TV Review: Thirteen

“Thirteen” is an epic new drama from BBC Three. Starring Doctor Foster’s breakout star, Jodie Comer as Ivy Moxham, the story follows a 26-year-old woman who has been freed from captivity after 13 years.

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Thus far, four episodes have been released by BBC Three on their new online platform. The first episode sets the scene for a show which will be full of twists and turns. The episode opens with Ivy running for her life from the house where she’s been held for 13 years. After being picked up by police, doubt is planted in the viewers’ minds as it appears Ivy might be lying about her identity or her escape. Eventually her identity is confirmed, so the surprise of her sister, Emma, who is convinced Ivy is not her sister. As gripping as the first episode is, it is filled with some noticeable plot holes. Firstly, the approach of the police seems very odd. They seem to question Ivy as if she is an offender, rather than victim. After it appears she may be lying, they take a very tough approach with Ivy. Something which would surely be very harmful given her mental state after being locked up for 13 years? Despite this, Jodie Comer’s performance shines through. She plays the role perfectly as we see Ivy is effectively a 13-year-old stuck in a 26-year-old’s body.

Each episode ends with an ‘EastEnders-style’ cliffhanger, which keeps us viewers hooked in and desperate to see the next episode. In episode 3, it becomes clear Ivy has been massively deceiving the police, as a body is discovered in the cellar which she had been kept. It is later revealed to be Dylan, the brother of Mark White (Ivy’s abducter). Ivy continues to hold her silence with the police, as they take an unrealistically aggressive approach and even threaten to arrest her for murder if she does not speak. All-in-all it’s a horrendous portrayal of the police and their tactics. However, Jodie Comer once again shines through in a fantastic confession scene with her mother, in which she reveals what happened with Dylan. DS Cairn and Merchant return with the tail between their legs, after realising they should’ve probably taken a softer approach like Ivy’s mother did, and Ivy reveals she had nothing to do with Dylan’s murder, it was in fact a brutal act of Mark White.

Episode 4 ends with another big cliffhanger. Mark White has finally contacted the police, but will only speak with Ivy (whom he calls Allison). He insists he will only speak with her in person, and this sets the scene for the series finale. There’s still many strands to be sewn up including; Tim and Ivy’s relationship, Emma and Craig’s relationship, whether Ivy is still lying and what really happened in that cellar? The CCTV footage of Ivy seeking out Mark White, rather than run for help also has yet to be explained by Ivy. Also, there’s the angle of Phoebe’s abduction. For me, it’s very suggestive that Phoebe might be the child of Ivy and Mark White. Her stroking the TV when Phoebe’s picture came up and proudly exclaiming to her mother that she had had sex before lays the seeds for this reveal. Furthermore, there was an interesting scene in episode 1 with the pregnant family liaison officer, which suggest Ivy may have been pregnant in the past. Make sure you catch episode 5 of “Thirteen”, which is released on Sunday at midday on BBC Three’s website. If you haven’t seen any episodes yet, I would definitely recommend this series!

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