Requiem: Matilda
February 13, 2018 4:47 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Cellist Matilda Grey finds a box at her mother's house containing press cuttings regarding the disappearance of a little girl, Carys Howell, twenty-four years earlier in the Welsh village of Penllynith. Accompanied by her friend Hal Fine she travels to the village to unravel the threads of her past.

[This is the first episode of a six-episode series that is now available in its entirety on BBC iPlayer and is scheduled to arrive on Netflix later this year.]

Kris Mrksa, the show's writer and creator is interviewed here and here [mild spoilers at both links].

The unsettling show is inspired by psychological horror films including The Innocents, Don't Look Now, The Wicker Man, and Roman Polanski's trilogy of horror films Repulsion, The Tenant, and Rosemary's Baby.

Unsurprisingly for a horror-themed show whose protagonist is a classical musician, the score is haunting and excellent.
posted by chappell, ambrose (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I love psychological horror, and when I saw this post, the show sounded right up my alley, so I just watched episode one and quite enjoyed it. Thanks for posting this -- I don't think I would even have heard of the show otherwise.

I don't understand why it took Matilda so long to clue in that she was Carys though. And her approaching Carys' mother like that was a terrible idea. I know she's just been through a traumatic loss, but still. Hal should have tried to talk her out of it.
posted by orange swan at 6:54 PM on February 17, 2018

I’d be interested to hear your reaction to the later episodes - I found that the whole texture of the show changed over its run, and while the first couple of episodes felt like quite standard “gritty BBC drama with nice scenery” it becomes something quite different and more interesting as it hits its stride and starts to show its influences.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 1:00 PM on February 18, 2018

Unfortunately, I liked it less as I went along. The plotting really frustrated me. Matilda went about discovering the truth in the most backwards way possible. What she should have done is do what Hal did: begin by digging into her own past, something she could have done without upsetting anyone and without running into any legal roadblocks, as she would have the right to access her own records. She would have soon had something substantial she could show the police to prove that she was Carys and then she would have been reunited with her birth mother, and had the assistance of both her birth mother and the police in figuring out what had actually happened. It felt as though they had her make a unnecessary mess of things on purpose just to cause drama and drive the action and it felt very contrived.

I am still open to watching a second season, if there is one. The conflict between her and her mother and the police has been resolved, so the poor plotting from this season would no rollover effect on the second.
posted by orange swan at 3:48 PM on February 25, 2018

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