The Holiday takes viewers on a twisty trip

Tuesday:The Holiday; (Channel 5, 9pm)

Following the recent success of The Teacher starring Sheridan Smith, Channel 5 is bringing us another four-part drama stripped across consecutive evenings.

Speaking of Sheridan, like her current ITV drama No Return, The Holiday concentrates on a dream vacation that goes awry, although that is largely where the similarities end.

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Based on T.M. Logan’s bestseller of the same name, The Holiday stars Jill Halfpenny as Kate, a police officer who hopes to leave the pressures of the job behind when she goes to Malta with her husband Sean (Owen McDonell), teenage daughter Lucy (Lara McDonnell) and her young son Daniel (Aidan McCann).

She’s joined by two old university mates, Rowan (Siobhan Hewlett) and Jenny (Liv Mjönes), and their husbands, and their cool singleton friend Izzy (Cat Simmons).

The break starts to seem a lot less relaxing when Kate finds messages on Sean’s phone from someone called CoralGirl, leading her to suspect him of having an affair.

She’s so preoccupied with this possible betrayal, she fails to notice that Lucy seems to be caught up in a mystery of her own involving Jenny’s son Jake (Shaun O’Callaghan Wade).

Could this holiday lead to Kate’s life falling apart – and is someone prepared to kill to protect their secrets?

Jill Halfpenny certainly thinks the drama will hook viewers. She says: “Lots of people I know had read the book, and so I read it and really enjoyed it.

“Thrillers are always fun to shoot and I like the idea of an audience trying to work things out all the time – one minute you trust someone, then you hate them, then you like them…”

The actress, who started her career on children’s drama Byker Grove before transitioning to adult roles in Coronation Street, EastEnders, Waterloo Road, In the Club and The Drowning, admits even she had mixed feelings about her own character.

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She laughs: “I think [Kate] handles her situation really weirdly at times. I know it wouldn’t be dramatic or suitable for a thriller, but sometimes I just want to shake her and say, ‘Just talk to your husband, ask him the question you want answered!’ But she doesn’t, she’s just observing and holding back.

“When I was a kid, I used to watch Fawlty Towers but I couldn’t grasp the concept of farce. So, I would get so frustrated with Basil, and I feel a little bit like that with Kate. I’m so blunt, I would immediately ask him about the texts!”

However, she does understand why her character holds back: “Sometimes even if you are very suspicious about something, there is a part of you that doesn’t want to believe it’s true and you would rather not know because it’s less painful. If she stays quiet, then at least there’s always a chance it might not be true.”

But as detective Kate tries to use her skills to find out what her husband has been up to, the case takes a twist and viewers will also be left wanting answers. So, it’s a good job the next episode can be seen tomorrow.

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