Should I Try It: The Woman in the Wall

Ruth Wilson leads the cast of this new murder mystery originally created for BBC One and now airing on Showtime.

Ruth Wilson as Lorna in THE WOMAN IN THE WALL, “Back to Life.” Photo Credit: Chris Barr/BBC/Paramount+ with SHOWTIME.
Ruth Wilson as Lorna in THE WOMAN IN THE WALL, “Back to Life.” Photo Credit: Chris Barr/BBC/Paramount+ with SHOWTIME. /
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Welcome to 2024. We’ve made it halfway through January and we’re seeing a steady flow of new shows. But with all the content that’s available in this era of shows, movies, and streaming options, it can be daunting to know what’s worth your time. Don’t worry, this series is here to help. If you’re struggling to decide if a show is worth checking out, look at the details below and decide if it piques your interest.

Series: The Woman in the Wall

Where to Find It: Episodes air Sundays on Showtime and stream the preceding Friday on Paramount+

What’s It About: This six-episode murder mystery was originally created by Joe Murtagh for BBC One. The entire six-episode series aired in the U.K. in August and now is making its domestic debut Sundays on Showtime. It kicked off its run on Sunday, January 21 in the United States.

The series focuses on a woman named Lorna (Ruth Wilson) who is struggling to get through her life. She also has terrible visions and nightmares owing to her time in Ireland’s controversial Magdalene Laundries, and she’s not alone. Many in her small town have similar stories. But Lorna seems to be struggling with lost time, coming to in places and not knowing how she got there.

One morning, she awakes and discovers a dead body in her house. She doesn’t know how it happened or what her role is in it, but she decides it’s best not to let that information out. At the same time, a priest who tortured many at the Magdalene Laundries turns up dead in his home. So, a detective (Daryl McCormack) follows the trail to Lorna’s town and begins poking around. Could she have done it? Could the body in her house be related?

You Should Try It If: You’re a fan of Wilson and McCormack, like a good murder mystery, or are interested in something a bit dark and supernatural.

One Man’s Opinion of The Woman in the Wall

I have been a fan of Wilson since I first saw her on Luther. Here, she’s playing another complicated and complex character. There’s a dark supernatural element to the pilot that is meant to deepen the mystery. That works to some extent, though I think it would play better if you understood more of the history of the Magdalene Laundries. I had to look it up, getting something of an idea, but doubtless an audience who remembered or experienced it would have a deeper connection.

The pilot does a lot to build up the world and introduce some of the players. I like McCormack, but we don’t get a great feel for his character in the early going. Perhaps that will deepen as we dive more into the series. As a result, the pilot episode feels dry at times.

It’s only a six-episode series, so the answers and action should pick up. I like the general idea and the casting here, at least enough to give it some time. If you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll likely be drawn to this. But if you’re not a fan of these stories or the region, this might not offer enough to hold your attention.

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