Tonight marks the HBO premiere of Five Days, a chilling missing-person drama from HBO and the BBC. In the first 15 minutes of this five-episode film, a young mother of three is mysteriously kidnapped from a roadside flower stand while her two young kids wait in the family car. By the half-hour mark, the kids are gone too.
Each episode of Five Days encompasses 24 hours of the investigation and heartache, with the final part occurring nearly three months after the abduction. HBO debuts each episode Tuesday at 8pm, with airings online and on demand as well. (The BBC aired Five Days twice this year, from January through April.)
The first part, “Day One,” feels like a BBC television drama: quiet, understated, patient. The story develops quickly but the filmmakers leave it to the viewers to connect the characters and the dots — if you like that sort of forced engagement in your TV dramas, you’ll like this. Throughout are issues of a mixed-race marriage, stepchildren, fidelity, police procedure and the purpose of the press.
Don’t plan on a 24-style structure. The second episode takes place on Day 3; the third episode on Day 28. In an HBO.com interview, writer Gwyneth Hughes says “I thought it would be quite exciting and interesting for the audience to be challenged to work out for itself what had been going on between episodes.”
CAST: Janet McTeer (left, Tumbleweeds, Terry Gilliam’s Tideland), David Oyelowo (Dr. Junju in The Last King of Scotland), Hugh Bonneville (Stage Beauty)
DIRECTORS: Otto Bathurst (British TV hit Hustle), Simon Curtis
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