In the third episode of Channel 4's event drama, SOUTHCLIFFE, we see further fall out from the mass shooting. A grieving father stages a macabre funeral in which everyone wears morning dress and the organist plays hear comes the bride, before descending into suicidal madness. Another grieving father speaks to his teenage daughter's corpse as if she were alive. The towns turns against the press, particularly brooding and resentful returning son David Whitehead (Rory Kinnear.) His buttoned-up repressed anger turns into a violent accusing rant in a local pub that goes viral. And rumours of a conspiracy surface - is the killer really dead?
I have to say that I am really struggling with Southcliffe, and outside of a couple of beautifully staged set-pieces - the wedding-funeral and tghe - the pace is too slow, the emotional reactions to predictable, and worst of all, the accusations of a conspiracy just too melodramatic for a production that has sought to remain gritty, realistic and profound. The performances are strong, despite the writing. I'm still not convinced that Anatol Yusef has the chops to carry the conflict and violent mood swings of grieving father Paul, but Rory Kinnear remains compelling. Once again, he's the only reason to wade through this dour, slow and ultimately rather tedious mood-piece.
THE THIRD EPISODE OF SOUTHCLIFFE ORIGINALLY AIRED IN THE UK ON AUGUST 12TH.