(2007 TV Movie)

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9/10
A great new BBC production
asia_extreme26 April 2007
I had no idea what this show was about before putting it on, really I only watched it as nothing else was on TV at that time. After watching the first half on the Tuesday night I was eager to see the second installment. The story was extremely interesting and seemed like something completely new for the BBC.

The plot is very simple, there is a married woman (Katey) who is having an affair. After her death the story follows her lover, the man who she was having the affair with. He is alone, he's lost the love of his life and doesn't know what he can do. A strange woman on the London Underground gives him a card telling him to call "Life Line", he phones the number and it is some kind of support group/chat line. He talks to a woman on there who seems to be exactly like his ex-lover Katey. After breaking one of the chat line rules he's banned from the service. He searches for the place where the chat line runs from, when he gets there its all locked up, no way in. There is a woman there who is also wanting to be in, desperate to get back onto "Life Line", they talk about what happened to their loved ones, from there all the pieces of the puzzle begin to unravel.

It is ultimately a story about life and death, and that after life its not necessarily all darkness. There is an afterlife if you're willing to believe, death is not the end but only a transition.

This story contains love affairs, true love, a plot of revenge, mystery and generally is something which is worth a watch. It seemed in some ways quite experimental for the BBC, a show touching on death but also the frequent sex scenes and some nudity are very much an area which the BBC stay away from.

It's not your typical two part drama from the BBC but something new completely, a show which touches on an interesting subject, something that could in fact be true. Perhaps there is a phone line somewhere that can connect you to another world, maybe people just haven't found it yet.

I recommend everyone out there to see this show, its definitely not to be missed. Without a doubt one of the best one off BBC dramas in a long time!
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In summary, a waste of time for all concerned. One to miss.
camdenboy27 April 2007
This was easily the worst piece of television I have seen in a long long time. The plot was full of holes and inconsistencies, the dialogue was unbelievably bad - how the actors kept straight faces while spouting this rubbish is beyond me - and the 'twist' ending was astoundingly stupid. I've never seen Ray Stephenson in anything before, but his acting was quite dreadful. Joanne Whalley, a good actress who has done many quality programmes - 'Edge of Darkness', 'The Singing Detective' to name but two, must have been desperate for the work. The basic premise - of talking to a deceased loved one via a telephone line - was intriguing but lazy writing failed to develop the idea and ultimately the programme was a confusing mess.
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8/10
Credit Where Credit's Due - Stephen Gallagher (Writer)
Simon Gomersall7 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Life Line" was an entertaining supernatural tale from the pen of the (greatly underrated, IMO) British thriller writer Stephen Gallagher. I've been an admirer of Gallagher's literary efforts for many years - since "Chimera" way back in 1982 (and I'm frankly astounded that his last three novels have not been published in the UK, but that's perhaps another matter). One of Gallagher's strengths as a writer is his great ear for dialogue - he has a very wry, distinctive style which I actually picked up on and recognised as his, in spite of missing the first few minutes of the first part. Also, readers of some of his published works such as "Valley of Lights", "Rain" and "Down River" (any of which I heartily recommend) would recognise some recurring themes popping up in "Life Line" - transmigration of souls, the ambiguity between life and death where only hope abides, London at night, etc. I also enjoyed the performances by Ray Stevenson, Joanne Whalley and Jemima Rooper, which I felt were sincere and nuanced.

The twist ending will, I suspect, have polarised people's opinion of this film - some (as clearly stated here by at least one other reviewer) found it a twist too far and thus it "broke the spell" for them, others (myself included, and considering the author's established style) perhaps more prepared to swallow hard, "go with it", and follow it through to a (more or less) satisfactory conclusion. Okay, so there may have been one or two little inconsistencies (if Catt was really Jack all the time, why would she be so visibly upset when waiting in the gallery on her own?), but on balance and at the end of the day, I was entertained (and the sight of a fine young actress with no clothes on had *absolutely nothing* to do with it - clear?).

In conclusion - I recommend "Life Line" but with one qualification - if you get the opportunity, read some of Stephen Gallagher's books (books - you know what a book is, right? You know, before VCRs and DVDs? Course you do.) and consider "Life Line" in the context of his oeuvre. I think it sits quite well, even if I was left with my final thought, "I would have enjoyed reading this as a novel..."
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10/10
Completely mind blowing but gripping as well.
se00127 April 2007
Ray Stevenson is fantastic professional in his role and completely sexy.

And Cat well she was brilliant in the part she played so well.

Life Line had to glued to the television from beginning to end.

It got into your mind and really had you on the edge of your seat as to what was going to happen next would Pete go with Cat or would the truth be found out.

Excellent production

Would like to see more television like this. There just isn't enough gripping dramas on television these days. This is an excellent piece of work by the creators.
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5/10
Not up to the standard of Brian Clemens
debbiekirk2427 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I noticed the title Lifeline in the TV listings and the plot seemed reminiscent of a short story I had read some years ago about a man who contacts his dead girlfriend on a chatline. I did not realize that this was the second part of a two-part drama and decided to watch because, like the Thriller and Hammer House of Horror episodes from the 70s and 80s, it was only an hour long. When I saw that Joanne Whalley was appearing I was even more keen to watch as I loved her work in The Singing Detective and Scandal.

On the whole, this was disappointing compared with the story I had read. The 'enigmatic' Catt was anything but enigmatic and totally devoid of charm or mystery. As I only saw the second part, Joanne Whalley was barely on screen so I was disappointed about that. The ending was nonsense. How on earth could anyone push another person under a bus in order to put them into a coma without killing them outright? How could you know for sure that they would not die? If Catt had died - which judging by the force with which the bus hit her seemed extremely likely - surely Jack's spirit would have been free to enter a different body and kill undetected? And although the bus hit her really hard, her face did not bear a scratch. The ending was unemotional and I would have expected something much more powerful from such a sensitive storyline.

I will stick to my old Thriller and Hammer House box sets in the future. Thirty years ago a story like this one would have surged ahead and taken up only one hour of precious time.
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