Anita Dobson discusses her character in drama The Long Call
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The four-part ITV drama told the story of Detective Inspector Matthew Venn (played by Ben Aldridge), who was forced to confront his past as he returned to Devon following the death of his father. Uncovering secrets of the strict religious community where he grew up, a murder keeps him in the local town, where he uses his investigating skills to assist local police. Fans had been enjoying the twists and turns of the drama but during the concluding episode, many blasted the ending.
The Long Call is the third of author Ann Cleeves’ novels to be turned into a TV series, following the likes of Vera, also on ITV, and BBC’s Shetland.
The leader of the cult-like church at the centre of the show was Dennis Stephenson (Martin Shaw).
It seemed the controlling preacher with a dark side would likely be the one behind the killing of Simon Walden, who was trying to help Grace Stephenson (Anita Dobson) escape her manipulative partner.
But during the last 15 minutes, it was unveiled that Grace was in fact the one behind the killing – although Matthew was convinced it was as a result of years of manipulation at the hands of Dennis.
Over the course of show, Matthew’s suspect list grew as the possible motives for murdering Simon became clear.
Many didn’t see the final result coming though, and weren’t sure how to take the answer they’d been waiting for.
The possible suspects seemed to be Christopher Reasley (Neil Morrissey) towards the start of the show because he disagreed with Simon living with his daughter Caroline (Siobhan Cullen).
Simon’s housemates Gaby (Aoife Hinds) and Ed (Amit Shah) also seemed suspicious, and others also slipped onto the radar.
However, Matthew was determined to prove his suspicions that Barum Brethren leader Dennis was the murderer.
It turned out Grace had carried out the murder after being controlled and manipulated by Dennis over the course of a few decades.
Viewers were quick to have their say on the twist, with Simona McKenzie on Twitter writing: “Another twist #Thelongcall.”
Debbie Blackman commented: “I’m not sure about a daft ending as they’ve changed some of the book a bit #TheLongCall.”
Midway through the episode, @Kayleigh_IoT penned “I am enjoying it, but I’m a bit worried about the possibility of a daft ending.”
Echoing this, Melanie Henwood shared: “#TheLongCall @ITV 4 hours of my life I will never get back.”
Meanwhile, others questioned the ending but praised Anita Dobson’s performance.
Baz Watkins penned: “For me personally, not all the plot strands worked on #TheLongCall, the story could have easily lost a few, and perhaps an episode with it.
“However, Anita Dobson’s performance stood out, if this had been a small indie movie, critics would be raving about how award-worthy it was.”
Edwin Petersen agreed, writing: “Safe to say Anita Dobson has still got it! Loved #TheLongCall.”
“Put Anita Dobson in everything @itv #TheLongCall,” Paul Graham requested.
@shawnlunn2002 remarked: “A quietly satisfying finale. Good final killer twist.
“Matthew Venn does make a sympathetic and likable lead character. I assume ITV will likely adapt The Heron’s Cry as well. #TheLongCall.”
The Long Call is available to stream on ITV Hub now.
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