Friday, 24 February 2017

In The Replacement

Morven Christie and Vicky McClure are bitter rivals

Written by Ben Felsenburg


In The Replacement (Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm) smart, ambitious thirtysomething architect Ellen (Morven Christie) has scored the biggest success of her career by landing a client for her firm who wants to build a £12m library.

Then she has even better news for her husband Ian (Richard Rankin): she’s pregnant. Soon the time will come that Ellen will have to bid a temporary farewell to the office, and so in comes the briskly confident Paula (Vicky McClure) to take the reins for the duration. But Ellen’s sense of reassurance that someone is holding the fort is soon replaced by her fear that she has invited in nothing less than her nemesis who, behind the professional smiles, is poised to steal her glory and even her life.

A situation that springs from the all-too-familiar tension between career and family life for so many women is the basis for an eminently watchable three-part thriller, which is poised to have the same effect on maternity leave that fatal attraction had on adultery.

There are plot points that will stretch your credulity if you think about them too long, but the sheer brio of the melodrama and the daggers-drawn enmity between the lead characters more than compensates, as McClure shows she can be every bit as arresting a villainess as she was a heroine in Line Of Duty. By the end of the first episode you’ll have difficulties distinguishing between a chic modern office and the court of Macbeth when it comes to infernal plotting and unbridled evil.

NOT TO BE MISSED...

TVCOMP

DIANA: DESIGNING A PRINCESS  Sat, BBC2, 8pm
Elizabeth Emmanuel and David Sassoon are among the designers revealing the stories behind Diana’s gowns as they go on exhibition at Kensington Palace this month.

BROADCHURCH Mon, ITV, 9pm
David Tennant and Olivia Colman are back sleuthing on the Dorset coast in the return of the thriller series that refuses to give up its secrets lightly.

PRIME SUSPECT 1973 Thur, ITV, 9pm
Fighting crime and ’70s sexism, Stefanie Martini  is young WPC Jane Tennison, years before the Helen Mirren version.


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