ITV’s new thriller Next of Kin kicked off – with mixed results.
Although a poll of more than 800 RadioTimes.com readers revealed that 69% enjoyed the show, online there has also been an outpouring of criticism and disbelief at the gaping plot holes in episode one. How on earth was Kareem ever going to make it home in time for a party that began even before he got to the airport?!
But still: with strong performances from Archie Panjabi and Jack Davenport as married couple Mona and Guy Harcourt, Next of Kin has sucked some viewers in – and the fan theories have begun.
The first thing to mention is Kareem’s ludicrous flight time from Pakistan. As we wrote in our preview: “It’s a niggling plot hole – and if something so basic doesn’t make sense, will the rest of the drama?” and, sure enough, this strange timeline left viewers confused and irritated.
Somehow, Kareem was meant to make it to the airport in Lahore, through security, take a nine-hour flight, pick up his luggage, go through passport control and get to West London in the space of about 3 hours. His “welcome home” party was under way even before the plane left the runway. This made no sense!
And another weird continuity error – how did Mrs Shirani get stuck in the lift to the flat if it’s actually at ground level…?
The episode opened with the grandmother finding herself trapped and calling Kareem for help before her son-in-law came to the rescue with the engineer. But somehow Mona could walk straight into the flat from ground level, and when the detective came a-knocking to deliver his bad news he was able to march right up to the front door with no fuss.
Does Next of Kin take place in another dimension where the rules of space and time are different?
Some were also unhappy about the way this Muslim family was represented on screen – particular when (spoiler alert) it was revealed that Danny has dropped out of university and secretly legged it to Pakistan. Critics asked: why must every Muslim-focused drama come back to terrorism?
But others were gripped by the drama and can’t wait to see what happens next, praising the cast for some excellent acting.
And, this being a thriller, the fan theories have already begun…
This article was originally published in January 2018