tue 18/06/2024

One of Us, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

One of Us, BBC One

One of Us, BBC One

The deaths continue - but new series from 'The Missing' writers frustrates

Which way next? Laura Fraser on the case

“One of us is crying/ One of us is lying/ In her lonely bed/ Staring at the ceiling/ Wishing she was somewhere else instead…” Poor Juliet Stevenson must have wondered how she’d ended up like the girl in the Abba song – waiting for a call from her agent to apologise for getting her into this mess. It’s not Juliet’s fault. It’s the silly script.

One of Us began last week on a dark and stormy night when a paranoid schizophrenic off his meds (but on recreational drugs) butchered a pair of newly-weds before car-jacking a Lexus and driving to a lonely Scottish glen where both sets of in-laws lived. Unfortunately he crashed before he could wipe them all out so, having rescued him from the wreckage and only then discovering what he’d done, the bereaved locked him in a dog cage. Yet this didn’t stop someone slitting his throat.

It would be funny if we weren’t meant to take this nonsense seriously

This tale of two tribes, the House of Elliot and the House of Douglas, never comes to its senses. Stupidity is piled upon stupidity: having decided to lie to the police – headed by a drug-dealing detective (Laura Fraser) with a dying daughter – the naughty neighbours reject burning the body in case the smoke is spotted by the besieging paparazzi. Instead they bury the body and the stolen car with the aid of a bulldozer – in broad daylight (pictured below). Do they not have news-choppers north of the border?

Again, Jamie (Christian Ortega), the weird Douglas son who once took a gun to school to scare someone, is supposed not to hear the Elliot daughter driving home in the dark from work (where she tends a dying woman) because he’s listening to music through earphones. How can he not notice her blazing headlights? This might seem pernickety but it is symptomatic of a drama in which more care is devoted to close-ups of barbed wire than to the words.

The fourth death is a long time in coming, and belongs to someone only introduced a minute before. There’s zero opportunity for the viewer to empathise. A schoolgirl takes one of the detective’s tabs of LSD and drops out – of a high-rise window. It would be funny if we weren’t meant to take this nonsense seriously.

So what else actually happened in this second episode? Adrian Edmondson (the father absent from the Elliot household) confesses to his new wife that he has a family in Scotland – and that one of his sons has been slain. Juliet Stevenson, his ex-partner, finds a bloody, rusty knife. It’s not enough.

Writers Jack and Harry Williams are in danger of proving to be one-trick ponies. Whereas The Missing brilliantly drip-fed information against a French backdrop of increasing tension, watching One of Us is like trying to do a jigsaw depicting Scotch mist. As the happy couple discovered in the opening moments: life’s too short.

Writers Jack and Harry Williams are in danger of proving to be one-trick ponies


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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Lost that suspense we were left with at the end of the first episode, there would have been a Police presence at the farm as there lives were in danger, if I had a Lexus I would have a 'tracker' fitted, and the kid hacking into the girls messages, what's that all about. Not to mention the drug dealer having the police woman's phone number, what's that all about? 

From the outset, I could tell this was going to be a hard and very unconvincing slog. The second episode confirmed my fears, with terrible over-acting from all concerned, especially Juliet Stevenson, who deserves better than this derivative and confusing rubbish. As for Ade Edmondson trying very hard to act upset, let's not go there.

If this was a graduation piece by a group of media students, it would be considered competent but no more: Derivative scenics; mood music which is now over-famliar from Norse/French imports; awkward characterisation and plot exposition. It brings nothing new to the table (so far). I'd like to be enjoying it more.

One or two of these Scottish accents are seriously questionable.

I thought this had the makings of quite a clever twist on the usual mystery thriller - we knew who the first killer was pretty much straight away but then when he got killed overnight whilst locked up in the barn we were then speculating which member of the assembled double family group might have wielded the knife BUT the script and dialogue are awful in parts and the direction of what should have been a decent cast pretty is poor. Why did nobody change out of their soaking wet clothes in the first episode? I got half way through the second on catch up last night but it was all so wooden I just gave it up. Shame because it shoulkd hae been so much better.

Why did the nurse not suggest placing the driver if the Lexus in the recovery position?

Awful drama. Makes no sense all the way.

What a shame as the actors are great.



how myopic are these writers today and then they produce this drivel. do they really think that we will swallow this without gaging? im sorry but at episode 1 minute 31, it was all over for me. for someone to kill 2 people in a city, edinbburgh im thinking 500,000 and then flee said city into the wilds of scotland, population 5 million plus and then to crash into the murdered kids parent front gate pleeeaasssssse, i can only think that they must be stupid kids writing this nonsense. this my opinion and no animals were hurt in this rant, yet

I had a go at this. (I think my second go at the first episode). Abandoned ship 15 mins into the first episode on my second attempt. I didn’t get anywhere near as far on my first attempt. The reviews seem to confirm I made the right decision. Both times.

Engaging enough to have me wade through 4 episodes but the slaps in the face on the way...The terrible, pointless subplots, the yawning script holes, the laughably unbelievable (kid on LSD tries to fly cliche) (cop: i've come here to arrest you for murder; murderer: alright if i nip upstairs on my own to get my gun? cop: aye, no problem, we'll just wait down here with the door closed), all added up to a thoroughly, horribly amateurish job by the writers. I think everyone associated with this must have hurried off in shame the moment the credits started to roll.

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