26-year-old Ivy Moxam steps out of an ordinary house, on an ordinary street, on an ordinary day. Ivy hasn't been seen for thirteen years, she was kidnapped in 2003 at the age of thirteen.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Ivy Moxam (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Christina Moxam (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Angus Moxam (5 episodes, 2016)
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 DI Elliott Carne (5 episodes, 2016)
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 DS Lisa Merchant (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Craig Watts (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Emma Moxam (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Eloise Wye (5 episodes, 2016)
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 Tim Hobson (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Yazz Hobson (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 DC Jim Conroy (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Mark White (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Sofía Marín (5 episodes, 2016)
Nicola Stuart-Hill ...
 Technician / ... (5 episodes, 2016)
...
 Henry Stone (4 episodes, 2016)
Ceri Murphy ...
 Corbin Thomas (4 episodes, 2016)
...
 Chief Supt David Burridge (4 episodes, 2016)
...
 DS Jesse Rawlins (4 episodes, 2016)
Suzette Llewellyn ...
 Angela Hill (4 episodes, 2016)
...
 FLO Alia Symes (3 episodes, 2016)
Alun Raglan ...
 Robert Tarl (3 episodes, 2016)
...
 Dr. Erica Young (3 episodes, 2016)
Primrose Bigwood ...
 Detective Constable (3 episodes, 2016)
Paul Blackwell ...
 Police Officer (3 episodes, 2016)
Sophie Slavin ...
 Police Officer (3 episodes, 2016)
...
 DS Harold Winters (2 episodes, 2016)
...
 Detective (2 episodes, 2016)
Ty Hurley ...
 Undercover Police Officer / ... (2 episodes, 2016)
...
 Police Officer (2 episodes, 2016)
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Storyline

In 2003, Ivy Moxam was abducted at the age of 13 by somebody who worked at her school and was held in a cellar for 13 years in captivity: her prison. She managed to escape her prison and she will return to her home, to her life. She is now physically a 26 year old woman who is mentally 13. But how badly has Ivy been damaged and is her kidnapped still at large? Written by Jaiden Malhotra

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Drama

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28 February 2016 (UK)  »

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Interesting premise turns into a plod by numbers
28 March 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Snatched children that reappear years later having been held prisoner in a basement somewhere feature in two different mini-series at the moment. "Thirteen" deals with Ivy Moxam who escapes after 13 years and has to be re-integrated with her family, and on the other side of the Atlantic, "The Family" deals with the return of their teenage son Adam, after his disappearance 10 years before.

So far so similar, but where "The Family" scores in multiple twists and in not shying away from the truly murky side of life, "Thirteen" begins to fall flat on the introduction of the two self-important, opinionated detectives (one for Ivy, one against) who take up far too much screen time doing far too little. We even get glimpses of their private lives as though that will make them more interesting - it doesn't. They are so unlikeable and unprofessional they are a distraction from the story, rather than an impetus that drives it along.

Elsewhere, there are predictable family squabbles and difficulties as everyone adjusts to the now adult Ivy who has lost 13 years of her life and is still struggling with adolescent woes while her peers have grown up and either married (her ex-boyfriend) or made a mess of their lives (her best friend). She has returned home but remains a curiosity, neither fish nor fowl, and no-one seems to know how to deal with her.

Jodie Comer was excellent as Ivy, and in a totally different league to everyone else here. The acting from the supporting cast ranged from steady and pedestrian (her family) to downright awful (the entire police department) which had apparently been cast from an old episode of The Woodentops.

As the police had little to offer here at any point, the show would have been better served if it had relegated them to bit parts rather than allowing them so much screen time. Richard Rankin's Elliot was blusteringly ineffectual (would anyone willingly put their safety in his hands?) while Valene Kane as Detective Lisa Merchant was so stiff and immobile I would advise her to lay off the botox. In the final episode when they almost came a cropper, who even cared?

Abduction is frequently in the news these days and it is an important subject. Jodie Comer's great work as the baffled, fearful Ivy deserved a much better peg to hang her character on. She carried the whole show and deserved every praise. Such a pity she was let down, not only by the carelessly developed characters and tedious background stories of the two detectives, but also by their unconvincing portrayal. It wasn't a bad story, just boringly (and badly) acted and because of this it never truly came alive.


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