Don't miss the hard-hitting drama, The House Across the Street

The House Across the Street (Monday & Tuesday, Channel 5, 9pm)

Channel 5 is quickly becoming the place to go for hard-hitting dramas.

Following hot on the heels of true-crime series Maxine comes this psychological thriller, formerly called The Winter Child, written by White House Farm creator Giula Sandler.

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It follows Claudia, a lonely single mother, who, overlooked by her community and unable to get through to her son, longs for connection.

Her opportunity comes when a young local child – Emily Winter – goes missing.

Claudia becomes embroiled in the case, leading search efforts, and fixating on uncovering the truth herself.

She finds herself connected to more than one suspect: her ex-husband Leon, aggressive neighbour Dave and his overly-earnest wife Joanne, and secretive teacher George, who has recently moved to the area.

Her fascination quickly turns to obsession, not only with Emily, but also with the girl’s family at the heart of the case, including her handsome and grief-stricken father Owen, her cold mother Sabine and her 12-year-old brother Dean.

As Claudia’s compulsive investigation gets out of hand, she uncovers an even darker truth hiding in the house across the street.

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Leading the cast as Claudia is Shirley Henderson, who is perhaps best known for her role as Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies, and also played villain Frances Drummond in the hit drama series Happy Valley and Siobhan in 2020 drama The Nest.

The 56-year-old Scot has also had an impressive film career, starring in Trainspotting, Bridget Jones’s Diary, 24 Hour Party People and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as other Worzel Gummidge, Jamaica Inn, Hamish Macbeth and The ABC murders on the small screen.

She is joined in the cast by Craig Parkinson who plays George.

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The actor had us all gripped when he played DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan in hit police series Line of Duty, while his other TV credits include Doctor Who, Sandylands, Intergalactic. Life and Death in The Warehouse, The English Game, Outlaws, Whitechapel and Misfits .

The House Across The Street also features a large and strong ensemble cast – Emily’s heartbroken parents, Owen and Sabine, are played by Ian-Lloyd Anderson and Lisa Dwyer Hogg.

Meanwhile, Sara Powell plays their neighbour Joanne alongside Ronan Leahy as her husband Dave.

Luke Griffin plays Leon, Claudia’s estranged husband, while newcomers Myah Mason and Calum Jess play siblings Emily and Dean Winter.

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The House Across the Street: Owen, Sabine, Claudia, George and Joanne

Caleb Wilson appears as Claudia’s son Rhys while Eddie Brett, Francesca Europa, Niamh McCann and Danielle Ryan round up the cast.

In tonight’s opener (the second episode is being shown tomorrow), Claudia, recovering from cancer and sharing custody of her 12-year-old son Rhys, is working as a primary school nurse and struggling to find meaning in her life.

She tries in vain to help Imogen, a little girl she fears is being mistreated at home, but when she stumbles upon a search for five-year-old Emily Winter, who’s gone missing from the playground on her street, Claudia is inescapably drawn to the girl’s parents Owen and Sabine.

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As Claudia’s involvement and obsession with the case grows, she forges a relationship with George, an English teacher at her school, and finds herself in the midst of a deepening mystery.