REVIEW : The big momma, top dog, head honcho, big cheese

The title sequence for She's Out (ITV) is very odd indeed - a series of shock zooms on blown-up newsprint photographs (very Seventies indeed) which then gives way to a semi-circle of women on horseback. Dolly Rawlins is wearing Butch Cassidy's hat and has one arm raised in the air, as if she's rallying her gang for a cavalry charge. What on earth are we meant to make of this? Are the women East End valkyries or outlaws with lipstick? Are they planning to mount a series of daring horseback raids on Securicor vans or is this just a hobby, their way of winding down after another hard day stealing a living?

The mystery wasn't exactly cleared up by the first episode, which did contain a passing reference to stables but which was otherwise largely taken up with Dolly's release from Holloway. Her fellow inmates bang her out with prison-issue cutlery, a tribute to her poised superiority ("They call her the big momma, the top dog"). Even the governor is a bit cut up, confessing that Dolly's been "a constant source of strength and encouragement". Ann Mitchell takes these compliments stoically, breaking her mask of impassive contemplation only for long enough to put the Governor straight about an abusive warder. The scene insists that this is not a woman to be soft soaped.

She isn't expecting to be met when she walks through Holloway's prison gate, but it turns out that there are plenty of people anxious to get in touch with her, principally because they want to know where she put the diamonds. If, like me, you didn't catch all of Widows, you're helped out with the back story by the fact that most of the cast are clutching news clippings, which they obligingly read out now and then. Nine years on, a dodgy policeman is trying to do his mum a favour by putting Dolly back inside, and an ill-assorted group of old lags, or lagettes, have been assembled at a run-down health farm for a first-day-of-freedom reception. "Dolly has no one," explains the icy ring-leader. "We make her trust us - then when we know where they are we screw Dolly Rawlins."

It occurs to you that there might be easier ways to allay Dolly's suspicions than invite her to a dinner party at a remote and derelict country house with a group of people she hardly knows. It further occurs to you that the chief conspirator might have been more sensible to take her for a pleasant dinner at the Dorchester; it would have been a great deal less trouble and she wouldn't have to share the eventual proceeds with her bickering accomplices. Still, the drama is going to need these extra hands, even if the plot doesn't, and in any case the run-down house looks as if it has something more in store for it; "I wanna open a kid's foster home," announces Dolly, "for unwanted children, for young offenders with no place to go, a refuge for battered wives." None of her companions bursts out laughing at this noble ambition, despite the fact that none of them have much of a track record in social worth; which should make Dolly even more suspicious. I have a feeling that they're going to do the show right there.

Cutting Edge's striking documentary about amnesia detailed three case histories of catastrophic memory loss. Since he suffered from a cerebral haemorrhage, John Spencer's past has been only 30 seconds long. He can remember his wartime childhood in rich detail, but nothing in the intervening period exists for him. His conversation is a broken record, circling round to the same opening gambit time after time, which to him is as fresh the 30th time as it was the first. It was a moving image, of a man dabbling in the remnants of a self, unaware that the rest had all leaked away through that mystifying hole in the mind.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer, Lord Alan Sugar, Karren Brady are returning for The Apprentice series 10

TV
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in 'Girl, Interrupted'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?