REVIEW: The Scapegoat: What’s In A Face?

What’s in a face? Does to share physical characteristics mean that you’ll share emotional ones too? Can you tell that someone is kind just by looking at their face? How about if they’re vengeful? Or at their breaking point?

ITV’s latest drama, The Scapegoat – an adaptation of a Daphne du Maurier story – tells the story of two men who happen to have almost identical faces and are both sick of their everyday lives. John Standing loses his job as a teacher and we find him drowning his sorrows in a local bar. He meets a unique stranger in the form of renowned factory owner Johnny Spence, who himself is feeling quite lost whilst on a business trip.

Charming Johnny wines and dines John before stealing his clothes and disappearing off into the night – leaving John with a sore head and an entirely new life to contend with.

John arrives at the Spence family home and has to deal with the fall-out of a failing business, a demanding child, a sick mother, a downtrodden wife and a scorned mistress or two.

At times, The Scapegoat appears to be a glimpse into what the Channel 4 show Wife Swap might have been like in 1952, as John Standing slowly but surely realises that his new lifestyle, and the family that comes attached with it, are ultimately more fulfilling than the life he was living before.

Matthew Rhys plays the roles of both John and Johnny beautifully, effortlessly perfecting the balance between good and evil.

While at times the story of two men with the same face may seem unrealistic, or the story a tad predictable, there really are enough twists and turns to keep viewers guessing at every turn.

What do you think of the show?