Falling

On TV - Daily Telegraph; March 12, 2005; Stephen Pile

The troublemaker of the week, however, was Henry Kent in Falling (ITV, Sun). For 90 per cent of its two hours, this was a tense and involving drama about a Pinteresque, predatory man. Michael Kitchen gave a first-class performance, genial but menacing, as Kent who used his understanding of women's emotional needs to invade their lives with caring stealth only to take their assests and cause them physical harm.

Tension collapsed, however, when his latest victim, Daisy (played by the excellent Penelope Wilton) had her doubts and visited his previous wives to check out his lying version of events.

There were only 15 minutes left. There would hardly be time for Kent to bring things to a traditional conclusion, manacling her in the cellar, committing murder most foul, burying the corpse under the greenhouse and leaving a clue that helped the detective (where was the detective?). Instead Daisy merely confronted Kent with the truth and he went off to try his luck with another woman on a train.

This was a triumph for naturalism over formulaic drama that no doubt worked in Elizabeth Jane Howard's novel, but in Andrew Davies' dramatisation, this felt unresolved rather like having a wonderful first course and then being told that all the puddings were off.