah Peel, which I’ve heard before a while back, as it’s been used in a few things along the years. I never saw American Horror Story, but that’s the first search result that comes up. You can hear this version below.
More updates on further episodes will following after each one has been broadcast. I’ve seen them already, but you’ll have to wait for my thoughts until then.
UPDATE Episode 2: This episode was bizarre, throwing curveballs, such as Michael’s father going into hospital, yet his wife knows about it? Hence, is she alive? Is she dead? She can’t be alive, surely? What’s the explanation? Even after the CCTV confirms things!
However, adding in flashbacks, and a creepy ballerina music box, it’s all a bit too silly for words… although those music boxes were always scary, even in real life. Reminds me, in the ’80s, when my sister used to buy the Misty comic which had a load of gothic weirdness in it, and a story featured something like a woman getting forever trapped in a mirror, which really freaked me out. We were having a barbeque at the time, and because it was a bit freaky, he tore that final frame out and burnt it on the barbeque. My sister wasn’t impressed 😀
UPDATE Episode 3: As this episode went on, it played to the crowd as to whether Ophelia was getting paranoid, or is there a reason to everything that’s happening?
Elsewhere, there was a tale about a mysterious young girl called Brigit – who Michael’s Dad may or may not have met; pus a very “Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!” moment! And when that comes, you will know.
UPDATE Episode 4: I’m not going to give any spoilers about the finale for obvious reasons – and you can watch it on My5 anyway, but it was just a bit too much on the daft side, overall. It was a watchable series, but not RE-watchable.
The Deceived runs Monday to Thursday this week on Channel 5 at 9pm. It is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on September 28th.
If you missed it, you can watch the each episode on the My5 until Friday October 2nd 2020.
Episode 1 Score: 6/10
Episode 2 Score: 5/10
Episode 3 Score: 6/10
Episode 4 Score: 5/10
Director: Chloe Thomas
Producer: Imogen O’Sullivan
Music: Hannah Peel
Ophelia: Emily Reid
Michael: Emmett J SCanlan
Roisin: Catherine Walker
Mary: Eleanor Methven
Ruth: Shelley Conn
Sean: Paul Mescal
Matthew: Dempsey Bovwll
Cloda: Louisa Harland
Richard: Lloyd Everitt
Mairead: Sophia Adli
Lucy: Ciara Berkerley
Annabelle: Saffron Coomber
Patrick Sullivan: Declan Rodgers
Hugh: Ian McElhinney
Sheila: Cathy Brennan-Bradley
Priest: Niall Cusack
Gravedigger: Lalor Roddy
Little Roisin: Ava Gallagher
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.