‘The Long Call’ review

  • Director(s): Lee Haven Jones
  • With: Ben Aldridge, Martin Shaw, Dorothy Venn, Pearl Mackie, Amit Shah, Luke Ireland, Nia Gwynne
  • Based upon the book by Ann Cleeves
  • Music by:
  • Number of episodes: 4
  • Duration per episode: 45 minutes
  • My rating: 7,5/10
The Long Call


When a body is found on a beach in North Devon, DI Matthew Venn tackles a case that has no witnesses, no forensics and no motive. Matthew is also dealing with the death of his father and being thrust back into a community he was forced to leave.


Ben Aldridge as DI Matthew Venn, a detective on the case of the murder of Simon Walden. As the case progresses new facts come to light about Walden, but also about the religious community DI Venn once used to be part of, before being cast out due to his lack of belief and his sexual orientation.

For Venn it becomes very difficult to remain objective as his mother, who’s still living in with the Brethren community, is seeking contact again after Venn’s father died. Even a meeting with his husband Jonathan seems like a good step forward.

But then a girl is kidnapped, Rosa. She is also part of the Brethren. Venn is coming to odds with Dennis, the elder of the community and his wife, Grace, who is a scared woman, afraid of everything.

This four part mini-serie, based upon the book of Ann Cleeves, offers us pretty sights of the Bristol coast. And these sights enhance the feeling of loneliness and fear and being locked up in a community that is all but open to the outer world. Aldridge is a great actor, funny I didn’t know him really before this. He reminds me a little of Eric Bana…

The part of Lucy, played by Sarah Gordy, also offers a very realistic insight in the life of people with Down Syndrome and their parents. On the one hand we see an ageing father, all by himself, taking care of a daughter who is not like anybody else and the worries what will happen when he is no longer there to take care of her. On the other hand the girl, or woman, wants to lead her own life, know love and she wants to prove she can take care of herself… and I am sure that in real life these questions are posed and this is a very realistic rendering of the lives of such parents and their children…

And of course the part where religion and being gay don’t really mix… still today this is a huge problem. Today even I saw a message on Instagram where a writer of children’s story had recently released a book where a kid has two dads, in the novel, and the called it propaganda and should not be taught in schools… I shiver when I see that kind of reactions…

Okay, not to stray too much and I don’t want to start a political nor religious debate…

The Long Call is a great mini-series! Typical British, and I love it for it!

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