This Town (2024) Season 1 Review – A riveting, slow-burn sizzler

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3.5/5


When it comes to prolific filmmakers in the TV space, Steven Knight must be near the top of the list. From the excellent SAS Rogue Heroes, to the super popular Peaky Blinders, Knight’s filmography speaks for itself. The man knows how to make artistic endeavours and blend that in with a compelling story.

This Town then is an interesting series in that respect. The newest drama to hit the UK shores, it’s a rather subdued series, all things considered. It blends musical energy and a coming of age tale with a raw, unfiltered crime drama edge, set deep in the heart of England in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

In essence, it brings the best parts of Knight’s repertoire and blends them together into one sweet-tasting cocktail. However, it’s also a bit of a slow burn too, and to use that cocktail analogy, you need to wait for this to hit your gut before you really start to feel the effects.

The story centers around an extended family living in Coventry and Birmingham. There’s Dante Williams, a man who has his head in the clouds and thinks up poems all day. His older brother, Greg, is much more level-headed and fighting with the army, trying to control the IRA over in Belfast.

Their cousin, Bardon Quinn, is another youth, and about the same age as Dante. Bardon finds himself thrown into the throngs of crime by his father, Eamonn. Bardon doesn’t want to be there but it seems he has no choice.

As the jaws of death close in around our characters, their one salvation stems from music. And ska music to be precise. Throughout the 6 episodes, the show jumps back and forth between the crime drama consuming the streets, to the musical aspirations of our characters as they ty to escape the inevitable life laid out before them.

While the story feels a bit messy at times, especially early on, it’s worth sticking with this for the long-haul. The characterisation is where this one really shines. Dante, Greg and Bardon are fascinating characters and Greg in particular is so multi-faceted that he feels similar to Thomas Shelby in the way he carries himself.

If there’s one gripe here though it stems from the female characters. None of them are particularly deep, nor do they have all that much about them. Fiona is just along for the ride, while Jeannie’s one moment discussing her mother comes way too late in the game. The only exception stems from Estella, Bardon’s mother, who has a lovely redemptive arc across the miniseries.

When it comes to the general filming and cinematography, This Town is impressively solid. There are some real stand-out moments here, including one particularly memorable fight sequence where silhouettes fight outside while Jeannie sits inside the pub smoking. These little touches do well to help stamp Knight’s trademark style all over this one.

Given the show is about music, the soundtrack is similarly great too. There are some excellent choices here, from iconic tracks like Leonard Cohen and Ray Charles, across to The Velvet Underground, every choice captures the mood and tone of This Town beautifully.

BBC’s new drama may not be the showstopping hit it looked like it may have been from the trailer, but it’s definitely not one to sleep on. It’s a well written slow burn that does an excellent job characterising its central trio in a way that makes you root for them all by the time the finale rolls round. It’s certainly not perfect, but there’s enough here to make for a riveting watch all the same.

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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