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What Remains

What Remains

Sun Sep 1, 9-10pm, BBC2

By Phil Harrison
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Episode two
‘Gestalt’ seems to be the theme of tonight’s second episode of this murder mystery. David Threlfall’s Detective Inspector Len Harper translates it as being greater than the sum of our parts. It’s the name of the design company belonging to lipstick lesbians Peggy and Elaine. And it’s surely also a comment on the alienation and atomisation of city life which appears to be series creator Tony Basgallop’s main preoccupation here.

No one in this gloomy old house is very comfortable, either in their relationships or in their own skin. So when Michael throws a drinks party (with an apparent ulterior motive), it’s an uncomfortable affair. Gradually, Basgallop is pointing the finger at everyone in the house. And this becomes a slight problem; ‘What Remains’ is getting slightly carried away with its own self-conscious moodiness. Elaine, for example, is too loathsome to be believable, a one-dimensional bully. Mr Sellers might as well have ‘predator’ tattooed on his forehead. Adam is a manipulative creep.

In short, everyone’s up to something and none of it appears to be good. Maybe ‘What Remains’ needs to offer us some light to go with the shade.
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