The Split Episode 1 – The DVDfever Review – BBC drama

The Split

The Split centres around Defoe’s, a lawyer run by a family who, while they deal with a lot of divorces, they have enough of their own problems to fill a soap opera… and so this is another soap opera in prime time.

The three lead siblings are Hannah (Nicola Walker), Rose (Fiona Button) and Nina (Annabel Scholey), all arguing and making-up as they go, whilst planning ahead for their mother, Ruth’s (Deborah Findlay), 70th birthday. Yes, it’s another prime-time drama aimed at women, where men get a bu -m deal, so while Hannah’s married to reliable and dependable Nathan (Stephen Mangan), she’d much rather be having it away with Dutch bloke Christie (Barry Atsma). Plus, she has issues with her father, Oscar (Anthony Head), who abandoned them all, thirty years earlier.

So, women rule the world and all men are unnecessary.

The first episode was quite a frenetic mish-mash as it had to quickly introduce lots of characters, as well as tertiary characters (i.e. those who were getting a divorce), such as Davey (Stephen Tompkinson) divoricing Goldie (Meera Syal), although she wasn’t aware of that until they were actually sat in the lawyers’ room.

So, I didn’t really get a handle on, or was made to feel to care too much, about all the familial goings-on. It’s soap-opera-style family arguments, plus will Hannah bonk Christie and jeapordise her marriage, or not? I wasn’t fussed either way.

I’ve also seen episode 2, and without giving spoilers, whatever your feelings on episode 1… won’t change.

The Split continues next Tuesday on BBC1 at 9pm, and is available to pre-order on DVD, and you can watch each episode on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission.

The Split – Trailer – BBC One

Episode 1 Score: 3/10

Director: Jessica Hobbs
Producer: Lucy Dyke
Executive Producers: Jane Featherstone, Abi Morgan, Jessica Hobbs
Writer: Abi Morgan

Hannah: Nicola Walker
Nathan: Stephen Mangan
Rose: Fiona Button
Nina: Annabel Scholey
Ruth: Deborah Findlay
Oscar: Anthony Head
Christie: Barry Atsma
Davey: Stephen Tompkinson
Goldie: Meera Syal
Rex Pope: Mathew Baynton
Liv Stern: Elizabeth Roberts
Tilly Stern: Mollie Cowen
Vinnie Stern: Toby Oliver
Zander: Chukwudi Iwuji
James: Rudi Dharmalingam
Sarah Pope: Tanya Franks
Glen Peters: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Maggie: Ellora Torchia
Yvonne Duchy; Maggie O’Neill
Donna: Anna-Maria Everett
Sean Bainbridge: Afolabi Alli
Eddie Pope: Jack Riley
Sasha: Brenock O’Connor
Sal Ward: Zee Asha
Andie Peters: Rebecca Deren
Himself: Will Gompertz

Previously on DVDfever:

April 16th:

The Split is a new 6-part drama, written by Abi Morgan (Shame, River) and stars Nicola Walker, Stephen Mangan, Fiona Button, Deborah Findlay, Annabel Scholey, Anthony Head, Barry Atsma, Meera Syal and Stephen Tompkinson.

The drama is an authentic, multi-layered exploration of modern marriage and the legacy of divorce seen through the lens of the Defoes – a family of female lawyers at the heart of London’s emotionally-charged divorce circuit.

Leading divorce lawyer Hannah Stern (Nicola Walker from The Last Train) has walked out on the family firm Defoe’s to join rival company Noble & Hale. She now faces her sister Nina (Annabel Scholey) and mother Ruth (Deborah Findlay), also successful family lawyers, on the opposing side of high-profile divorce cases. Multi-millionaire Sportswear mogul Davey McKenzie (Stephen Tompkinson) and his childhood sweetheart Goldie (Meera Syal) embark on a painful divorce and a wrangle for control of the family business. And in a bitter custody battle Rex Pope, a well-known stand-up comedian, takes on his angry estranged wife and former comedy agent.

When their father Oscar returns after a 30-year absence, Hannah, Nina and youngest sister Rose are thrown into turmoil. Meanwhile at Noble & Hale Hannah has uncharacteristically placed herself back in the orbit of old flame, fellow lawyer Christie Carmichael. As the past resurfaces, Hannah, for so long adept at navigating other people’s lives and relationships, is confronted with questions and painful revelations about her own.

The Split begins on BBC1 next Tuesday at 9pm, and we’ll bring you our review of the first episode as soon as it has aired! (embagoes, y’know)