Brian Cox plays Carl May, a wealthy industrialist who has never come to terms with having been kept in a kennel by his parents for the first nine years of his life and Patricia Hodge plays Joanna, his ex-wife who is still deeply in love with him, despite his habit of having her lovers murdered. Carl is in the process of buying a nuclear power plant, while Joanna spends her days sleeping with her gardener and brooding over her ex and the abortion he pressurised her to have early years of their marriage.. She has hired a private detective (the great Billie Whitelaw making something out of nothing) to spy on Carl. Joanna finds that not only did her abortion technically not happen as she was experiencing a phantom pregnancy , but that Carl took the opportunity to get a dodgy doctor to create four clones of her. When she realises his plan, she sets out to find the clones, now young independent women. The two main characters declare deep and powerful emotions while not doing much to actually demonstrate them. This trait is highlighted by Carl's trashy mistress who appears vain and shallow but almost accidentally shows a much deeper side in her final scene, provoking genuine sympathy for her.
This is a refreshingly different sort of drama. The scrip, production and acting are excellent. The characters are endearing even though they have few if any redeeming features. There are some lovely comic moments and the whole thing has an air of lightness despite the dark themes. Sarah Badel is fun as Joanna's best friend, and the surviving clones change from ordinary if slightly cliched young women into an unholy trinity with ease.
A good drama for people looking for something different from the detective-hospital-vet restricted drama of today.