Tuesday night gave us the final episode in what has been a thrilling crime drama series brought to us from ITV and written by the same people as The Bridge – an absolute favourite of mine! Marcella follows Marcella Backland (Anna Friel) who had taken time off to raise her family but now returns as a Dectective for the Metropolitan Police when a new murder case has a few too many similarities to one she worked years before. As well as facing many twists and turns throughout the murder investigation – including plenty of more deaths! – Marcella has to deal with her husband suddenly leaving her and his new girlfriend becoming involved in the case. Oh and there’s the little problem in that Marcella suffers from blackouts from which she can’t remember a thing, meaning that when she comes too covered in blood and later finds CCTV of herself driving away from a murder scene she must find out the truth before the police do.
Just like The Bridge there are plenty of characters to get to grips with, all with different story lines that like to inter-link, so it does take a while to remember how people are connected. In a way though this just helps to add to the tension as you frantically try to remember what’s going on before something else drastic happens! Also like The Bridge the series is very dark, both visually and narratively. Basically it’s not a happy watch, and it’s pretty much all set at night which makes it all the more creepy and dramatic. However, each episode ends with a cliffhanger making you desperate for the next one and keeping you hooked through the entire series. There’s only 8 episodes so it won’t take you long to binge-watch the series if you haven’t already!
Anna Friel is fantastic as Marcella, she has a real grittiness to her which is perfect for this role but we also see a vulnerability to her character with the breakdown of her marriage and when she is facing the possibility of being a murderer! Marcella is also stubborn, refusing to give up on certain leads and putting herself in danger on many occasions. She becomes fixated on one suspect in particular, played by Ian Puleston-Davis (Owen from Coronation Street) for the first few episodes, and ends that narrative arc with a very dramatic climax which also features Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith). Laura and Ian play very different characters to what we’re used too – Laura in particular seems very strange without her corsets! – but both act brilliantly and really bring something to the series.
Other cast members include Nicholas Pinnock as Marcella’s estranged husband (Fortitude) and Harry Lloyd (pictured) who was Will Scarlett in the BBC adaption of Robin Hood, as well as more recently playing Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. There are also plenty more recognisable faces throughout the series making a superb cast. At no point are you ever certain who the killer is and though you may come up with your own theories you won’t be able to guess the ending until moments before it’s revealed!
Overall Marcella is a fantastic drama series and I sincerely hope it will return for a second series (they have left one of the story lines open so hopefully this means they are returning!). If you haven’t seen it already then make sure you do, it’ll be on ITV Catchup for a while. Definitely one of the best crime thrillers ITV has brought to us, but when it’s written by the amazingly talented writers from The Bridge you can’t expect anything else!