When a work party ends with the death of the new boss, a group of five friends find themselves in the midst of the investigation when a drunken prank goes awry. They swear a pact of silence about what happened in the woods that night, however, it’s only a matter of time until their secret is discovered.
Created by Pete McTighe (Doctor Who, A Discovery of Witches, Glitch), this work is the archetypal primetime crime drama audiences have come to expect in recent years. The first two episodes in this six-part series are full of intriguing twists that hint at there being much more going on under the surface than viewers are led to believe. Blackmail, familial conflicts and workplace tensions are just some of the pieces in play at this early stage – and there’s bound to be plenty more surprises in store. How these pieces come together, though, remains to be seen.
Alongside the investigation, this Welsh drama weaves a story of family and friendship within its central characters. Starring the wonderful Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) alongside Julie Hesmondhalgh (Broadchurch), Heledd Gwynn, Eiry Thomas and Abbie Hern, The Pact is fronted by an exceptionally talented female-led cast who ensure their characters stay engaging and relatable throughout – even if the writing is a tad shaky at times. The opening episodes are at their best when they step aside from the mystery to focus on the impact the events have had on those involved. If the show can effectively build upon the foundations it has established to this point, the payoff could be memorable.
There is undoubtedly plenty of potential for McTighe’s latest endeavour to become an engrossing thriller, but there are a handful of peculiar stylistic and dialogue choices scattered throughout that momentarily break the tension. Of course, none of this matters if the solution to this mystery cannot satisfy the burning questions that have been raised (another Line of Duty finale is the last thing viewers want). Nevertheless, there is enough intrigue created to encourage viewers to follow this rabbit hole a little further to see where it leads.
The Pact is released on BBC on the 17th May 2021.
Watch the trailer for The Pact here: