Spoiler free post.
This year has been sort of slim-pickings for me in terms of new shows and new onscreen obsessions. I have dropped many of my previous shows, and picked up only a few and it has been quite liberating to have less TV time during the week. But when I saw a summary of Thirteen, a new British mini-series, I was all in before I even saw the first episode.
Total number of episodes: Five
Writer: Marine Dickens
Directors: Vanessa Caswill & China Moo-Young
Based on: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
26-year-old Ivy Moxam steps out of an ordinary house, on an ordinary street, on an ordinary day. Ivy hasn’t been seen for thirteen years, she was kidnapped in 2003 at the age of thirteen. –IMDb
That sums up the series in the most minimal way possible and since it’s such a short series, there’s no point in describing the plot any further. I would like to say one thing though, and that is a praise for a minimal approach. American TV often likes to make things shinier and more… everything really, while the British do the same thing with less shenanigans which is what I love about Thirteen.
Ivy Moxam portrayed by Jodie Comer
Jodie Comer is an actress who I know from My Mad Fat Diary and she surprised me a lot by portraying Ivy Moxam. She comes off believable as a person who has been locked up for 13 years. She is strange, a little bit crazy but also vulnerable and weak. There is a mystery to her as well, which is what fascinates me the most and I can’t wait to find out what lies under the surface.
DI Elliot Carne portrayed by Richard Rankin
As far as accents go, Richard Rankin is amazing to listen to which is why I like his character. Though not just because of that, but because Elliot Carne develops a certain personal relationship with Ivy.
DS Lisa Merchant portrayed by Valene Kane
Working together with Elliot, Valene Kane’s Lisa has great chemistry with him and with Ivy as well. She is more level headed, and not so quick to believe Ivy’s stories, which makes her a little more professional than her partner.
Angus & Christine Moxam portrayed by Stuart Graham & Natasha Little
The parents of Ivy Moxam are an interesting combo of a man and a woman who have stopped loving each other. Angus already has a new woman in his life, and since Ivy’s return, he has to move back home and pretend everything is fine – which he doesn’t really want to do. Christine is far from happy herself, trying to hold everything together for Ivy while everything is falling apart. She of course is fully committed to protecting the daughter she had lost for 13 years.
What I love about British television in general, especially about its crime shows, is the fact that it’s always a little gray. It goes together well with the theme of the series, something mysterious and bad, tempting almost.
Also, there are a lot of supporting characters that make the series more interesting. There’s the ex-boyfriend, who shows up for support. And then, of course, there’s the man behind the kidnapping itself – just a name at first, but who knows, maybe he will show up again before the end.
The series finale is scheduled to premier on the 27th of March.