'Marcella' Review: Anna Friel Serves Up Doctor Foster Betrayal, Complete With A Police Badge

Nordic Noir meets Doctor Foster in this latest TV crime drama.

Monday evening brought us what looked at first sight like a pretty standard offering of police drama - the not-too-distant cousin of last year's excellent 'Unforgotten', something like that - with a female detective determined to find justice for the victims of heinous crime, however long it took her.

<strong>Anna Friel stars as the very troubled Marcella</strong>
Anna Friel stars as the very troubled Marcella

But pretty soon it became clear that this particular female copper had a few issues of her own, ones that could possibly help but more likely hinder her dealings with the local criminal contingent, of whom Episode 1 offered us only tantalising glimpses.

Marcella comes from the same talented pen, that of Swedish Hans Rosenfeldt, who brought us The Bridge's Saga Noren. Even without the subtitles, there was something familiar about the isolated copper whose only safe place is where others often fear to tread.

However, it should be said that the writer has created somebody quite different. Where Saga was all ice-cool rationale, and it was emotion that confused her, Marcella - played so perfectly by Anna Friel - is one big ticking tearful timebomb, pushed to madness by her husband's desertion, willing to stalk out any new object of his affection, and push herself into this battle zone - imagine Doctor Foster with a police badge - even if we will obviously have to wait to see just how she ended up with those wounds, following her infuriating blackouts.

At the moment, I admit, I'm more interested in this latter tale of betrayal and discovering just how Marcella deals with her personal antagonists, rather than her professional ones. But fans of 'The Bridge' will no doubt join me in crossing fingers that Mr Rosenfeldt will enjoy leading us down these disparate paths before bringing them all together in one final crashing denouement, and proving once again just how clever he is, in any language.

'Marcella' continues on ITV, with Episode 1 available on ITVPlayer.

Tap the first picture to open the slideshow:

Laura Carmichael as Maddy Stevenson


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