Be a nosey parker with new drama ‘Viewpoint’

DC Martin YoungDC Martin Young
DC Martin Young
Monday: Viewpoint; (ITV, 9pm)

Primary school teacher Gemma Hillman has gone missing and the police are concerned for her welfare.

Surveillance expert DC Martin Young sets up an observation point in the home of single mum and all-round nosey parker Zoe Sterling, whose windows command a panoramic view of the local area – including the property shared by Gemma and her boyfriend Greg Sullivan, who is also the prime suspect in her disappearance.

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That, in a nutshell, is the basic premise of Viewpoint, ITV’s latest crime drama, a five-part series being broadcast each night from Monday to Friday. It’s the brainchild of Emmy Award-winning director Harry Bradbeer, whose previous work includes Killing Eve and No Offence, and acclaimed writer Ed Whitmore of Safe House and Manhunt fame.

“Harry and Ed have crafted a compelling, tense, claustrophobic thriller that turns the spotlight on the observer rather than the observed,” claims executive producer Lucy Bedford. “With the incredible Noel Clarke and Alexandra Roach leading the cast, we are extremely excited to be back in production.”

Viewpoint was the first ITV drama to go into production after last year’s first lockdown, with filming taking place largely on location in Manchester.

The drama offers Clarke another wonderful role, and can be seen just a few weeks after he picked up the coveted and well-deserved Contribution to Cinema Award at the 2021 Baftas, more than a decade after winning the event’s Rising Star trophy.

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He dedicated his recent win to “the underrepresented, anyone who sits at home believing that they can achieve more. This is particularly for my young black boys and girls out there who never believed that this could happen to them. Sometimes you will feel like it is not achievable. It is. Sometimes you will feel like you are not good enough. You are. And sometimes you will feel like you don’t deserve it. You do.”

Clarke could be in line for more plaudits and trophies once Viewpoint has aired. Tense, thrilling and exciting, it’s been described as a cross between Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie Rear Window and 2006’s German Oscar-winner The Lives of Others, with some good old-fashioned British crime drama tropes thrown in for good measure.

Paranoia and claustrophobia reign supreme, with the former Doctor Who star on career-best form as Young; Roach is just as impressive as Zoe who, thanks to her vantage point, may know more about Gemma’s fate than she’s letting on.

At the heart of the drama there’s a crime to be solved, but the tale also focuses on the notions of friendship, trust and community. It also explores the tension between our public and private lives while musing on the horrors that can take place behind closed doors when the perpetrators think nobody is watching. Look out too for excellent performances from Catherine Tyldesley, Bronagh Waugh, Phil Davis, Ian Puleston-Davies, Marcus Garvey and Erin Shrager, who are among the excellent supporting cast.

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