Still catching up on Deadwater Fell episode 3? Read Steve’s review of episode 2 here.
It’s been a busy and rather stressful time of late for Deadwater Fell’s Sergeant Steve Campbell. After seeing a house fire devastate his closest friends’ house – killing four of them, including three young girls – he then had to investigate the possibility that pal Kate – and then Tom – killed the three children before setting the fire.
And that was just the start of it.
He then found out that his girlfriend Jess had slept with best friend Tom. So he decided to coerce an eyewitness into lying in order to put David Tennant’s character firmly in the frame for the murders. All this before finding out that his children’s smarmy new stepdad and his ex-wife are expecting a child.
In between all that he’s somehow found time to (rather awkwardly, drunkenly and unsuccessfully) hit on his boss as well as hit the bottle, attend therapy sessions, develop panic attacks, beat up the aforementioned eyewitness when he changes his story and even take an ecstasy-fuelled barefoot trip to the woods.
Last week’s second episode belonged to Jess, played by Cush Jumbo. We saw everything through her eyes, gaining a new perspective on the events surrounding the fire. This third slice of Deadwater Fell is all about Steve, played brilliantly here by The Bay’s Matthew McNulty.
Jumbo was superb last week and David Tennant has played his Jekyll and Hyde part well, but McNulty is the standout performer here. His Steve is racked with anger, resentment and guilt and utterly convinces.
It had looked as though the case against Tom was strong. So strong that he was charged and imprisoned. There was circumstantial evidence, motive and even a witness. Soon enough though, the case fell apart. Mostly because Steve’s coercion of Dylan came to light. Tom was then released from police custody.
Throughout the course of this tense hour of drama, it’s confirmed via flashback that Tennant’s character is really quite despicable. Controlling, cruel, manipulative and abusive, he drove his wife to many things – wine, drugs, depression. But did he drive her to murder? Or is the blank-eyed figure of Tom behind it all, just as the police suspect? Was framing Kate one final act of cruelty on his part?
There could well be even more evil up Tom’s sleeve given he’s out now and staying with his mother Carol. Especially since she seemingly turned her back on him when he was inside because of his abusive and bullying behaviour, refusing to visit him and pay for a more expensive brief as he’d demanded. It might be a smart idea for Carol to keep the matches hidden from her bairn just in case.
This penultimate instalment made for compelling drama and – let’s be honest – no one likes a pedant… but having Steve quiz Tom in the interview room must surely be a breach of protocol. The pair are/were best mates, which is undoubtedly a conflict of interests. It turned out it was, but for very different reasons.
The tension was built nicely here for next Friday’s fourth and final quarter of Deadwater Fell. The big question will be who killed the girls and set the blaze. But that’s not quite the same question as who was to blame for it all.
We’ll no doubt get the full story in episode 4.
Did you watch Deadwater Fell episode 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…