Back to Life: Review

Written by Laura Solon, Daisy Haggard

Directed by Christopher Sweeney

A strong lead and interesting premise make this BBC comedy-drama a palatable afternoon’s worth of entertainment. Daisy Haggard plays Miri Matteson, a 30-something woman who has just returned home from an 18-year prison sentence. The viewer is taken with her whilst she struggles to reacclimatise to her- what should have been- normal middle-class life in Kent.

Miri is well written and believable, coming across as thick-skinned and genuine. She gave me the feeling that her time in prison was- of course- the cause for her difficult and strange circumstance, but also part of the reason she is equipped to deal with it. She is a good, likeable person that the world really is just out to get, and Daisy Haggard does a fine job in adopting and portraying this persona.

Her relationships with the other characters, strained from 18-years of neglect, are what keeps the viewer interested. Though the most notable for me, was her one with Billy (Adeel Akhtar) which is the only one which started after, rather than before, she comes back from prison. He serves as Miri’s only relief from everyone and everything else. I was touched, and happy for Miri to be able to find someone who has no pre-judgements and takes her for who she is. I found myself both believing and caring for them. Her interactions with her childhood friend Mandy (Christine Bottomley) are another selling point and reveal hidden depths as the series goes on.

The laughs can be quite hit-and-miss (though they can certainly hit), and this series won’t change your life, but it is definitely worth a watch on a Sunday afternoon.

Grade: B+

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