New four-part psychological thriller The Catch

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The Catch (Channel 5, 9pm)

Even if you don’t immediately recognise actor Jason Watkins’ name, you’ll know his face.

Over the past decade, he’s become one of British TV’s most in-demand actors. He won a Bafta for his performance in the title role of the 2014 drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries, has played former Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and Winston Churchill in The Crown and SAS Rogue Heroes respectively, and been one half of the detective duo McDonald & Dodds.

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So, he’s clearly a man with an eye for an interesting script and an acting challenge, which is what drew him to Channel 5’s new four-part psychological thriller The Catch.

Jason says: “I’ve always loved thrillers on screen and The Catch has all the ingredients to keep audiences hooked. Three dimensional characters, a family unit under stress, with a tragedy at the heart – all brilliantly framed in the thriller genre.

“I’m always looking for parts I may not have played before and Ed is a person in extremis, trying to do what’s best. Failing and succeeding in equal measure. It’s great to play a character so buffeted by events.”

It probably didn’t hurt that he’s also working with a great supporting cast that includes Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker and Aneurin Barnard, whose credits include Cilla, Dunkirk and Peaky Blinders.

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Aneurin is certainly excited about The Catch, saying: “There is such a wonderful group of talented people making this drama thriller. It’s so great to work in a calm environment with people who love story telling as much as I do.

“The script has a wonderful intensity which will deliver a gripping drama for audiences. The cast has a very close chemistry, which I hope delivers on the screen.”

We’ll get to find out if it does in this opening episode, which introduces viewers to fisherman Ed Collier (Watkins), who is struggling to keep his head above water when rivals start stealing his business.

His homelife is also threatened when his daughter Abbie (Poppy Gilbert) brings home her new boyfriend. On the surface, Ryan (Barnard) is perfect son-in-law material as he’s young, successful and rich, but Ed is instantly wary.

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His wife Claire (Cathy Belton) puts it down to Ed’s over-protectiveness – since losing his son in a boating accident 15 years earlier, the grieving dad has tried to keep his daughter close. However, Ed is determined to follow his gut, and begins digging into the newcomers’s past, and he grows even more suspicious when he struggles to find any record of Ryan online before 2018.

After Claire warns him that if he keeps trying to find fault with Ryan, he risks pushing Abbie away, Ed agrees to stop digging.

However, after his boat is deliberately sabotaged and he discovers that his daughter is considering giving up on her plans to study abroad so she can move in with her boyfriend, Ed becomes desperate.

An incriminating phone call seems to give him the ammunition he needs to discredit Ryan, but does he risk making everything worse?

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