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The Secret is a new ITV mini drama series based on the chilling true story of a couple, whose affair results in a disturbing double murder. James Nesbitt plays lead role Colin Howell, a respected man in the community of Coleraine who begins an affair with Sunday school teacher, Hazel Buchanan (Genevieve O’Reily).

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The opening of The Secret starts off in 1990 and is centred around respectable dentist and pillar of the community Colin Howell, a very religious man with a seemingly ordinary family life and Sunday school teacher Hazel Buchanan, a very quiet member of the community and mother of two.

The episode then begins to turn dark very quickly as the pair go on a church trip to the local swimming pool together and Colin displays unsettling sexual behaviour towards Hazel, showing a tiny glimpse of Colin’s real character. Soon after this first encounter, the pair then quickly begin a full blown affair.

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Shortly after, Colin and Hazel’s secret is exposed by a member of the Baptist church, resulting in devastation in both marriages. However, after counseling sessions with the pastor and the pair being accepted back into the church after ‘redeeming’ their sin, the matter is seemingly resolved.

Things then turn sour again as Colin and Hazel continue their affair, and the fall out of their actions spiral all over again. This time, taking a much darker and sinister turn with James Nesbitt playing his role exceptionally well, portraying an extremely dark and complex character that makes your spine tingle with fear and leaves you with a very unnerving feeling.

Overall, the opening episode of The Secret was very dark and gripping, but displayed a strange contrasting mix of at points being very slow to escalating extremely quickly, something which, at times, made for a fairly confusing watch. But nevertheless, the story line absorbs all of your attention and keeps you hooked with the dark twists and turns of the plot.



Dir: Nick Murphy

Scr: Stuart Urban

Cast: James Nesbitt, Genevieve O’Reily, Katherine Kingsley, Summer Moore, Jason Watkins

Prd: Jonathan Curling

Country: UK

Runtime: 60 Minutes

Year: 2016


The Secret Fridays on ITV1 at 9:00pm.