The death penalty is a terrible thing; and China's system of justice leaves much to be desired. I know of the latter from the personal experience of a friend. But 'One Child' is an ordinary exploration of these themes, told from the perspective of a Briton who becomes involved in a legal case involving her long lost brother. The problems with the story are various. How could someone who can't speak a word of Chinese expect to influence the case? The motives of the heroine are spotlessly good, which makes the series somewhat dull. And the China that is presented, while clearly a far from ideal state, is also a China where everyone speaks perfect English and dresses in smart clothing. The mostly new-found wealth of the Chinese ruling class is an interesting fact; but there are also profound cultural differences between the Chinese and westerners, observable at a micro-level: this isn't a point about good and bad per se, just about different modes of behaviour, but 'One Child' gives us very little insight into how Chinese and westerners think and act differently, even though this should naturally be at the heart of the story. Kudos is due to the writers for not choosing a senselessly happy ending; nonetheless, the series is still a little formulaic and bland.