One Night – Episode One Review

Words by Naomi Jeffreys

Compelling. Heart breaking. Brilliant. Real.

I happened upon this brilliant TV Drama by chance. This four part mini series, screened from the 26th to the 30th March follows One long summer Night, ‘ a modern London parable of intersecting lives told from four points of view’. It stars Douglas Hodge, Georgina Campbell, Jessica Hynes and Billy Matthews.

‘Set over one blisteringly hot summer’s night when nerves are frayed and tensions ride high, One Night is the story of four ordinary people whose fates are linked by a seemingly inconsequential event.  In each episode the events of the night are re-told from a different character’s point of view asking the question: how well do we really know each other?’

In this, the first episode, we follow Ned, a neurotic, caring sales rep who by chance tells Rochelle off for not putting a packet of crisps in to the bin. Drama ensues and the audience knows that it isn’t going to end well. You’d be right.

But, the Drama was compelling, one of those ‘I can’t turn the telly off’ moments. I don’t know whether it was the script, the acting, or the excellent mise-en-scene and cinematography that compelled me to not turn off my Freeview Box. But it was utterly, utterly brilliant. Nuanced and most importantly, real.

The writer, Paul Smith is able to weave his storyline, and its four central characters in to the audience’s psyche. We are given glimpses of characters, such as Carol (Jessica Hynes), in episode one in the Co-Op, receiving a phone call. Her story will be developed and told in episode three.

For me, perhaps the most excellent thing about this first episode was the lighting. An odd thing I know. But, whoever co-oridnated or organised the lighting on this show should be commended. They captured perfectly, a blistering British Summer. The light blue after sunset and the rare sunshine during the day.

I plan to watch this. You should too.

One Night next episode is tonight, BBC One, 10:35-11:35

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