I’ve just watched the first episode in a riveting new period drama series on Masterpiece, Mrs. Wilson. (It aired in Britain last fall.)
At the center of the story is a World War II spy and novelist, Alexander Wilson. In the very first scene, set in 1963, Wilson dies of a heart attack. His wife of 20 years, Alison Wilson, played by Ruth Wilson (who played a dazzling villain/hero/who the hell knows, in Luther), answers the door, expecting a neighborly “sympathy pie.” Instead, she encounters a woman who claims to be Alec’s wife. Having seen her husband’s divorce decree, Alison assumes the woman is deluded, and slams the door.
A few days later, she gets a visit from a man claiming to be Alec’s son. A son she never knew about. His mother doesn’t know anything about a divorce, and they want the body.
Aha. The plot goes from there. Alec was a busy guy. Mrs. Wilson has a lot of sorting out to do, for herself and for her two sons.
I thought, what a coincidence—the actor who plays Mrs. Wilson is also named Wilson! (I thought this even though at the beginning we are told that the series is based on a true story. I’m not that quick on the uptake.)
It’s no coincidence: Ruth Wilson is a granddaughter of Alexander Wilson. She is playing her own grandmother in the series.
Here’s the New York Times review.
The second episode of the 3-part series airs tonight on my local PBS station. Check your listings, as they say! (It’s streaming on PBS Passport if you need to catch up.)
I can’t wait.
P.S. Keeley Hawes is in it, too. Can’t say who she plays because it’s a spoiler, but take a wild guess.