The Capital TV series is a multi-family drama with a mysterious edge. The story brings together a group of neighbors, united only by their location and a series of messages they all receive. The show – originally from BBC One and currently streaming on AcornTV – is a bit eerie to start with, but various dramas move to center stage as questions remain unanswered, and an investigation begins.
The mystery starts early, when “we want what you have” postcards arrive at all of the houses on this unnamed street in London. Is it a prank, a sign of violence to come, or a supernatural presence? Paranoia increases – even though some remain dismissive – as messages continue to arrive, along with recent photos of people coming and going from their homes. It is obvious they are all under surveillance.
The story is primarily told through three families: an upper class couple with two young children, a middle eastern family that owns the small neighborhood market, and an elderly widow, Petunia. Also important to the plot are Petunia’s daughter and adult grandson, a local contractor, and a meter maid from Africa, who is working in England illegally.
The diversity among class and race is obvious and intentional. Capital is, perhaps, a bit heavy handed with the tolerance and acceptance part of its message, but it doesn’t detract from the story. We also find that our opinions shift as to the likability of some of the characters. Those that are gruff and stern eventually reveal their softer sides.
The Capital TV series first aired on BBC One in fall, 2015. It is based on a novel by John Lanchester, and the four episodes are available on AcornTV. While not one of the best foreign TV series online, it’s a solid and entertaining drama with a strong ensemble cast worth adding to your TV show list.