The Widower Reece Shearsmith Makes Episode 2 Captivating

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The Widower, Reece Shearsmith, has rescued the show’s second epsiode, making it captivating to viewers. He played the confused, demon-stricken real-life Webster convincingly. It’s hard to understand the motives that drive someone to kill, but Reece is doing a tremendous job at communicating those to the audience.

The Widower

Rubbery of features, squinty of gaze, The Widower’s (ITV) Malcolm Webster (Reece Shearsmith) truly was a horrible little man – Mr Bean crossed with Hannibal Lecter. As he prepared to kill his second wife by burning the house down, you couldn’t say which stood out more – his cooly homicidal tendencies or exquisitely geeky polo-shirts.

Rather feverishly adapted from the case of real life “black widower” Webster (currently staring into the business end of a 30-year prison sentence for the crimes documented on screen), episode two of the three-part dramatisation was rescued by Shearsmith. Though the pacing dragged and the story unfolded with grim predictability, the former League of Gentleman star slicked up the screen with slithery menace.

After dispatching his first wife last week, he was living in New Zealand and planning to dispose of spouse number two, Felicity (Kate Fleetwood), by medicating her and blowing up her car (his earlier arson attempt was foiled by a crying baby). However he was rumbled by suspicious in-laws and promptly flounced home to Scotland – offended, it appeared, by Felicity’s refusal to do the decent thing and die.

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The Widower Reece Shearsmith has made show believable. I’m sure all its viewers will return for the final episode next week. ITV is truly shining in terms of dramas and excellent actors this year.

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