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The Empty Chair 

As a child Nessa Stein and her younger brother Ephra witnessed the murder in public of their father Eli, an Israeli arms dealer. Twenty-nine years later Nessa, her father's heiress, has ... See full summary »




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Bonnici ...
Edmond Moulton ...
Young Ephra
Lois Ellington ...
Aidan Stephenson ...
Samir Meshal
Alex Afia ...
Mustapha Shamar
Rachel Stein
Atika Halabi
Reeve Fletcher ...
Hannah Stein
Nicole Lopes ...
Mazel Stein
Frances Pirsig


As a child Nessa Stein and her younger brother Ephra witnessed the murder in public of their father Eli, an Israeli arms dealer. Twenty-nine years later Nessa, her father's heiress, has turned the firm around, specializing in promoting communications between Israel and Palestine and establishing a charitable foundation for which she has been made a peeress in the English House of Lords. Nessa is about to deal with Palestinian businessman Samir Meshal, to the annoyance of family friend Shlomo, a deal which attracts the attention of Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, an MI6 operative on the verge of retirement, and Monica Chatwin, his rival and designated successor. Meshal kills himself, a death Nessa finds suspicious and she is reminded of a successful attempt to kidnap her in the Gaza Strip eight years before. Sadly there is another abduction in the present, when Kasim, the little son of Ephra's nanny Atika, is kidnapped . Nessa gives chase and the abductor draws a gun on her. He is killed by ... Written by don @ minifie-1

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Plot Keywords:

boy | friend | suicide | death | murder | See All (15) »


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

31 July 2014 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A gripping opening episode
6 July 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In the opening scene of this new BBC drama we see a man murdered in front of his children in a restaurant. He is Israeli arms supplier Eli Stein and twenty nine years later his daughter, Neesa, controls his company. She however is trying to use it to build bridges between Israel and Palestine and for that she has just been ennobled. The next part of her scheme involves providing high speed broadband to the Palestinians and she announces that the contract will go to a Palestinian firm; much to the chagrin of the Israeli she had given previous contracts to. The plot soon begins to thicken though when the head of the Palestinian company is found hanged. Initially it looks like suicide but those investigating aren't so sure. The Israelis deny doing it but who can be sure in the murky world of Middle Eastern politics? As the story progresses it emerges that most of the protagonists have secrets and Neesa and those close to her are in a dangerous position.

This episode opened in a way that grabs the viewer's attention then slows down to introduce the characters and explain the situation. We are not told too much though so it is hard to know who can really be trusted. Maggie Gyllenhaal does a fine job as Neesa; recently we've got used to seeing British actors playing Americans in American productions but she proves an American can play an English person believably as well. The rest of the cast do a fine job too; I particularly liked the understated performance from Steven Rea who plays MI6 officer Hugh Hayden-Hoyle. While the episode wasn't action packed there were some fairly tense scenes; most notably the ending which left me keen to see what comes next. On the strength of this episode I'd certainly recommend giving this series a go.

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