Thirteen is a BBC drama, which aired in 2016. The series stars Jodie Comer as Ivy Moxam. Amongst other cast members, we also have Valene Kane, Stuart Graham, Natasha Little and Aneurin Barnard. The series spans over 5 episodes, which last approximately 57-58 minutes each. When the show begins, we’re quickly introduced to Ivy Moxam. We see Ivy rushing out of a rush in a panic. She runs across the street and jumps into a phone booth, where she calls the authorities and provides her name. Within a short matter of time, DI Elliott Carne (Richard Rankin) and DS Lisa Merchant (Valene Kane) take over the case.
They quickly discover that Ivy is the victim in a kidnapping, which took place 13 years earlier. Of course, they also have their doubts and refuse to believe Ivy is actually Ivy. Despite their concerns, Ivy’s mother, Christina (Natasha Little) is alerted to the situation. Ivy’s sister, Emma (Katherine Rose Morley), is also informed. Christina calls Ivy’s father, Angus (Stuart Graham), who is having an affair of sorts. They head to the police station and see Ivy, as quickly as possible. Initially, Emma has her doubts about Ivy’s true identity, but Christina remains adamant that the girl is her daughter.
Ivy’s DNA is taken and the family is sent home. As the investigation continues, we learn that Ivy had been held captive for 13 years, by a name by the name of Mark White (Peter McDonald). The home, where Ivy was held captive, is raided, but Mark has fled. The police begin to scour the area, when the DNA test comes back and confirms Ivy’s identity. She is sent home to her family for the first time in 13 years. As the series drags out, we learn about Ivy’s time in captivity and also the event leading up to her kidnapping. Emma struggles to accept her sister back, while Ivy attempts to rekindle a relationship with her childhood friend, Tim Hobson (Aneurin Barnard).
Unfortunately for Ivy, Tim has married and moved on with his life. Still, he becomes close to Ivy, with encouragement from her father. Another old friend, Eloise Wye (Eleanor Wyld) also enters the fold. Eloise, who was scheduled to meet Ivy on the day of her disappearance, is left guilty from her previous mistake. While the series continues, things go from back to worse. Ivy’s story is questioned extensive, while Mark White kidnaps another girl and attempts to use her to extort Ivy and the police. The drama continues, until an ultimate showdown between Ivy and Mark. Will Mark finally achieve his goal and regain his control over his “Alison”?
To prevent further spoils, we’ll end the Thirteen recap there. So, how was the series? Well, there is truly a lot to like about Thirteen. First and foremost, the acting is truly spectacular. Aneurin Bardnard, Peter McDonald and Richard Rankin are all excellent. Of course, it is Jodie Comer, who is forced to show off her range and she really delivers. The role of Ivy Moxam is one that is enormous complex and Jodie pulls it off excellently.
The story itself is enthralling and moves along at an excellent pace. Each episode ends in a satisfying, yet cliffhanging way, which leaves the viewer dying to watch the next. Although there are a few wacky moments, Thirteen is a gripping thriller, until the finale. The finale isn’t a total disappointment, but it does feel rushed to some degree. It feels like the writers intended to carry the series on to a second season, but changed the ending to wrap things up at the last moment.
Despite the lackluster finale, the series as a whole is still satisfying. It is unique, well acted and intriguing throughout. A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved.