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The Capture, BBC One, series finale review - nimble drama alive with twists | reviews, news & interviews

The Capture, BBC One, series finale review - nimble drama alive with twists

The Capture, BBC One, series finale review - nimble drama alive with twists

Ben Chanan's paranoid what-if surveillance thriller goes out on another question

He's been framed: Callum Turner as Shaun Emery in 'The Capture'BBC/Heyday Films/Nick Wall

What did we learn at the end of The Capture (BBC One)? A rice jar is a good place to hide USB sticks. It’s possible to withhold the opening credits for 11 whole minutes. A green coat works exceptionally well with light blue eyes and shoulder-length auburn hair. And Ben Chanan, who originated the script and directed it himself, is a television dramatist to watch, and watch again.

Whether we’ll be watching another round of The Capture remains to be discovered. We were left with the possibility that DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger), having weighed up her options, has set herself up as a mole inside the corrections programme to watch the watchers as they go about their fakery. As DSU Gemma Garland (Lia Williams at her most chilling) said in her job offer to Carey, she’s a lot cleverer than Hannah Roberts. (Although her earlier character reference was funnier: “Fucking millennials. She's got balls, I'll give you that.”)

When all the big bucks are heading west to the streaming channels, it’s nimble scripts such as this, alive with ideas and twists, that the less wealthy broadcasters are going to rely on. The Capture took a scarily plausible position – that the surveillance state must counterfeit video evidence to secure convictions of terrorists who would otherwise go free – and ran it up some deep and dark alleyways and byways.

Surfing the wave of paranoia about fake news, the script explored ideas that have entered the mainstream thanks to the Trump White House. For Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” read the correction programme’s “truth re-enacted”. In the person of Shaun Emery (Callum Turner), it played with the idea that our suggestible brains are no repository of truth. Despite believing she wasn’t his victim, he was unable to erase the image of a distressed Hannah Roberts (Laura Haddock) fleeing his clutches, while performing a memory wipe on himself to establish his innocence as a combatant in Afghanistan. It was this dawning guilt that enabled him to accept punishment for the crime he didn’t commit, in lieu of the one he did.

Turner and Grainger were great value in the lead roles. Not everything hit the spot exactly. The video in which Shaun’s bus-stop smooch with Hannah was enacted felt wildly implausible. Rachel’s half-sister Abigail (Daisy Waterstone), who kept on urging her to open up, felt underwritten. In the sprint to the finish, Karen (Sophia Brown), the mother of Shaun’s daughter, was given a pat reason for pivoting away from her boyfriend.

The thinking got tighter and sharper when closer to the epicentre of the deep state. It was a particular pleasure to see Frank Napier (Ron Perlman), the goon who had a relativist rationale for every insult visited upon the principles of justice, swallowed up by his own revolution. While this was a fitting comeuppance, did anyone else secretly yearn for Shaun’s flying fists to wipe the smugness off that all-American mug of his?

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Comments

Sorry.. not convinced .. poor acting .. every sentence is a shout .. the whole series needs turning down .. amateur play ., you are blessed !! .. even you can’t believe it made TV I’m sure .

Excellent and slick drama, if guilty of slightly questionable plot developments. Episode 1 is ok but stick with it as by the end of episode 2 you are truly hooked. The acting is superb (Not quite sure what programme the above commentator was watching..) and Hannah Grainger perfect as the DI heading the case, pout and tearful eyes included.

Awesome up until the last episode - felt let down and really disappointed. I was absolutely 'gripped' for 5 episodes and then what a deflate it was!!!! Shame :(

What a wonderful summary of the last episode of a thrilling drama. The best I've watched in a while.

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