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The comical concept of nosy neighbours and twitching curtains took on frightening new dimensions in this unexpectedly brilliant one-off drama.
In a nutshell
Experimental TV dramas are pretty thin on the ground. Experimental reality shows? That’s a different matter. We’ve got loads of those. When it comes to revealing the lives of the rich and famous, or hairy and hillbilly-ish, TV producers put arthouse film directors to shame with their sheer levels of batty innovation. But dramas tend to stick to the usual formulas and conventions – preferably featuring a few hunky doctors or the occasional tormented cop.
But recently the BBC wowed us with Murder, a crime show composed entirely of straight-to-camera talking head interviews. And now, last night, came this surprising Channel 4 drama about a couple getting steadily obsessed with the possibility their neighbours were abusing a toddler. It wasn’t just the unbearable tension of the plot that made this so compelling (or the plucked from the headlines themes), but the actual filmmaking itself, which consisted of CCTV footage, camcorder snippets and police interviews, challenging us to make sense of the tale from so many different angles.
What's the verdict?
It’s really not often that a drama blends an original plot with an original means of telling that plot. But this did it, and boy did it make a change from the usual crime show fare. More of this please, everyone.