Run Series 1 Episode 1 (Channel 4) Review

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Since we already know the traditional, week-by-week appointment-viewing method of making and watching TV is dead, courtesy of Netflix, it shouldn’t surprise you that Channel 4 have released their latest hard-hitting drama, Run, to air over four consecutive days. The series will follow four interconnected stories set in the gritty underside of London, with this first episode set in one of the most familiar locations we’ll see over the next couple of days – the London estate.

This introduction to the world of Run has the ever-brilliant Olivia Colman on its side, but otherwise it’s a slightly weak start to what promises to be an interesting concept. Colman plays Carol, the mother of two teenage sons, who must decide what to do when she discovers what they get up to at night. They’re not the most doting of sons, brushing her off when she attempts to cook them dinner or spend time together, but she turns a blind eye when the eldest, clearly destined to become his father, hits his girlfriend within earshot.

Amped up from the domestic, he and his brother end up picking a pointless fight with a passer-by, aggravated when they discover that he’s Polish. Yep, there are few surprises her – not the fault of the writers, as such, it’s just that the subject has been touched on before – and the brothers end up kicking him to death for the simple crime of looking at them funny. It’s not long before Carol puts two and two together and confronts her horrible offspring about the murder, but her decision of whether to turn them in obviously isn’t an easy one.

Colman saves the episode from becoming mediocre, though visceral and violent in its depiction of an unenviable walk of life, and does a cracking bit of acting in the episode’s final moments. The most intriguing thing to be taken from the episode, especially since this will be forgotten come Thursday night, is the interwoven story of Ying, the girl Carol provides stolen phones for. She gets a flat screen television to please the brood and Ying can pay her employer what she ‘owes’ – we’ll have to wait 24-hours before we get the full story.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Run airs on Channel 4 in the UK.