‘Apple Tree Yard’ has made it from book to screen, and already got as many viewers screaming at the TV as there were readers flinging the pages across the room when Louise Doughty’s novel was published in 2013.
How COULD she? The ‘she’ being Yvonne Carmichael (Emily Watson), a respected, married scientist whose self-sabotaging decision to become immediately intimately involved with an urbane stranger sends her life into freefall.
We have three more episodes to discover how Yvonne ends up where we first find her, in handcuffs, under arrest, in court, on trial, but there are some other more immediate questions to tax us. Namely...
How many previous guests has Mr X invited into his broom cupboard? He seems to know all about the keys, its celebrated history, what noise the cleaning tools make when they’re kicked in the height of passion...
Did the broom cupboard encounter really mean as much to mysterious ‘civil servant’ Mr X as it clearly did to Yvonne?
Is it possible to turn on the TV for some contemporary drama without catching sight of Scottish actor Mark Bonnar? Already familiar to ‘Unforgotten’ fans, here, he’s on duty as Yvonne’s unsuspecting, but possibly unfaithful, husband Gary…
It soon became clear that Gary had his own fan club, with research assistant Rosa even turning up, distraught, on their doorstep. Was he just being a good professor, having “shut down the possibility” of an affair, or has he got his own secrets?
How is Mr X so adept in the art of covering his tracks? The phone he’s bought Yvonne is ‘Pay as you go, never from the same place twice’… Why is he carrying cigarettes when he doesn’t smoke? And does he really work for the government as he says?
Why doesn’t Yvonne put her secret phone on silent? That beep with every new erotic message is ever so loud.
Who’s the mysterious person, phoning their landline at home and then hanging up? Mr X, or perhaps Rosa?
Why is Mr X so obsessed with video-cameras in public places? How does he know about that camera facing the wrong way in the alley way? And knows when a camera is working, and when it isn’t? Are these just tools of his trade, or will it be how he and Yvonne get discovered, or is he planning to stitch her up?
Following the shocking conclusion of this first episode, will Yvonne’s secret life work against her when it comes to seeking justice?
And what IS she on trial for? Watch this space.
‘Apple Tree Yard’ continues on BBC One on Sundays. Catch up on BBCiPlayer.