For instance, in the penultimate episode, steely reporter Freddie Lyon (the excellent Ben Whishaw) felt like giving his producer, Bel Rowley (Romola Garai), a few pointers: “We’re journalists, this is what we do,” he explained.“We pursue the best, most important story.” He was then on hand again, in last night’s climax, to impart some more journalistic wisdom: “Do you know what the first rule of journalism is?
Part of the reason for this was that the characters were so cack-handedly drawn it was impossible to invest any emotion in their travails.
Ultimately, The Poison Tree neither entranced nor moved – its broken connections never made a spark.
The Hour (Wednesday and Thursday, BBC Two), Abi Morgan’s Fifties-set TV newsroom drama, was far more gripping.
Hindered by the script, Ophelia Lovibond veered irritatingly over-the-top – she must have said “darling” at least 50 times – while Matthew Goode, an actor with Hollywood clout, was little more than a cipher. She was impressive in Ben Wheatley’s horror Kill List, but here she failed to convey the anxiety of an isolated student out of her depth.
It was hard to believe, too, that her character could be 21 years old.
” he asked, while taking a pummelling from a club owner’s heavies.