The Widower: Ep. 1

“Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you. If you don’t bet, you can’t win.”

Robert A. Heinlein

Today, the first episode of another one of ITV’s cheerful little three-part dramas is up for discussion.

Hurrah.

So The Widower follows a male nurse, Malcolm, who marries Claire, a woman who keeps nagging him about money. To shut her up, he takes to drugging her, and eventually murders her. (Look, the spoiler’s in the title.) This is bad enough – but towards the end of the episode it begins to look as though he might be making a career out of it…

Like I said, cheerful.

By the standards of ITV dramas, though, it’s rather good, claustrophobic and shadowy and full of the quiet, creeping horror of an unassuming madman charming and manipulating his way into funding a lifestyle fundamentally incompatible with his income. Malcolm is scary simply because he looks like he shouldn’t be, and his slow descent into madness is very watchable. I may well be back for more next week.

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