Ellen gets pregnant after landing a big contract for her firm of architects. She hires Paula as cover but soon fears she's made a terrible mistake. Ellen wants to get back to work quickly but Paula ...
Ellen tries to juggle her new baby with her return to work and her investigation into Paula. She finds evidence that her boss was having an affair but her only lead is Paula's ten-year-old child and ...
After Paula confesses her secret, Ellen thinks she has proof that Paula is disturbed but no one else sees it her way. The office turns against Ellen and she is forced to leave for good. She tries to ...
Ellen gets unexpectedly pregnant just after landing a big contract for her architects' practice. She hopes to be away for the shortest time and hires someone to cover the gap. Paula is the same age as Ellen but already has a ten-year-old daughter. She made the opposite life choice, took a big chunk of her career out to dedicate herself full time to her child. As Paula shadows Ellen for the last months of her pregnancy, she seems the perfect hire - enthusiastic, personable, super-competent. But Ellen begins to worry Paula has another agenda. Paula refuses to believe Ellen when she says she plans to return in a couple of months. She's confident Ellen will change her mind when she falls in love with her baby. Ellen thinks that maybe Paula doesn't want her back. Ever. Ellen becomes increasingly disturbed by Paula's subtle manipulations at the office. She sees Paula ingratiate herself with bosses, client, even friends. Ellen begins to see her less as a support and more of a rival. But no ...Written by
Left Bank Pictures
This excellent, suspenseful three part thriller was all the better for featuring identifiable locations in my ain hometown. The tension was skilfully ratcheted up episode by episode as a routine maternity-cover employee arrives at a successful Glasgow city centre architect firm, where young up-and-coming architect Ellen has just secured a major contract to design a contemporary library, but who gradually suspects her all-too-perfect stand-in Paula of taking over every aspect of her life.
But is she herself just being paranoid? Married to a psychiatrist (and whose mother was also a shrink), with whom she's just had their first child, we learn that they first met when she was his patient. Not until the conclusive final episode does it become abundantly clear just who the psychologically disturbed party really is, indeed there was actually a point where it seemed as if evil was going to win out but a miraculous near-death recovery precipitates an ending where just desserts are served all round, including to her less than staunch husband and loose ends are tied up.
The title of the piece might seem unimaginative but in fact once the evil-doer's intentions become clear, it's obvious that it's not only her rival's job as lead architect that she's attempting to replace.
The idea of the deranged home-wrecking female of course has been around for years but I liked the twist here of the real motivation for the perpetrator's deranged actions which again aren't revealed until the end and turned out to centre on child-loss bereavement. Actually, whilst saying that, I was probably a little disappointed when a murder occurs out of nowhere in the form of the suspicious death of the wife of the husband and wife business owners, as I thought at that stage the drama didn't need any further heightening but thankfully it didn't trigger a spree of killings which narrative restraint I must admit I appreciated.
The acting by the principals was very good throughout, Morven Davies as the triumphant young career-mother who can't quite believe what is happening to her, Dougray Scott as her conflicted but admiring boss and especially Vicky McClure, last seen on the right side of the law in "Line Of Duty", now excelling as the unhinged Paula, portrayed almost as a Mary Poppins' evil doppelgänger.
Sure there were some holes in the plot and some of the characters' actions and motivations didn't always add up, but in the end it played out very well in a clear, bright production (it's shot almost entirely in daylight, office hours with no clichéd danger-at-midnight darkness scenes) that was well-filled, well-paced, well acted and well executed.
19 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this