thu 29/02/2024

The Drowning, Channel 5 review - unbelievable | reviews, news & interviews

The Drowning, Channel 5 review - unbelievable

The Drowning, Channel 5 review - unbelievable

Lost-child drama demands herculean suspension of disbelief

Identity crisis: Mark (Rupert Penry-Jones) and Jodie (Jill Halfpenny)

The theme of a parent haunted by the loss of a child can have powerful dramatic potential, and this is the premise behind The Drowning, Channel 5’s new four-night mystery. Nine years earlier, Jodie and Frank’s four-year-old son Tom vanished during a family outing to a local lake.

His body was never found, and he was presumed dead.

But the supposed death itself only heightens the lurking suspicion that this show has a few screws loose. Tom’s disappearance occurred on a sunny day at a relaxing popular beauty spot, rather than in rough seas during a sudden storm, so surely somebody would have seen something, or some trace of him would have shown up by now? Unless of course the police’s eagerness to shut the book on the case is indicative of some deep-rooted, wide-ranging conspiracy.

Whatever, it leaves the door open for bereft mother Jodie (Jill Halfpenny) to convince herself that a schoolboy she sees by chance in the street is in fact her missing son. She starts following him around, jumping on the same bus and following him to school, and cooks up a crackpot plan to become a “peripatetic teacher” giving guitar lessons. Which is odd, since there’s been no sign that she’s a musician, although creepy background music follows her wherever she goes. Still, despite her suspicious manner, no teaching experience whatsoever and lack of a DBS certificate, headmaster Mr McKenzie (Conor Mullen) takes her on… or at least doesn’t quite manage not to hire her, despite giving her a series of funny looks. He should have listened to his deputy, Miss Towne (Roisin O’Neill), who thinks Jodie’s a wrong ‘un and doesn’t mind saying so.

We should feel some sympathy for Jodie, though. Not only has she lost her son, but her slippery ex-husband Ben (Dara Devaney) has married her ex-best friend Kate (Deirdre Mullins), her father – who blamed her for her child’s death – has just drowned in his bath, and she loathes her mother Lynn (Deborah Findlay). The implication is that grief has left her unhinged and perhaps delusional, and Frank refuses to take seriously her claim to have found their son.

She certainly isn’t acting rationally, though the cast and the script (by Tim Dynevor, father of Bridgerton’s Phoebe) don't try to discourage her. Also, the fact that The Drowning was shot in Ireland but would like you to think it was somewhere in England lends it a jarringly unreal feel.

Anyway, Jodie starts up her own unofficial music classes which somehow don’t get her thrown off the school premises, and lavishes praise on the boy (Daniel), even though he plays the guitar as if he’s got both hands on back to front. Long story short, she finds that Daniel (Cody Molko) is (supposedly) the son of architect and widower Mark Tanner (Rupert Penry-Jones), and she sets about insinuating herself into his life with stalker-like intensity.

As the story develops Jodie gets embroiled with an unpleasant bunch of gangsters who sell drugs and counterfeit documents, takes off on a hare-brained flight to nowhere and nearly ends up in jail, where frankly she probably belongs. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to predict how the ending works itself out, because it blissfully defies belief.

Jodie isn’t acting rationally, though the cast and script don't try to discourage her


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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The story line was plausible and the acting quite believable but there were SO many pieces left unended. . .I mean just WHO were those gangsters and WHAT were they chasing Jodie's friend from work for?? No man. . .none of this makes sense. 2/10 and nothing more!

I thought the story line was completely implausable, and stretched what could be considered real life situation. Some of the acting was very poor, particularly Jodies Mother. If someone had abducted a child, would they stay in the same town, give me a break.

The worst ever programme Iv watched - I carried on watching thinking it would get better!! The woman wore the same coat in all four episodes!! Who would employ someone at a school without checking their history? She had enough money to throw around even though the company was not doing well - everything was just plain bad!!!!

What an absolute waste of time. Started ok but didn’t go anywhere. No comparison to other more recent soaps

Without doubt the most puerile drivel it has ever been my misfortune to sit through. Surely no-one wrote this. They just made it up as they went along didn't they? What on earth was Penry-Jones thinking about?

In absolute agreement. The biggest pile of rubbish I have ever watched. Appalling story line, so badly produced and the acting so staggeringly bad. You should be ashamed.

What an absolute bag of shite . No credibility at all. Hole? More like bloody sink holes. What was the purpose of rowing into the middle of the lake then locking the kid in a shed. The fakers chase Addie for no reason , then run away once threatened with a chainsaw, never to be heard of again. What was the point? And a grandmother and father who's acting was so wooden so wooden we could plant them in Brazil and save the rain forest.

Awful, a story written by a three year old. More plot holes than a gorgonzola cheese. Why didnt they just check birth records to see if the architect had a son called Daniel. How did the barrister get a mobile phone signal in the wild 11 years ago ? Who gets a job in a school without induction! She started work just after the interview! How does a lawyer fiddle a police DNA test? Why did Jill Halfpenny swan into a den of criminals and threaten them ? How did the gardener get his face smashed in without any visible signs ? Bodies do not float. They sink. Just like his did at the end. Wooden boats dont sink. Why didnt he throw Daniel in the lake when he said he would in the boat, no explanation. Why didn't police find a body in a small lake ??? I could go on. Total rubbish.

Did you mean Gruyère cheese? Gorgonzola has no holes. I otherwise agree with you!

A complete waste of four hours of my life. A preposterous story with unsympathetic characters who behaved with no sense throughout the whole thing. Utter drivel. Jodie, the main character, was annoying in the extreme and every decision she made was completely ridiculous. We were also treated to a head teacher who took on a member of staff with no experience whatsoever, gardeners who appeared to have no idea how to do anything horticultural except stand around holding shears, a random gang who lived in a dodgy hovel despite extorting large sums of money from gullible folk, a man who was kicked unconscious yet appeared to have no resulting injuries, a major coincidence that the missing boy and the local teenager not only looked similar but even had the exact same scar in the same place oh, and the fact that a body was never found in a shallow lake, despite it having been dredged! What absolute rot!

Hard to disagree with the the above. Felt like and filmed like something very badly outdated from the 80's, implausible script school setting unreal and on an on

An absolute hamfest, it made Thunderbirds look like HD. Even small details like why would an ambitious barrister drive an 12 year old bottom of the range jag.Why would the mother drive a retro Saab that is more valuable. Don't get me started on the plot, they clearly hadn't?

This must be one of the worst dramas I have ever watched, completely unbelievable with story lines jumping to what ever suited the "plot" at the time. Could have been written and directed by a six year old. What a waste of talent (Rupert Penry Jones), why ever he would sign up to something like this goodness knows.

I lasted till halfway in the second episode and then gave up. Terrible dialogue and delivery. What killed it for me s when they poured Ribena (or whatever) in glasses, supposedly for red wine, and the supposed teacher drinking it in front of a father before driving home... And what about that awful wig the boy Daniel was wearing? Life is too short to waste it on such drivel. One out of five for me.

Great cast but so many nmassive plot holes - so don't read on if you don't want spoilers. Holes like no-one asked on the day Tom went missing why Uncle Jason was wet up to his waist? Why you would fake a DBS certificate as there didn't seem any obvious reason why she wouldn't get the real thing? Why would you bother with a fake passport when you could just hide out in Wales or somewhere for a few days, off radar? Can a lawyer really swap DNA samples so easily and, if so, isn't our whole justice system broken. And indeed that bloody coat, that looked like a dressing gown. Wasted four lours of my life on this!

I love drama and am often prepared to forgive much for an entertaining evening. This, is, however a truly appallingly plotted show. A drowned child never floats to the surface? The person who "abducts" a child chooses the home town of the child for his home? Everyone in a family knows what happened except the member who does bonkers stuff and no one does anything to help her. I think that there are actors in this with talent. I hope this rubbish doesn't end the career of anyone we see; just everyone involved in writing and making it.

like everyone else I also wasted 4 hours of my time on this shite, but I also wasted another hour making sure that everyone else thought it was as bad as it was.

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