Everyone has their own secret in 10’s latest drama, The Secrets She Keeps, but none more so than disturbed supermarket stacker, Agatha (Laura Carmichael).
Call it pre-natal depression, or call it being completely unhinged, she has her sights set on Meghan (Jessica de Gouw), an expectant mummy blogger whose upcoming pregnancy is going far more smoothly than her own.
On the outside Agatha is all smiles and supportive benevolence, yet on the inside she is a stone’s throw away from full bore bunny-boiler. She lives alone, working her dull retail job, whilst harbouring secret desires for the perfect family, as represented through the blogs of Meghan.
Yet Meghan’s affluent home life is also not without its imperfections. Husband Jack (Michael Dorman) lacks intimacy and would rather spent time with best mate Simon (Ryan Corr), and there are anonymous cyber threats landing in her inbox.
While Agatha befriends Meghan and lures her into her twisted world, she also lies to her ex-partner, sailor Hayden (Michael Sheasby) who had no idea he may have gotten her pregnant.
Tales of obsessed mothers / twisted babysitters are not exactly new (Inside, Angel of Mine, When the Bough Breaks) but writers Sarah Walker and Jonathan Gavin keep things in the thriller rather than horror genre.
Laura Carmichael is a long way from Downton Abbey‘s Lady Edith as the villain of this piece, based on a book by Michael Robothom. Jessica De Gouw is suitably endearing as the young mother unaware of impending dangers. The women, including a welcome appearance by Jenni Baird (A Place to Call Home), certainly have all the fun here. It’s all smiles until somebody gets hurt…
And while some shows are at pains to upkeep sub-plots this promising arrival from 10 keeps a fairly narrow lens on its principal performers. Whether it can stay the course of the thriller genre without veering into melodrama remains to be seen -the shocker at the end of episode one was far too predictable for my liking.
Nevertheless this feels more satisfying than Seven’s recent Secret Bridesmaid’s Business and previous 10 outings such as Wake in Fright.
It’s also nicely shot, with autumnal Sydney giving directors Catherine Millar and Jennifer Leacey, an inviting, contemporary backdrop.
All six episodes, produced by Lingo Pictures, are now available for self-isolating binge watchers on 10 Play with a broadcast date expected shortly.
The Secrets She Keeps is now on 10 Play.