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Hunderby

Hunderby

Sat Jan 19, 9-10pm, Sky Atlantic

By Gabriel Tate
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Series one, episode one
Doomed romance, bad luck and sexual confusion are hallmarks of the work of both Daphne Du Maurier and Julia Davis, so this sordid eight-part marriage of the two feels entirely natural. As a homage to ‘Rebecca’ and the like, ‘Hunderby’ is sublime: the turns of phrase are deft, the performances both arch and loaded with menace, and the wider production impeccably detailed. Importantly, however, room is also made for a cock-n-balls gag. Davis herself is Mrs Danvers surrogate Dorothy, pining after her late mistress (whose ‘broken mound was as smooth as ham’) and scheming against her new one, Helene (Alexandra Roach, doe-eyed and gauche), the shipwreck survivor courted by uptight pastor Edmund (Alex McQueen). Claustrophobic and grimly hilarious in the manner of Davis’s best work, this is a triumphant opener for an award-winning series. If you missed it first time round, don’t make the same mistake again.
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