BLOOD REVIEW

Returning to her home in a sleepy Irish town in West Meath, Cat Hogan (Carolina Main, Unforgotten) discovers that her mother had died. In BLOOD, initially Cat believes her mother’s death is accidental.

However, something seems amiss – her father Jim (Adrian Dunbar, Line of Duty) appears to be acting strangely. Has he something to hide about what has been happening in the house? Is there more to her mother’s death than meets the eye?

BLOOD CHANNEL 5

Blood is the latest drama from Channel Five and it marks a transition from Five’s previous content. In the past few years, the channel has decided to step up its production – partly due to a change of ownership. This has shown the channel being able to directly compete with its more mainstream opposition in the arenas of original drama and documentaries.

Five has greatly impressed viewers with recent efforts such as their series on the Kennedy family and their latest big drama, Blood. Combining the undeniable talent of writer Sophie Petzal, who has previously contributed to the excellent Medici: Masters of Florence and The Last Kingdom, with an all star cast of actors makes it seem impossible to imagine how Blood couldn’t be a hit.

Petzal’s engaging and forensic approach to writing ensures that the dialogue is always interesting. She never lets a detail go to waste or lets the audience feel as if they aren’t instantly getting to the heart of a scene. Petzal effortlessly moves between razor sharp dialogue and intense emotional sequences – her command of the English language is superb, and she does not relent in using every single tool at her disposal.

She sucks the audience in with her dialogue and utterly convinces them that they are seeing real people going through a traumatic event that, rather than bringing them together, seems to drive them further apart. Petzal really understands how to write compelling characters and she is a true rising star of TV writing.

Both main leads Carolina Main and Adrian Dunbar give excellent performances. Main excels at the tortured Cat, desperate to reconcile her mother’s death with her memories of family life before she left home. Main astutely and confidently alternates between distress at her mother’s death and desire to learn whether her father could be truly capable of murder. Main’s intense performances helps to heighten the power of the script and ensure that the audience stays riveted.

Dunbar similarly gives a performance that guarantees we invested in his character. The slow change in his performance throughout the series makes the audience feel both shocked and intrigued to find out the truth as to why his wife died.

Blood only arrived on our screens at the end of this year and yet it is already being seen as one of the highlights of it.

With a fast-paced script, superb performances and the beautiful landscape of Ireland to accompany it - Blood is sure to be remembered for a long time yet.

- Blood is available to buy on DVD now.

Will Barber Taylor

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