Review: BBC's damp squib of a thriller Crossfire sends Keeley Hawes running down a dead end
Corridors. They’re exciting, right? No? Well if you watched Crossfire (BBC1, Tues-Thurs, 9pm) you might have been forgiven for thinking the programme-makers thought these special rooms for walking through were the most exciting thing in the world.
People ran up them, people ran down them, and over the first two episodes of this new thriller, in fact, these corridor capers got very wearing.
The plot saw three families – all friends back home in Blighty – going on holiday together to an isolated Canary Islands hotel. Their dream holiday – although is it anyone’s dream to go on holiday with people you don’t know, and their children? – is soon radically spoiled by two armed people turning up and opening fire.
And then we escape into corridors, storage cupboards and underground car parks.
Over three, hour-long episodes Crossfire couldn’t keep up the tension, as repeated scenes of the cast hiding meant any excitement dissipated quickly.
Sub-plots involving a philandering Jo (Keeley Hawes) doing the dirty on her wet lettuce of a husband Jason (Lee Ingleby) seemed important but went nowhere, while there were unbelievable deaths and a portentous voiceover that tried to tie everything together but was more a case of trying to give the whole exercise some point.
Tellingly, the most tense scene was just the three families sitting round a hotel terrace table while Jo and Jason’s marriage started to fall apart.
As a 90-minute family drama, Crossfire might have worked. Unfortunately, they stuck on 90 minutes of running down corridors, and shot down the whole affair.
It was a tough contest this week as to which BBC drama would be the more ludicrous, but the second series of Bloodlands (BBC1, Sun, 9pm) just edged Crossfire out of that coveted title. James Nesbitt’s corrupt copper Tom Brannick continued his confusing one-man good cop, bad cop routine with little motivation. Laughable.
I’ve just turned on to Welcome to Wrexham (Disney+, new episodes Wednesdays), a fly-on-the-wall doc about Hollywood big shots Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney taking over Wrexham FC. It could have been all surface, but it turns out it has a lot more substance. An unexpectedly absorbing watch.