Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Mother of All Dark Secrets

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Mother of All Dark Secrets

Article excerpt


Like Father, Like Son

9pm, ITV1

JEMMA Redgrave stars as an ordinary-seeming, suburban single mother, Dee, with a job at a solicitor's office and a son at secondary school.

Robson Green plays Dominic, a popular teacher of English, a single father with a teenage daughter and a good rapport with his pupils.

And, guess what? They are romantically entangled and then some - because Dominic happens to teach Dee's son, Jamie. Which seems to be a problem, because the boy is not very keen on his mother getting together with his teacher. In fact, he hates it.

Initially, that seems to be what the drama is about, as well as Jamie's creepy, but understandable, fascination with flirty Morag, an older girl at school.

But when Dominic decides to propose to Dee, the secrets come tumbling out.

It seems that no one is quite who they appear to be (well, it is suburbia - fictional suburbs are always full of dark secrets).

It emerges that Dee's former husband is not the dashing pilot that she claims, but The Suburban Strangler - an evil killer who is ranked alongside the Yorkshire Ripper and the Moors Murderers.

But that's not all. There's a skeleton in Dominic's closet, too- And to make matters worse, Morag's body is found in the local woods, where Jamie used to stalk her. Could he be following in his father's deadly footsteps? Although this drama raises intriguing issues about how the families of infamous criminals cope, and how much the past can influence the present, it skirts around them, choosing instead to concentrate on the thriller plotline.

A problem is, though, that none of the main characters turns out to be particularly likeable.

Dee is a control freak and, despite her own secret background, she behaves badly when her boyfriend's skeletons come rattling out. Dominic is shifty and has hidden a dark story. And the boy Jamie is a weird, sulky, spoilt brat.

All in all, an unlovable bunch.

But, despite that, Like Father, Like Son does manage enough plot twists to make it worth sticking with.

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