Liam Rudden: TV must show not tell

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UNDERCOVER started on BBC One on Sunday in the slot vacated by The Night Manager - now that was a gripping TV series. Sadly, never have two programmes highlighted more, the problem with telly drama in the UK right now.

Whether it is theatre, film, or television, there is a simple rule to storytelling -show don’t tell.

Sadly that seems lost on the creatives behind the BBC’s latest offering. All seem to have succumbed to the mistaken belief that an ‘A-list’ cast will guarantee a hit regardless.

It’s misguided thinking. Even the impressive ensemble gathered for Undercover failed to breathe life into a plodding, predictable first episode.

As poor Sophie Okonedo frantically ran the gamut of anguished expressions, telegraphing the dramatic nature of the events about to unfold (not going to say anything more specific in case of spoilers for those yet to catch up), ‘flavour of the month’ social issues were shoe-horned into along the way.

After 30 minutes or so, I’m afraid I returned to watching the DVD release of the brilliant Norwegian drama Occupied - originally shown on Sky Arts.

A far more thrilling and thought-provoking modern TV drama which does indeed show, not tell.

Occupied is available now on DVD from Dazzler Media