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.

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
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.

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders