Why are viewers unhappy with Jenna Coleman drama The Cry on BBC One?

Tom Duggins October 1, 2018
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The BBC’s new drama series The Cry stars Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie as grief-stricken parents whose baby son goes missing.

The first episode aired on Sunday on BBC One, receiving largely positive reviews from TV critics.

But some viewers were left a little confused by the way the show switches between different timelines. So what was all the fuss about and will episode two help clear a few things up?



Why was episode one of The Cry so difficult to follow?

The Cry has been adapted from a best-selling novel by Helen FitzGerald. It tells the story of Alistair and Joanna, a young couple who travel to Australia to fight a custody battle with Alistair’s ex-wife. Alistair wants his daughter from his first marriage to come and live with him and Joanna in Scotland, but it’s their newborn son Noah who becomes the main cause for concern after he disappears from the roadside during a long car journey.

In adapting the book for the screen, the show’s creators have chosen to move between different timelines quite quickly. The action frequently jumps in flashbacks to before Noah was born, as well as flashes forward to after his disappearance. The effect is disorienting at times, perhaps reflecting how frazzled Joanna is feeling thanks to the sleep deprivation of looking after a very small baby.

For some, the editing was a little too distracting. One viewer took to Twitter to voice their frustrations:

Will episode two be easier to follow?

So far, there’s no indication as to whether the show will have a more straightforward structure in the second episode. But since the series will begin to focus in on the events following Noah’s disappearance, there’s every reason to suspect things will become a little more conventional in the following episodes.

The Cry airs on BBC One on Sundays.

Related topics: BBC, BBC 1, BBC drama, Jenna Coleman

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