The Missing, episode 3 - review: Chilling drama presents one of the most unsettling images of the year

The mystery deepens as we are drip fed just a little more information

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The Independent Culture

If you were hoping for answers this week, then you would be disappointed. The mood remains as dark as ever in The Missing as the audience is hit with more questions.

It is challenging to watch. Just like grieving father Tony, viewers are thrown scraps of information. But only enough to whet our appetites for the next instalment.

The closing shot of a boy silently screaming out for help before a faceless figure hastily pulls him into the darkness is one the most unsettling images to have graced our screens this year. It’s an image that will send chills down the spine of every parent watching.

The Missing was never going to be an easy watch. It cuts close to the bone: we’ve seen countless news reports of distraught parents appealing for help. There are echoes of the Madeleine McCann and even the April Jones’ cases which makes this series so realistic.  

Compared to something like Broadchurch, which became more of a whodunit with a roster of suspects, The Missing is much more multi-layered and puzzling.

The writing is a lot stronger than the ITV drama, it delves deeper into the effects of bereavement over a period of time. We are witnessing two timelines playing out simultaneously. At times it is difficult to follow but that does not make it any less compelling.

The international cast are great and really bring this story to life but it’s James Nesbitt who holds it all together. His portrayal as the dogged father wrestling with guilt and grief is powerful stuff.

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