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?!
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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!
Slightly confused. Family having a party for a man who is still in Pakistan 14 hours away? Even if he made his flight he wouldn't make the party? #NextOfKin
— MD (@Manning1985) January 8, 2018
What about this #NextOfKin show, the fam having a welcome home party for the bro, waiting for him to arrive. He's in a car on the way to the airport in Pakistan, an 11 hour flight away ???????? what??¡¿?
— Andrew Richardson (@A_Richardson93) January 8, 2018
#NextOfKin let me get this straight: taxi journey plus a detour, bags checked in and an 11 hour flight whittled down into the time it takes to muster up a curry.
— Steve Gregory (@SHG123123) January 8, 2018
I'll admit, I'm only half watching but are they expecting his flight from Pakistan to be at supersonic speed? Otherwise they have vastly overestimated the time it takes to set up a party #NextOfKin
— Becky Simpson (@Beckssim) January 8, 2018
How fast do these planes from Pakistan to London fly?? Timings in this this are ridiculous!! #NextOfKin
— Summer. (@Summerpidge) January 8, 2018
Is he supposed to be travelling from pakistan or balham? The party seems to be starting early for someone about to undertake a 9 hour or so flight #NextOfKin
— googlyeyecat ???? (@googlyeyecat) January 8, 2018
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?
Also… might have imagined this but when the police came around, was their flat ground floor? If so, why did the mother get stuck in the lift? ? #NextOfKin
— Rebecca O'Meara (@rebeccaomeara) January 8, 2018
The mother got stuck in a lift at the beginning but when the police came round the door to the flat was on the ground floor?
Unless the lift was actually the teleporter that the family use to get to and from Pakistan in record time? #NextOfKin
— Oliver ? (@oliverperfumer) January 8, 2018
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?
— afshah (@afshah_) January 8, 2018
ITV’s new drama #NextOfKin goes out tonight and having watched the 1st episode on Friday, its been playing on my mind over the weekend. Another British drama where there’s a Muslim family so rest assured a storyline involving terrorism/radicalisation is not far behind.
— Shibbir Ahmed (@Shibbir1) January 8, 2018
But others were gripped by the drama and can’t wait to see what happens next, praising the cast for some excellent acting.
Gripping first ep of #NextOfKin ???????? Looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds ????
— Bhavna Limbachia (@BhavnaLimbachia) January 8, 2018
— Sonia Dutta ???? (@soniadutta1902) January 8, 2018
Already gripped.Fine acting & script, and such a change for the majority of characters in a drama not to be white,and for a genuine attempt to be made to show a different culture with the same values (family,love,work etc).#moreincommon #NextOfKin
— PJB (@TamertonPJB) January 8, 2018
— Samira Bahrami (@SamiraSamira1) January 9, 2018
And, this being a thriller, the fan theories have already begun…
Don't think that was Kareem who got shot. Think the video is edited to make it look like it was Kareem and to frighten the family #NextOfKin
— Jodi (@Jodi_Rushworth) January 8, 2018
#NextOfKin His not shot in the head they cut vid changed person into his clothes. It's a con his involved .in the taxi he shouted this is not what we planned. He is a head of a terrorist group.fact
— marc (@belizemarc) January 8, 2018
I think the bad guys have recruited Danny, but he doesn’t want to be a terrorist, so they kidnapped his dad and killed him and are now threatening to kill the rest of the family unless he goes ahead with a terror plot #NextOfKin
— Ellen Grey (@ellen_grey) January 8, 2018
This article was originally published in January 2018