TV REVIEW: Marcella – Season 1

Former detective, Marcella Backland (Anna Friel) returns to work after an eleven year old cold case suddenly seems revived. It’s not the best time though as her husband, Jason (Nicholas Pinnock) has just left her and she’s been having weird unexplained blackouts. Now she’ll have to navigate a team that isn’t sure if they can trust her uncanny gut instincts and her act now think later approach alongside the implosion of her personal life.

I got sucked into Marcella hard and fast. She is an extremely interesting character who can be quite hard to like and Anna Friel is absolutely excellent in the role. It’s also a twisty, turny overlapping tale that messes with your head constantly. Four episodes in I had no idea what was going on… in a good way. Is Marcella the only one who can figure out who the killer is… or is she actually a suspect?

It’s explosive, fast paced, disturbing and very dark, with a cracking soundtrack and plenty of great performances. I loved the messed up Gibson family and their weird obsession with daughter, Grace (Maeve Dermody). Sinéad Cusack playing icy matriarch, Sylvie, steals every scene she is in. Nicholas Pinnock is also a stand out as the hypocritical, Jason, who both wants to throw Marcella away but also prevent anyone else having her.

My only criticism is that it’s possibly a bit too complicated. It can feel a bit like the entire kitchen sink is being lobbed at the story. This means that we get a load of exposition about peripheral characters, they play their part and then they just vanish with incomplete story lines. I am not sure we needed the entire Bendek Krol meander or anything to do with the Moroccan immigrants.

That said, I am still very excited to get stuck into season two and see what additional sordid stories come to the surface and I would definitely recommend this series.

Random fact: All the scenes that take place at DTG are filmed in the Blue Fin Building in Southwark where I worked for several years.



  1. I tuck with this, despite constantly being irritated by Anna Friel, who I usually like. I ended up enjoying it though, and would give it the same score. (If I did scores)
    Best wishes, Pete. 🙂

    1. I’m interested to watch the second one!

  2. Sorry, ‘stuck’ not ‘tuck’!

  3. Looks like one I’d enjoy. Thanks for the review, Abbi! How cool that you worked at the same place they filmed. How are you, btw? How is little O? I haven’t seen a progress for a while. Hope you are well and happy.

    1. I’m pretty good, thanks for asking! Look out for a Little O update later this week.

      1. Oh, good. Seems like a long time since I’ve seen his blue eyes.

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