Just as I was about to start writing my annual Top Ten TV Drama of the Year, this one slipped under the wire and crashed straight in.
Made by the couple behind Netflix’s exemplary The OA, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, A Murder at the End of the World is a twisty mystery that is propelled by excellent performances, smart direction and writing, and the showrunners’ genre-bending take.
It’s based on traditional roots – an isolated house – this time in Iceland – and a collective of suspects/victims.
But there’s no last century nostalgia here – it’s thoroughly modern in its understanding of the world we now inhabit and the rapid technological and social changes we’re all going through.
In a star-making turn, Emma Corrin is the Holmesian detective figure (though that parallel is only in her elegant intellect and attention to minute detail). She truly is phenomenal as Darby, an author and investigator who grew up around dead bodies with her pathologist father.
What elevates this is her affecting emotional connection with Harris Dickinson’s Bill, another Brit playing American.
If you enjoyed The OA there are lots of Easter eggs here, symbols and general strangeness. As you’d expect from Marling and Batmanglij, it shows what you can achieve when you stop looking back and start looking forward.
On Disney+ in the UK, Hulu in the US.