The Cry: Will BBC drama come to a tearful end?

The Cry

(BBC One, 9pm)

When it comes to drama, the BBC is really excelling at the moment.

No sooner had the ratings-busting Bodyguard finished than the broadcaster launched another gripping tale on us with more twists than the proverbial corkscrew.

Based on Helen FitzGerald’s novel of the same name, it focuses on Joanna and Alistair, a couple whose baby son Noah vanishes shortly after the family’s arrival in Australia, where they were about to launch a bid to gain custody of Alistair’s teenage daughter Chloe from a previous relationship.

In the episodes since this traumatic event occurred, viewers have been left pondering over what may have happened to Noah, and the motivations of those around him - including his parents.

Alistair himself has proved to be rather enigmatic and not always a great support to Joanna, who has struggled with motherhood.

“He is a tricky character,” admits Ewen Leslie, the actor who plays him. “I imagine he will be a tricky character for the audience because he’s not very sympathetic. Is he controlling, manipulative and narcissistic? Absolutely. But if he were just those things, it would actually make him easier to play. If I just have to show up and play this guy who has these qualities and not imbue him with any emotions then that would be easy - but if you want to give him grief and pathos, that is complicated.”

He adds: “Playing someone like this, you have to empathise with him. You have to find a way of getting inside his head and to see something completely from his point of view. He’s trying to do his best to make the right decision every step of the way - but they’re not always the right decisions. I think he is coming from a good place ultimately, trying to keep his head above water and make the best decisions in a horrible situation.”

Jenna Coleman has also been on fine form as Joanna, and Leslie is quick to point out that she is portraying a side of motherhood not often depicted on screen - that of somebody who is finding bringing up a child difficult and full of pressure.

“I think what the show hopes to do is deconstruct a lot of the myths of motherhood,” says Leslie.

“There’s a lot of people - men included - that have babies and really struggle. It’s such a life changing situation. It’s a taboo - people don’t want to bring up the fact that they are struggling. You see people handling it so wonderfully that it makes you feel horrible about the fact that you’re not doing so well yourself.”

Now the tale its reaching its conclusion. The truth is about to come out, but will it happen soon enough to save Alistair and Joanna’s ailing relationship?