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Review of After the Flood - a surprisingly captivating disaster film.
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Review of After the Flood – a surprisingly captivating disaster film.


To be frank, I wasn’t expecting much from the new six-episode series After the Flood. ITV shows can be hit or miss – though they have been improving, it’s still not a guarantee that you’ll have a worthwhile viewing experience. The promotions for this one made it seem like just another detective show, but with a water-themed twist.

The beginning of the story does not give me much hope, as it is filled with excessive water due to a river overflowing and flooding the nearby town. The local police quickly take action, with their sergeant (Nicholas Gleaves) stating their determination to help. This raises concerns about the effectiveness of the script and the town’s chances of survival. Soon, officers Joanna Marshall (Sophie Rundle) and Deepa Das (Tripti Tripuraneni) struggle to save an infant from being swept away by the flood (a task that should not be attempted without a Hollywood budget; the flood is not as dramatic as it should be and the baby appears too fake). However, they are rescued both figuratively and literally when a stranger jumps in and saves the baby before being carried away himself. Days pass and Jo begins to believe that he has drowned.

After the intense reveal that Jo is pregnant on her last day of active duty, the show After the Flood becomes even better. It delves into the aftermath of the disaster, introducing us to the local people and portraying the town and relationships in a realistic and convincing manner. The inclusion of talented actors like Lorraine Ashbourne (who shines as always as Jo’s widowed mother, Molly), Philip Glenister (currently playing a helpful resident with a tractor, but likely to have a bigger role), and Rundle adds depth to the cast. Even minor characters, such as an elderly couple who turn down Jo’s offer of assistance and instead discuss their preparations for the flood and their health issues, are portrayed believably. The community is perfectly depicted and the impending murder mystery is not even necessary to keep viewers engaged.

A murder mystery unfolds as a man’s body is found in a flooded elevator in an underground parking lot. Initial assumptions are challenged when the postmortem reveals that the man had been dead for three days before the flood. Jo, the first responder, becomes intrigued by the case and remains invested despite a surprising twist. The episode ends with a suspenseful cliffhanger, leaving viewers eager for the next installment. The series confidently follows a traditional release schedule, allowing for anticipation to build. January is an ideal time for delayed satisfaction.

The underlying issue is the global climate crisis. After the Flood explores how major worldwide changes impact individuals on a smaller scale. The local official’s lack of action when confronted (mostly by Molly – do not underestimate a crucial member of the community who is trying to cope with grief) about the insufficient resources like sandbags and sirens that could have lessened the dangers, reflects the international apathy towards a potential planetary disaster. The unfortunate failure of an elderly couple’s preparations highlights the limitations of what we, as individuals or countries, can do. This message could be disheartening enough to drive viewers away from the show, if it weren’t for the engaging plot and well-developed characters, and the added bonus of feeling pleasantly surprised by something even better than expected.

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Source: theguardian.com