The Silence overcomes cliche and shortcomings with pleasing conclusion
- Brian Donaldson
- 7 July 2010
It’s cliché number 64 in the film and TV thriller world to have someone already in an advanced state of vulnerability being placed into further terrible danger. This might be a child alone at home (Home Alone), a posh bint being weighed down by her jewels when trying to escape the clutches of a murderous felon (see Grace Kelly in Rear Window) or a one-armed German wheelchair-using dwarf (OK, that one’s yet to be filmed).
In The Silence (BBC1, Mon 12—Thu 15 Jul, 9pm), our waif in peril is Amelia, a deaf teenager whose parents (Gina McKee and Hugh Bonneville) try hard but are not overly disappointed when she goes to stay with his brother (copper Douglas Henshall) and their open-minded family: in an unlikely scene designed to crowbar in a plot furtherance by having Amelia do a spot of lip-reading which ultimately leads to her flirt with mortal danger, the brood gather round Dougie’s laptop to cackle at the CCTV build-up to an ‘orrible murder.
There’s quite a lot in here that gets in the way of pure enjoyment (when it came to decide who would do the other’s accent to prove they were brothers, Shuggie obviously lost the toss and dipped into his High Road VHS archive to come up with that accent), but the four consecutive nights you will need to commit to for this are rewarded by a pleasingly bleak conclusion.
I said, will you come back this side of the ‘do not cross’ line!