Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
On the surface The Twelve feels and looks like a serialized version of 12 Angry Men. With an equal emphasis on the lives of our jury members as well as the courtroom drama itself, The Twelve intertwines both of these narratives relatively well and also manages to differentiate itself from the aforementioned critically-acclaimed motion picture. Despite a few wobbles along the way, The Twelve maintains a compelling hook and tone right the way through its 10 episodes.
At the heart of this drama lies a shocking double-murder that’s been pinned on one woman – headmistress Fri Palmers. Fri’s best friend Britt and her young daughter Rose happen to be the murder victims and across the season we learn more about their familial links and what happened to them both. Alongside that are several sub-plots involving the different jury members which ties directly into the theme of each episode.
Delphine is a woman stuck in a toxic relationship to her husband Mike while Holly has a secret she holds from the group. Yuri has his entire world turned upside down after an accident at his construction company while Arnold struggles to get a grip on his life. Carl has daughter problems while Noel struggles with addiction. All of these characters form the backbone of the jury service and they’re the ones we predominantly follow across the course of the season.
Along the way, the show peppers in several flashback sequences at the start and end of each episode which work either as red herrings or startling revelations about what really happened; you’re never sure which is being shown. This is certainly one of the strengths with The Twelve and it’s difficult to second-guess the narrative is going until very late on in the game and this is partly thanks to the clever use of out-of-sequence flashes to the past. This keeps The Twelve consistently engaging although the show does struggle with its pacing a bit.
There’s a consistent feel that The Twelve would have worked a lot better as a 6 or 8 episode mini-series with a lot of the fat carved out. Some of the jury members, namely Arnold in truth, have narrative arcs that don’t really go anywhere while others feel a little too melodramatic against the court-room drama. It’s a shame too because the segments inside the court shine brightly and there’s a few lovely little twists and reveals across the episodes that make the patient wait worth the journey.
The characters themselves are all fleshed out and have their own motives and problems, helping to add some more weight to the courtroom set-up. The various different men and women do grow over the course of the season too and this really helps add a lot of drama and tension in the finale when the verdict is reached.
Having said all that, fans of crime and courtroom dramas will most certainly be in their element here. From the episode about the re-enactments to the various different character witnesses brought forward, The Twelve makes a consistent effort to try and ascertain as many different perspectives as possible regarding the murders. The result is something that makes for a really enjoyable drama that’s best savored across the course of several nights (or weekends) rather than a one-off binge. It’s not perfect, and at times the show does drag on a little, but this 10 episode drama is certainly worth a watch.
Verdict - 7/10