sun 20/10/2019

Exile, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

Exile, BBC One

Exile, BBC One

John Simm and Jim Broadbent brilliantly paired in dark North Country thriller

Unreliable memories: John Simm as Tom (left), Jim Broadbent as Sam

In a week unfeasibly packed with new drama across the BBC and ITV, the three-part Exile may prove to be the one that lingers longest. It was a thriller and a detective story, but what gave it its formidable grip was the way the central mystery was intricately entwined with the painful personal story of  Tom Ronstadt (John Simm) and his father Sam (Jim Broadbent).

The idea of Alzheimer's disease as a metaphor for the unbearable stresses of the past wasn't laboured, but the relationship between father and son was movingly drawn

Share this article

Comments

Exile was simply brilliant, no other word for it. I was gripped from start to finish (and in tears by the end). If this doesn't win awards (most notably for John Simm who has never been properly recognised in the Gong Department) then there is no justice. And if Danny Brocklehurst should decide to novelise this, I for one would buy it like a shot. Excellent. Now, when's the DVD out??

I agree this was most compelling television drama. All actors were brilliant and particulary John Simms whose career I have always followed since the Lakes. Definitely an award contender. The story made you want to now more about these characters and John simms watching the video from his father was EXCELLENT!

I can't believe that someone might think this programme was compelling viewing. In my opinion the plot was weak, the guilt of the councillor not made clear - what did he do? Was there the slightest piece of evidence that he conspired in the numerous rapes? Surely one is not expected to believe the police would act as they did on the instructions of a tin pot council leader in a tiny Lancashire village! Come on, give us some credit! What on earth did the pregnancy of the son's sister have to do with anything? I agree that the performance of the actors was excellent but this did not make the three consecutive nights worth viewing ( or the licence money)

A song can be personal, drama can be personal, which means different people can read different things from the same lyrics / section / segment. "What on earth did the pregnancy of the son's sister have to do with anything?" To me it was part of a subplot around the sister, and all that she had given up to be a carer. Is is unfair that she ends up missing out on her best years, and settling for the boring guy who bonks her, on the first night off she's had in ages? Probably. You may have read this completely differently, but no matter. The music I thought played a big part - anyone know who did the music? - tried google but nothing I could find there.

Like David Mawdesley I felt the plotting around Metzler was weak, and the idea that he could run somewhere like Oldham (not exactly a village!) as his private fiefdom with the fuzz at his beck and call didn't hold up. Unlike David Mawdesley, however, I didn't care, because the performances were so fantastic, especially Jim Broadbent's, who just gets better and better. We were glued to the screen for 3 hours - excellent use of licence payers' money!

Have just watched this on IPlayer after it was recommended by a work colleague and i thorougly enjoyed it, so refreshing to see a decent drama on the tv rather than all these reality and talent shows

I've just watched all 3 episodes on iplayer, and throughly enjoyed it! Outstanding performances, from John Sims and Jim Broadbent in particular. I found the use of humour via the outlet of Alzheimer's Disease completely endearing. All involved have done a superb job in highlighting the tragedy surrounding Alzheimer's in an empathetic manner. Well done to all involved.

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.