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Safe - A propulsive plot will keep you watching

Michael C Hall (centre) and Marc Warren (right) star in Safe
Michael C Hall (centre) and Marc Warren (right) star in Safe
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Gates are useful things, aren’t they? They can keep valuable things in, or keep undesirable elements out.

In the swish gated community where Safe (streaming now, Netflix) is set, it seems everyone lives behind their own set of gates, hiding secrets from view, or keeping people away.
A starry cast keeps the plot running headlong through the eight episodes, all available to watch now.
Surgeon Tom (Dexter star Michael C Hall) is bringing up two daughters in upper middle class luxury, his wife having died some time earlier.
Rebellious older daughter Jenny goes missing after a raucous party, and the rest of the series focuses on Tom’s search for his daughter.
Amanda Abbington is Tom’s love interest – and a local copper – Marc Warren is Tom’s shifty old Army pal, while Audrey Fleurot (from French cop drama Spiral) is the ice-cool glamourpuss of a teacher.
All of them have several skeletons spilling out of their closets, and even the spoilt rich kids on the estate are hiding secret upon secret.
There is a farcical subplot about the difficulties of hiding a body, which doesn’t sit well with the rest of the storyline, which everyone plays deadly straight, while Hall’s British accent is so precise it becomes slightly robotic, and strange to the ear.
It’s wildly uneven, but everything serves the plot, in typical thriller style, and it thunders along without pausing for breath.
And it’s a series made to binge-watch.
Each episode ends with
a ridiculous cliffhanger which propels you on to the next episode with a remorseless, maniacal smile on your face.
So, this weekend, have a lock-in, settle down, and binge.

The Road to Palmyra (BBC4, Monday, 9pm) was an absorbing documentary on the destruction of the ancient Syrian city, which highlighted the barbarism – on all sides – of the current conflict.

Want a glossy US drama that doesn’t speak to down to you, has intelligence, wit and great performances? Catch up with The Good Fight (All4, on demand). It will be worth your while.