THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTINE

23:08:17

This was an Inside Number 9 (Series 2: Episode 2) that we watched as a supporting feature to Wake Wood.

Christine (Sheridan Smith), dressed as a saucy nun, brings a fireman called Adam (Tom Riley) home from a New Year’s Eve party to the flat she shares with uptight Fung (Stacy Liu). Then the DNA helix of her life starts to inexplicably unravel, the connections become tangled and she transits from one perfectly pitched vignette to the next.

Before long Adam the fireman is asking where to put his CDs when he moves in? Then a baby is born. Then it’s her 30th birthday party and her dad is there along with other family members, but Alzheimer’s has left him inert. Then Adam leaves her. Then Dad turns up again to offer her solace, but this time he can speak coherently. Then…

‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me Mum, I’m getting everything jumbled up’.

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We can’t fathom how these things connect and why we’re rushing headlong through this disarranged life. All the time in the background, turning up at incongruous moments and infiltrating the story is a weird stranger in a plastic rain mac (Reece Shearsmith).

Again the twist at the end is a collision of all that’s gone before and Christine’s destiny is revealed.

Worth watching twice. Firstly to enjoy the story as it stands. Secondly to fit each piece together and tie them into the end.

The 12 Days of Christine on the BBC iPlayer

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DIDDLE DIDDLE DUMPLING

14:03:17

This was an Inside Number 9 episode that we watched as a supporting feature to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

There was a lot to like here. The suburban setting for example, kid’s pictures on fridges and meticulously polished floors. Professional people home from work living their domestic half-lives. Spacious rooms and perfectly placed furniture. Perfectly cooked meals on a glass table top with large glasses of wine. A smooth surface with no ripples, until…

David (Reece Shearsmith) finds a single size 9 shoe on a grass verge near his house on the way home from a jog. From then on his life becomes devoted to finding the owner. In a life where symmetry is the central motif like it’s directed by Peter Greenaway, this odd asymmetrical spanner in the works knocks David and Louise’s (Keely Hawes) world off its axis.

At the end of the half hour we find out why.

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Beautifully made with a keen attention to detail, the series harks back to the programmes we watched as kids. Things like Tales of the Unexpected, where each episode carried a common theme and style all the way through, yet each was an entity in itself.

Written by Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton we loved this. Short and snappy, but riveting and intriguing at the same time. You know there’s always a twist at the end, but which way will it twist? They clearly watch the same sort of films as we do.

Anyone lost a shoe?

Diddle Diddle Dumpling on the BBC iPlayer

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