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The Devil’s Hour review – proof that Peter Capaldi is the world’s most terrifying actor

That face! The grief it conveys! The ex-Doctor’s turn in this new supernatural crime drama is chilling – and joins a stunning performance from Jessica Raine as a harrowed mother I do not damn with faint praise when I say that the back of Peter Capaldi’s head is the most frightening thing in the opening episode of The Devil’s Hour, Amazon Prime Video’s new spooky six-part drama by Tom Moran. I mean only to place on record the underacknowledged truth that Capaldi is the most frightening actor working today. The only reason a generation of children were not permanently traumatised by his years as Doctor Who is because they do not yet know enough of life. If you do, you see that all of it lives in Capaldi’s face and that most of it is suffering, grief and pain. We see little of that haunted visage at first, though it is clear his character is the pivot around which the whole thing will swing. Our main concern is with Lucy (Jessica Raine), an overstretched social worker also dealing with an aged mother who has dementia, the end of her marriage to Mike (Phil Dunster) and an unreachable, heartbreaking puzzle of a child, Isaac (Benjamin Chivers). He is emotionless, suggestible, vulnerable and given to seeing and hearing from figures invisible to others. Lucy wakes up every night at 3.33am exactly, wrenched from awful visions as she sleeps. Are they ordinary nightmares caused by current stresses and strains, or the results of buried trauma – as other momentary hallucinations and apparent flashbacks suggest? Or are they, as Capaldi’s face implies, something worse? Continue reading...

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