FIVE DAYS. BBC-TV (UK), March 1 through 5, 2010. Shaun Dooley, Steve Evets, Shivani Ghai, Bernard Hill, Suranne Jones, Matthew McNulty, Aaron Neil, Anne Reid, David Morrissey. Teleplay: Gwyneth Hughes. Director: Toby Haynes.


   It’s become quite fashionable over here to run a drama over five successive nights. We have had several in recent years and this is the second to be called Five Days (though this one doesn’t use the characters from the first, first seen in 2007).

   In these we see five key days (but not successive days) of the investigation. The story starts with a train hitting a body falling from a bridge. On the train is PC Laurie Franklin (played by Suranne Jones), taking her mother to a hospital consultation about her dementia.

   Meanwhile a young baby is found abandoned in the hospital toilet and it is suspected for a while that the baby is connected to the body.

   I found the first episode rather underwhelming and, though it picked up over the remaining episodes, it was overall rather unsatisfactory. Firstly there were just too many issues covered. I’ve already mentioned dementia, terrorism and multi-cultural relationships but there were many more.

   Another problem was that everyone had to have a deeper part in the story even though this lead to some unbelievable coincidences. A lot a work had gone into this production and it was a good cast; it’s a pity that script wasn’t much tighter.