The Singapore Grip centres around Walter Blackett (David Morrissey – Inside No.9) and his family, and at least it gives you a giggle when you learn he’s a ‘rubber baron’.
The first episode begins in The Crown Colony of Singapore, on February 15th 1942, where life isn’t going too well for Matthew Webb (Luke Treadaway – Traitors), son of Blackett’s business partner, played by Charles Dance (Godzilla: King Of The Monsters 3D), and Webb’s there just in time to witness the fall of Singapore as the Japanese are kicking off. However, the locals take down an enemy plane and offer him a way out by the end of the evening, but first he has to find his other half… and then it goes back six months earlier.
So, it’s 1941 where the bulk of the first episode takes place, but there’s also a brief further trip back with a chance meeting in 1937 in Japanese-occupied China, between Blackett’s daughter, Joan (Georgia Blizzard) and Chinese dissident Vera Chiang (Elizabeth Tan), which leads to the latter turning up on the Becketts’ doorstep in 1941, where we continue.
However, if I was to describe this first entry as slower than a tortoise, that’s an understatement. Everyone’s all very posh, they have a big birthday party for the elderly Mr Webb (Dance) and from what we’re given, it all looks very nice, but it’s incredibly dull.
There’s also a very generic score from The Art Of Noise’s Anne Dudley which echoes China, but doesn’t have any distignuishing aspect, other than it feels like a bad copy of the theme from John Woo’s Stranglehold.
And what actually is the Singapore grip? Urban Dictionary define it as…
After broadcast, each episode will be on the ITV Hub.
Episode 1 Score: 1/10
Director: Tom Vaughan
Producer: Farah Abushwesha
Writers: JG Farrell, Christopher Hampton
Music: Anne Dudley
Walter Blackett: David Morrissey
Major Brendan Archer: Colm Meaney
Matthew Webb: Luke Treadaway
Mr. Webb: Charles Dance
Vera Chiang: Elizabeth Tan
Kate Blackett: Lilo Baier
Joan Blackett: Georgia Blizzard
Ehrendorf: Bart Edwards
Dupigny: Christophe Guybet
Monty Blackett: Luke Newberry
Nigel Langfield: Nicholas Agnew
Soloman Langfeld: Julian Wadham
Sylvia Blackett: Jane Horrocks
Jack (Aide to Brooke Popham): Ed Birch
Geneal Percival: Richard Lumsden
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