A new psychological thriller on BBC One tackles motherhood, social media and how life often isn’t what it seems.
“I’ve decided it’s time to let you in on a little secret, we didn’t plan to have another child. This our oops baby.”
So begins gripping new BBC drama, The Secrets She Keeps. The six-part psychological thriller came out in Australia earlier this year, and busts open the myth of the ‘perfect’ life. You know the one: we see it splashed all over social media every day.
It centres on two women who are both heavily pregnant. Meghan (Jessica De Gouw who was in The Crown and The Hunting) the one having the accidental baby, is a mummy blogger, and expecting her third child. She lives in a gorgeous house in a rich Sydney suburb, with her handsome husband Jack a sports reporter. But it’s soon apparent that their relationship is a rocky place to be walking through, and their money woes don’t help matters either.
That doesn’t stop Agatha (Laura Carmichael who played Lady Edith Crawley in Downton Abbey), who works in a local supermarket, developing an obsession with Meghan. Especially as they’re both expecting around the same time. Agatha is a troubled and lonely soul. We learn she previously lost a baby girl at 32 weeks which she’s struggling to get over, and her ex-boyfriend is at sea. Agatha is socially awkward, messy and disconnected from her family and Laura Carmichael is particularly skilled at ensuring you feel sorry for her, while also acknowledging there’s something unnerving and unlikeable unravelling in her. Something that she thinks would be soothed by having Meghan’s perfect life.
It’s worth noting that the story is also adapted from the book of the same name, written in 2017, by Michael Robotham. That was, in turn, inspired by the real life kidnapping of baby Abbie Humphries from a hospital in Nottingham in 1994.
The Secrets She Keeps has plenty of twists - some a little obvious, others quite stressful - that will appeal to viewers who like their thrillers kept pacey. But it’s how this series tackles class, pregnancy and womens’ varied reactions to it, the lies that are spun for self-preservation and how life is depicted publicly and performatively, that make it particularly watchable.
In fact before I’d realised what I was doing I was watching episode two, within seconds of the credits for episode one rolling.
You can watch the trailer here…
The Secrest She Keeps is on BBC One on Monday 6 July at 9pm. All episodes will be on iPlayer after episode one.
Images: BBC One