The Widow is very timely as the first episode is set just after the clocks have gone forward. Okay, so on the day the episode is broadcast – April 8th, it’s over a week after this happened, but I actually saw this episode the day the clocks changed. Spooky!
Anyhoo, Georgia Wells has lived a reclusive life in the Welsh valleys since her husband went missing in the Congo after a plane crash, since he set off to discover whether or not they really do make Um Bongo down there, and the answer to that might just be revealed at the end of the first episode… (clue: It doesn’t)
When I first saw the trailer for this, though, I thought – hey, she looks like Kate Beckinsale! But that’s because it IS her! She’s ace. She should be in more things, especially as there doesn’t seem to be any sign of a sixth vampire-based movie after Underworld: Blood Wars 3D came out.
The title makes it sound like her hubby is brown-bread, but given how this is written (and from Harry and Jack Williams, who brought us the mega-twisty-turny Liar), it’s possible that even after five years, he may still be alive, since Georgia isn’t so sure what happened to him, and a photo has just surfaced – from a piece of footage of a riot breaking out down there, in Kinshasa – that looks like him because it’s an overweight man in the same orange cap.
The first episode also brought in a few extra sideplots, such as the plight of Ariel (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson – Trapped), a blind man, who’s applied to have an experimental operation to restore his sight and, while at the clinic, he chances upon a meeting with Beatrix (Louise Brealey) who’s in the same boat. He seems unconnected, but you’ll learn a bit about where he fits in by the end of this episode.
However, while I can presume that episode 1 has fed us some strands of patchwork, which will slowly knit together over the coming episodes (being broadcast twice a week, over four weeks), the sideplots so far just don’t feel particularly interesting, while the main storyline feels a bit ‘plot by numbers’, especially the way in which the first episode ends, since – and without giving spoilers – when Georgia takes her seat and thinks, “I wonder what happens if I do this…”, you know EXACTLY what’s going to happen.
But… it’s Kate Beckinsale, and she’s still looking damn fine, so I’ll stick with it for now… although I do have to question if the Williams’ brothers are spreading themselves too thinly, as almost every new multipart drama seems to come from their stable since Liar was broadcast last year.
In Episode 2…
The Widow begins its eight-episode run on Monday April 8th on ITV at 9pm, then continues the following night, and then each Monday and Tuesday afterwards for the rest of the series. After each episode is broadcast, they’ll be on the ITV Hub, and the series is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release date of May 6th.
If you’re in the US, the whole series is already available on Amazon Prime.
Episode 1: 5/10
Episode 2: 1/10
Series Directors: Oliver Blackburn, Samuel Donovan
Producer: Eliza Mellor
Writers: Harry Williams, Jack Williams
Music: Dominik Scherrer
Georgia Wells: Kate Beckinsale
Judith Gray: Alex Kingston
General Azikiwe: Babs Olusanmokun
Martin Benson: Charles Dance
Gaëlle Kazadi: Luiana Bonfim
Ariel Helgason: Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Emmanuel Kazadi: Jacky Ido
Pieter Bello: Bart Fouche
Will Mason: Matthew Le Nevez
Adidja: Shalom Nyandiko
Djamba: Réginal Kudiwu
Joshua Peake: Matthew Gravelle
Beatrix: Louise Brealey
Gloria: Balindile ka Ngcobo
Sidney: Yoli Fuller
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.