Recently airing on BBC One is The Replacement, a three-part psychological thriller about a woman who goes on maternity leave and becomes increasingly paranoid about the motives of the person who will be replacing her. If you haven’t yet already seen it then get catching up, because this one is worth the watch.

Set in Glasgow, young and successful architect Ellen (Morven Christie) is about to go on maternity leave and the seemingly perfect replacement for her is the older and experienced mother, Paula (Vicky McClure). A powerful personality clash ensues and it’s up to us to decide which one may actually be crazy.

Psychological thrillers don’t come by much on the BBC and it seems to be the hot topic of conversation in the office, so expectations are high. The mini-series gets off to a promising start with a compelling opening episode. The unexpected shock ending leaves you impatiently waiting for the next one.

It may have peaked a little soon though as The Replacement begins to lose pace in the second episode and doesn’t do as much to sustain our attention. It’s not nearly as compelling as the first and it feels like much of the story is being held back for the finale, perhaps a little more could have been revealed.

Morven Christie who plays Ellen, is fantastic as the paranoid working woman who feels the pressure of being replaced whilst on maternity leave. Her portrayal of the character is both very convincing and believable as we watch her grow more suspicious and mistrustful of her maternity cover, Paula.

Is she hiding something? Or is Ellen just paranoid? Vicky McClure also puts on a very respectable performance as Paula, nailing the overly nice, slightly creepy character you nearly always see in something of this genre. Best friend or axe wielding maniac? Only you can decide.

The pace does pick up again in the finale and it’s hard to keep up with all the information that’s thrown at us. The ending is an adrenaline fuelled, race against time, can’t look away from the TV type of ending, however it can only be described as controversial. Frustratingly there’s a few unanswered questions, a lot has to be interpreted ourselves, and not everyone likes to be left guessing.

Nonetheless it’s still worth catching up on BBC iPlayer if you haven’t already seen it, it’s guaranteed entertainment. Anyone who’s actually about to go on maternity leave and looking for cover may want to choose more wisely after watching The Replacement.


Dir: Joe Ahearne

Created by: Joe Ahearne

Featuring: Morven Christie, Vicky McClure