Juliet Stevenson as Matilda Anchor-Ferrers.

Wolf: Tarantino meets Midsomer Murders

Riley Riley

A family is terrorised by a pair of quirky psychopaths who hold them prisoner in their isolated country home.

As the drama unfolds it looks increasingly as though the Anchor-Ferrers, a well to do family with a double-banger surname, are headed for the chopping block.

But the BBC television series Wolf (2023) has more twists and turns than a snake as it slithers across the desert floor. 

The Anchor-Ferrers consist of father Oliver, mother Matilda and adult daughter Lucia who may or may not have issues.

Their tormentors — detectives Honey and Molina — seem to have some sort of agenda, but they’re up for a bit of fun in the process — albeit twisted.

But who is this Bones they keep referring to?

Just as we begin to ponder the fate of family members, we’re introduced to the detective DI Jack Caffery, who blames himself for the disappearance of his 10-year-old brother 25 years ago.

He believes it was his next-door neighbour, who kidnapped and killed his brother but has never been able to prove it.

It is obviously the main reason he became a cop.

A third storyline involves the Donkey Pitch murders, the gruesome double murder of two teenagers, who were disembowelled while still alive.

Someone confessed to the crime and is in gaol, but did he really do it?

More importantly, viewers, how are these events all linked, because linked they must be?

You’ll have to watch Wolf to find out, but pay attention because it’s complicated.

The six-part series is based on the book Wolf by English author Mo Hayder, the seventh in a series featuring the troubled detective Jack Caffery.

Kristoffer Nyholm directed the first three episodes, with Lee Haven Jones directing the final three.

Wolf stars Sacha Dhawan as Honey and Iwan Rheon as Molina, who blaze as two whacky fellows who pose as police detectives in order to gain entry to the Anchor-Ferrers’ home, located at Monmouthshire in the Welsh countryside.

DI Jack Caffery is played by Ukweli Roach (Eternal Law 2012).

Owen Teale is Oliver Anchor-Ferrers, Juliet Stevenson his wife Matilda and Annes Elwy as their daughter Lucia

Supporting actors include include Sian Reese-Williams as DI Maia Lincoln, who conducted the original investigation into the double murder.

Ciarán Joyce as DI Prody, a young detective befriended by Caffery who assists with his investigation.

Perhaps the best way to describe Wolf is as a mix of Tarantino and the Midsomer Murders, with its gallows humour and witty repartee.

The cast does a typically first rate BBC job and the story will keep you guessing right up to the last episode where everything hopefully falls into place.  

But the question must be asked: why start with the seventh and final instalment in the Caffery series, with no preamble to set the scene?

Unless you’ve read the books, it may not make sense.

And why turn Caffery from a white, middle-aged, world weary English bobby into a younger black man with none of the same idiosyncrasies.

It makes no sense.

Be that as it may, Wolf represents a refreshing change of pace and delivery from the usual British crime fare.

While confusing at times, you will want to keep watching to find out who dies and who lives — more importantly who did it?

Dhawan (Dr Who and The Great 2020) and Rheon (Game of Thrones (2011), Misfits (2009) and Vicious (2013) shine as the twisted tormentors.

Watch out for the scene where they come face to face with the real detectives Honey and Molina whose name they have stolen.

It’s priceless.

You can catch Wolf on SBS on Demand.


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