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After the Flood

What makes this drama unique soon trickles away to reveal another crime mystery series from the UK.

I couldn’t help but feel watching new UK thriller After the Flood that it might be traumatic for Australian flood victims.

The recreation of flood scenes, right at the top of the series, is so impressively constructed that it could be triggering for those who have experienced natural disaster.

The six part series certainly opens with a bang, smack bang in the middle of a fatal flood in Waterside, Yorkshire.

For local PC Jo Marshall (Sophie Rundle), part of the force rushing to help the locals, it is life and death when a baby is swept away in a raging torrent. When a stranger dives in to rescue the infant he is swept away, leaving a huge impact on Jo who, as it turns out, is an expectant mother herself.

The scenes of flooded streets and aerial shots are dramatic and convincing. In this town everyone pitches in, with Sophie’s mother Molly (Lorraine Ashbourne) helping out in the crowded shelter, and her husband Pat (Matt Stokoe) also doing his bit as part of the force.

When Jo stumbles onto a dead body in the lift of a car park the story takes a darker turn. Results will reveal he died before the flood took place. For Jo, who is about to join the local detective team, it is a mystery she is determined to solve.

With the flood having subsided 30 minutes into episode one, the series pivots into a good ol’ TV mystery, and subsequently loses what made it so unique in the first place.

Jo’s efforts to solve the crime are quashed by her superiors who are keen to lead the investigation internally. But ambitious Jo knows better and undertakes the first of renegade behaviour for the greater good. I guess that makes her actions acceptable, right?

Not even husband Pat, who seems to be frequntly at odds with his expectant wife, is across her secret steps to solve what she fears could be murder. Somehow mum Molly is let in on her surreptitious actions, giving her a necessary sounding board for a TV hero.

Also featuring in the townsfolk are Philip Glenister and Jonas Armstrong in supporting, but pivotal roles.

I struggled with some of Jo’s actions as clear-thinking and logic, but it rarely dragged as entertainment. Sophie Rundle drives the plot forward if to some unlikely places.

There also appears to be themes surrounding bureaucracy and municipal red tape, and hints of climate change directly impacting on the fate of some of our most vulnerable.

But essentially this is crime series, and the Brits have plenty of runs on the boards in this genre, to suggest an entertaining ride with just enough twists along the way.

After the Flood is now screening on BritBox.

One Response

  1. Flooding is quite a common event in rural UK with areas of farm land that are beneath the water table or villages that are close to rivers and creeks, I experienced one of these floods as a boy over 40 years ago in Kent, and I walked past three foot high snow drifts going to school as well. Getting back to ‘The Flood’, I sometimes wonder if iTV and BBC studio scriptwriters imaginations are allowed to only go so far, borrowing from Nordic noir with a determined ‘pregnant’ female PC with a natural leaning to be a detective. I would prefer to see another cynical retro ‘Cracker ‘ character made famous by Robbie Coltrane.

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