Review: Joanne Froggatt can't lift ITV drama Angela Black as it lurches from nuanced drama into thriller-of-the-week territory

One saving grace about this week’s new thriller Angela Black (ITV, Sun, 9pm) was that we didn’t start with the fashionable flashback.
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You know the thing, distressed woman running through woods/dark streets/spooky underpass before we cut to a John Lewis shaker-style kitchen and a caption reads ‘Three weeks earlier’.

However, here were still the dove grey emulsioned units – and suspicious lack of a dishwasher – and there was also the distressed woman.

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In this instance, Joanne Froggatt, who always looks like a falling autumnal leaf would knock her flying, so was perfectly cast as the brittle, vulnerable Angela.

Joanne Froggatt and Michiel Huisman starred in ITV drama Angela BlackJoanne Froggatt and Michiel Huisman starred in ITV drama Angela Black
Joanne Froggatt and Michiel Huisman starred in ITV drama Angela Black

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking she was barely there, such was her wishy-washiness. I guess this could be excused. After all, Angela has spent years being beaten and abused by the bearded batterer at home, so of course she would be timid, scared of her own shadow.

And Froggatt is good at these pale, downtrodden women who fight back – as we’ve seen before in Liar. But that feeling you’ve seen it before is a problem when you’re only one episode into a six-part run and you’re debating whether or not to stick with it. The domestic abuse storyline is delicately handled, but a dark and stormy night arrives and it lurches into a thriller/mystery.

There wasn’t much else to grip you – few hints about dark secrets and some metaphors involving a muzzled dog you can’t trust and a rotting cat in a pothole outside Angela’s modernist home of decaying dreams.

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There will be jump scares, and red herrings, but my guess is that hubby will eventually end up as dog food for the rescue mutts at Angela’s work and the viewers will wonder why they bothered.

Dave is continuing its search for another Taskmaster-sized hit with Question Team (Dave, Tues, 10pm). This first episode was promisingly funny, but let’s see how it does without star guest Bob Mortimer.

Scottish comedy-drama Guilt (BBC2, Thurs, 9pm) is back for a second series and was the best show on TV this week. Darkly comic, satisfyingly knotty, with terrific performances, it’s a triumph.

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