BBC's new drama The Nest features a great Scot, but it just isn't very thrilling

Some things don’t sound right. Saying “Prime Minister Boris Johnson”, for instance, just sounds a bit jarring to the ear. If you were watching The Nest (BBC1, Sundays, 9pm) you would have had a similar feeling.

By Phil Cunnington
Friday, 27th March 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th March 2020, 5:19 pm

Martin Compston has become a star playing bent copper divining rod Steve Arnott on Line of Duty, where he speaks with a sort of unspecified estuary English accent.

In the BBC’s latest psycho-thriller, however, he speaks in his native Scottish brogue, which confused me so much it was difficult to concentrate. Which may explain why The Nest was ever-so-slightly underwhelming.

The opening was promising, throwing in a few red herrings as wee Martin and wife Emily (played by Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle) struggled to come to terms with infertility.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Martin Compston starred in the new BBC1 thriller The Nest

In one of those film tropes where a chance encounter leads to drama, their paths cross with troubled teenager Kaya, who is searching for a family of her own.

In no time, cuckoo-in-the-nest Kaya has got her feet under the table at wee Martin’s luxury lochside home of neverending windows, and has agreed to be a surrogate.

There are still a few mysteries to resolve – wee Martin’s business seems a bit dodgy, and we don’t know why Kaya is so troubled – but from the moment she tells Emily “all my life I’ve had to be grateful for everything. I want someone to be grateful to me,” you can’t see it going anywhere but psycho alley.

The ending will almost certainly involve a scuffle with a kitchen knife, a last-minute hero’s entrance and the unexpected resurrection of the villain à la Fatal Attraction.

Dan (MARTIN COMPSTON), Emily (SOPHIE RUNDLE) and Kaya (MIRREN MACK) in The Nest

A by-the-numbers thriller then, but at least it gives me chance to come to terms with BoJo as PM and wee Steve Arnott being Scottish.

Jamie Oliver was doing his bit for the lockdown with Keep Cooking and Carry On (Channel 4, weekdays, 8.30pm) to help us make the most of what we’ve got. Can’t wait for baked bean thermidor.

I was slightly late in finishing off Baghdad Central (Channel 4, Mondays, 10pm and streaming now on All4) but if you have time (ha!) it’s well worth catching up on a superior slow-burner.

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.