Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

Cap­i­tal Tues­day, 8.30pm, BBC First (117) Adapted from John Lanch­ester’s novel, this four-part se­ries drops in on the folks who live on the fic­tional Pepys Road, south Lon­don. The value of their houses is in rapid as­cen­sion but most of them are far from wealthy. There’s Mrs Howe (Gemma Jones), an el­derly widow with a brain tu­mour; Roger (Toby Jones) the banker with money prob­lems; Quentina (Wunmi Mosaku), the Zim­bab­wean traf­fic war­den; and Ahmed (Adeel Akhtar), the Pak­istani cor­ner shop owner. They have one thing in com­mon. Each re­ceives an anony­mous post­card with the mes­sage “we want what you have”. A hooded char­ac­ter darts around at night tak­ing pho­tos and th­ese turn up as post­cards, al­ways with the same mes­sage. A de­tec­tive agrees the cards con­sti­tute ha­rass­ment, tres­pass and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour. No­body has a clue what they mean or who’s re­spon­si­ble. Funny and poignant, the se­ries neatly ze­roes in on a mi­cro­cosm of so­ci­ety. Pe­tu­nia Howe, who has lived in the street since she was a bride, has a daugh­ter who ne­glects her; Roger, a new­comer, has a fright­ful wife who spends; Ahmed’s fam­ily has dif­fer­ent at­ti­tudes to Is­lam; and poor Quentina, work­ing il­le­gally, is be­ing black­mailed. Writ­ten by BAFTA award-win­ning writer Peter Bowker, the se­ries is a gen­tle look at con­tem­po­rary Lon­don where in­equal­ity and var­i­ous other prob­lems ex­ist side by side.

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