The ‘Television God’s’ have been kind to us so far this year.
We’re not even a third of the way through the year and already we’ve been treated to spectacular drama in the form of BBC1’s thrilling Apple Tree Yard and the dramatisation; Moorside. Series 3 of Broadchurch on ITV is approaching the half way mark and keeping me wanting more at the end of each episode, just as it did during its 1st series. The 2nd series didn’t quite live up to its predecessor but I have high hopes for the remaining episodes in what is the 3rd and final season of the crime thriller.
Talking of high hopes, the 3 part psychological thriller The Replacement was a concoction of drama, tension and thrills that I have more than enjoyed. The first 2 episodes left me, at times, open mouthed.
It told the story of a very successful, professional young woman who was reaching the top of her game in the architectural industry. Just as she’s offered a promotion and celebrating a huge new contract she finds out she is pregnant. A huge shock indeed.
Tasked with finding maternity cover for her role, Ellen recruits the seemingly perfect replacement; Paula Reece. A competent, friendly Mother of one who is more than capable of slotting in to the firm Ellen has enjoyed working for for a number of years.
It soon becomes apparent to Ellen and to the viewers that Paula is not all she seems. There’s a dark side. A jealous side. Paula is harbouring a secret and it’s clear to see that the maternity contract is not the only thing she has her sights set on.
The Replacement is set in Scotland, it’s a slick, slow boiler than tells the story well.
That is until it reached its final episode on Tuesday of this week and left me and thousands of others with a few unanswered questions.
With this in mind, I decided to compile a list of the questions I NEED answers to. Not that I’ll get them mind you, the writer behind the sinister thriller has spoken out regarding his reluctance to write a second series. Damn it.
10.Why aren’t the libraries round my way that trendy?
My local council are trying to close the libraries but in Scotland they’re making them almost look like a trendy bar.
9.Why did Paula have the car that killed her daughter?
This was one of the many scenes that threw me a bit. Why would Paula have the car of the woman who hit and killed her young daughter? Now, I don’t know a lot about the legalities of investigating crime and accidents but surely it’s a little strange for the Mother of a victim of a road accident to have in her possession, the car that killed her?
8.Do they teach hot wiring at University?
Picture this, you’ve just been forced to swallow a handful of pills by some mad woman, you’re locked in a car, there is a strategically placed filing cabinet placed against the window. There are no means of escape. Suddenly, you wake up and take on the role of car mechanic using the vehicle’s air bag to aid your escape. For someone as calculated and in control as Paula, I can’t understand how she thought she would get away with making Ellen’s ‘death’ look like suicide.
7.Was David in love with Ellen?
So, David’s husband Kay who tragically fell through the library’s rather controversial skylight, thought David and best friend Ellen were having an affair. Does David’s admission that Ellen could have given him a baby mean that he was in love with her? I wanted to know more about their relationship.
Also, in the very last scene it looks like Ellen is sat with 2 children, Lia and one other. Is this just camera trickery or did she have another baby and if she did is it David’s?
6.Why couldn’t we have the ultimate showdown between Paula and Ellen?
I adored the scenes when it was just Paula and Ellen. Vicky McLure and Morven Christie; the leading ladies literally shone during their one on ones. We as viewers deserved more in the very fast paced, final minutes. In my mind, Paula wouldn’t have accepted the arrest in the way she did considering the lengths she went to. I expected so much more.
5.What pills did Paula force Ellen to take in a would be suicide plot? Smarties?!
I’m assuming the ‘overdose’ of tablets was in the form of sleeping tablets, however, all they did was knock Ellen out for what was likely only 15 minutes. Not exactly plausible.
4.How did the police know Paula kidnapped baby Lia?
Until the last couple of minutes, it almost felt like the police turning up to the library Lia and Ellen had been reunited in could go one of two ways. Either it was good news for Ellen or bad news. Then I remembered the police knocking on Paula’s door whilst she was forcing Ellen to take an ‘overdose’.
Who tipped the police off in the first place? How did they know to go to the library? Did Paula hand herself in? SO MANY DAMN QUESTIONS!
3.Surely Ellen’s psychiatrist husband could see through Paula’s deception?
For a man so in tune with the workings of the mind, I found it hard to believe that Ian would believe relative stranger; Paula over his wife Ellen. OK, so Ellen was coming across as obsessive (to say the least) but why couldn’t Ian trust what his wife was saying?
There’s little more frustrating than when you know someone is awful but everyone else thinks the sun shines out of their arse.
2.Why was Ian’s Mother on Ellen’s side?
This was something that desperately needed exploring. I couldn’t understand why Ian’s mother was on Ellen’s side when Ian was so disbelieving of Ellen’s claims. I felt the relationship between Ian’s mother and Ian was something that needed delving into more. Why could Ian’s mum see through Paula and knew she was bad news but Ian had fallen for her deceptive charms? A quick 1 minute scene between his mother and Ellen felt like a disservice.
1. Why would ANYONE leave a baby in a Moses basket on an OUTSIDE window sill?
You fear your wife is a threat to the safety of your baby. You’re involved in what is fast becoming a bitter battle between the two of you. While all this is going on, you also want to heat up some left over Carbonara. So of course, the sensible thing to do is to leave your baby in a Moses basket on an outside window sill whilst you stick said pasta in the microwave.
THE MIND BOGGLES.
With all the above taken into account, this doesn’t detract from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed The Replacement. I just felt there were so many unanswered questions. Instead of trying to cram everything into 3 episodes, which made the final episode feel rushed, why didn’t they make it a 4 parter?
One thing abundantly clear is the fact that The Replacement had a stellar cast. Vicky McLure is one of our greatest actresses. Morven Christie shone as Ellen, the woman who took me from feeling frustrated for her through to feeling frustrated at her.
I hope both the BBC and ITV continue to spoil us with these fantastic drama’s. It makes having zero social life worth it.