The action on One Night focuses on the events of one night giving it the title One Night. It’s running over four nights with the events of the titular one night seen from the points of view of a different character each night. And what a busy night. One shooting, a couple of beatings, a rock through a window and a used johnny through a letterbox. Now I know how Dereck Chisora‘s girlfriend feels.The first episode is all on Ted (Douglas Hodge) a kitchen salesman preparing to host a make-or-break barbecue with his boss. Ted is wound pretty tight. It’s been one of those years where just everything has gone against him. It won’t take much to set him off and he sees red after he gets some sass from schoolgirls after one of them drops a crisp packet.
Aerial Telly totally understands this. He once beat a 14-year-old boy beyond recognition for fare dodging. Turns out, he had the right ticket after all just in the wrong pocket. But that disabled manchild learned an important lesson that day. Play with Aerial Telly and get smacked, spanked, annihilated as if your life never meant a goddamn thing.
Aerial Telly totally understands this. He once beat a 14-year-old boy beyond recognition for fare dodging. Turns out, he had the right ticket after all just in the wrong pocket
Nonetheless, Ted should probably let it go. The barbecue is fast approaching and it looks like the Johnsons have cancelled his order (those Johnsons, I tell you). But Ted just can’t let it lie. Wife Sally (Saskia Reeves) is all “Don’t do it! You’ll be better off, Ted.” but the perma-stressed twat goes to school and complains to deputy head Raj Patel who looks about nine years old. Ted picks the girl at the centre of crispgate Rochelle (Georgina Campbell) out of the yearbook and she gets her and her cunt friends a suspension. Good work, Ted. Now that you’ve got that out of your system can we PLEASE get back to the barbecue? That teriyaki glaze you’ve done looks amazing.¹
Oh but he can’t can he? Because that girl is from the local Lakemead estate and because Ted ran his mouth and because tensions are high between the Lakemead T’ugs (LMT to their friends) and the Somali boys from the Whatever crew and because events conspire against him like antsy generals against Hitler, Ted has about as much chance of putting this behind him as a girlfriend of Billy Cudrup has of successfully completing a pregnancy without changing her relationship status on Facebook.
Ted has about as much chance of putting this behind him as a girlfriend of Billy Cudrup has of successfully completing a pregnancy without changing her relationship status on Facebook.
First, teenagers play music and gather on grass quite near to his home. Then, a used condom lands on his welcome mat. In what passes for Ted’s mind these are revenge attacks for crispgate – a suspicion confirmed when a rock is thrown through his window during the barbecue injuring his wife. Ted is incandescent, boss Kenny (Neil Stuke) and his nausey pregnant wife Dawn (Kellie Bright) aren’t too happy about it either. Ted and Kenny slip out the back and apprehend a fleeing youth on a bike who Ted tackles and kicks in the tits before dragging him into the garden. If Ted wasn’t in trouble before (which he probably was) then he’s certainly in trouble now. Out of control and out of barbecue charcoal – it’s the lower-middle-class nightmare you pray will never happen to you.
You know it’s going to turn bad because after whatever goes down that night, young scamp Alfie (Billy Matthews) hands in a gun just used in a shooting on the Lakemead. He saying he just found it but we know that’s a big crock of shit and so do the police. Alfie is doing the dirty business of the PMT (the crew where it’s ALWAYS the wrong time of the month).
Alfie is doing the dirty business of the PMT (the crew where it’s ALWAYS the wrong time of the month).
One Night is excellent stuff even if the first episode is marred by a horrible performance from Douglas Hodge as Ted. He’s supposed to be Michael Douglas in Falling Down but ends up as stammering Joey Rathburn from horse murdering drama Luck. Whether he got directed to play it like that or just took it upon himself to munch the location props down to gnarly stumps is unclear but it absolutely stinks the joint out. Georgina Campbell is impressive as the star student Rochelle, Jessica Hynes great as her smart, jaded mom.
There’s a bit of Rashomon in the new truths revealed by the four characters’ perspectives of each episode and the theme of dreams being crushed by circumstances beyond your control is handled particularly well. If some stroppy skank drops a crisp packet outside your hovel sometimes it’s best to just let that shit slide. It too often ends up with a johnny through your letterbox, a brick through the window, a vicious beatdown, a shooting and your balls as barbecued as that chicken teriyaki would have been if you’d got your hands on some charcoal in time.
The verdict: Non-shite
Marks out of 10: 8