‘Mrs Wilson’

Ruth Wilson (TV’s Luther, The Affair) plays her real-life grandmother Alison Wilson in this surprisingly pedestrian miniseries of deception, fraud and lies.

On the sudden death of husband Alex (Iain Glen – TV’s Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) after 20 years of marriage, Alison discovers her counter-intelligence officer husband is not who he has claimed to be. Their semi-detached Ealing home with two teenage sons appears to be only one of his family life – with startling evidence suggesting two or even three other wives and many sons. And those undercover jobs – including time in prison for theft – may also be lies. Alison Wilson, herself having worked with Alex in counter-intelligence during the war, looks to find the truth, starting with their former boss and Alex’s handler, Fiona Shaw (TV’s Killing Eve, True Blood).

Interestingly, more than 50 years after Alex Wilson’s death, his files with the British Secret Service remain closed. It’s an enthralling story. Yet, populated by distinctly cold and unlikeable characters, Mrs Wilson fails to do justice to the enigma. Time narratives are fractured to keep the thrill of discovery – from pre-war India to 1963 Wensleydale. But for Alison it’s all something of a dour grudge as more and more secrets are revealed.

Rating: 57%

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