‘Taboo’ TV Review

The much-anticipated season finale of the Tom Hardy series did not disappoint. The different aspects of the story finally came together; loose ends were tied, characters’ true purpose came to light and the questions we have been asking since episode one were finally answered. Since it’s been such an intensely dark series, with very little obvious direction, the plot has been constantly blurred and unclear. However, within the final two episodes, Hardy came into his own, and we saw each character bend and break in front of Delaney, and even the most powerful of personalities unwittingly dance to his tune.

With this in mind, and the speckling of superb moments, Taboo is worthy of commendation, despite a vague beginning which seemed vacant of any obvious direction. What it set out to do, for all its flaws, it achieved extremely well. Delaney and his eclectic coterie are a group of enigmatic yet complete characters, a feat which can not always be pulled off to significant effect. Not only this, but it seemed to reach different kinds of ‘dark’, relying not solely on gore or relentless scripts, but in the more subtle directorial touches, and the deeply unnerving performance put in by Hardy.

The shaky start can be forgiven, but what I couldn’t quite move past was the underdeveloped sub-plots. These were perhaps intended to leave intentionally unanswered questions, however they often served to create a feeling of having been cut short, and there were additions which could have been subtracted and replaced with more of other parts of the plot. Perhaps too much was undertaken, and as a result some quality was lost. Nonetheless, Taboo was continuously of a fairly high standard, and it displayed moments of skill and subtlety the BBC could perhaps do with more of. (I was recently extremely disappointed with The Moorside, which, despite an incredibly emotive subject matter and one or two exceptional performances, was let down by ham-handed script writing, a trait that can all too often be spotted in BBC dramas.) You may have to wade through the first few episodes, but the lead performances redeem it from reaching tedium, and it’s worth it because once it gets into a swing, it’s great.