"It makes me feel sick." Both myself and my mother said something of the sort as five-year-old character Oliver disappeared in a split-second from the screen during a family holiday in France. We knew what we were getting into when watching the first episode of BBC's new eight-part drama The Missing, but seeing it happen within an instant on-screen made everything that much more harrowing.

The camera didn't pan away - instead we saw Olly holding his father's hand in a huge crowd at a bar, all watching France play Brazil in the World Cup. Suddenly, there was a flash of clothing or leg in front of Olly and in the split-second it took for it to move out of the way, the child had disappeared. Gone into thin air. Taken.

I'm not a parent, but the extremely human scenes included throughout this first episode made everything very realistic. The crushing moment of his father Tony - played impeccably by James Nesbitt - realising that his son was no longer by his side, nor was he in the toilets or even taking a late-night dip in the pool hurt to watch. As his cries for his son became more desperate, the cheers of the crowd screaming for their nation to take home the win did nothing to aid his cause. Olly was gone, with only his backpack left behind.

From joy...
From joy...
...to heartache
...to heartache

Mother to Olly, Emily, (Frances O'Connor) is blissfully unaware of how her life is about to be turned upside down. She's back at her lodgings reading a book, and couldn't be happier to receive a call from her partner, but the look of joy on her face soon turns to nausea - how exactly would one be able to cope with receiving such news over the telephone?

She rushes down to the scene and soon the police are involved, stating that this case is being treated as an abduction. The confirmation does nothing to cease the pain, and it's not long before Olly's face is being plastered up and down the country. We know how the story ends up in the present day, because we keep flitting between then and now, but we do not know how things will end.

Tony is back in France after eight years, and he thinks he has a lead. His relationship with Emily has broken down, and though she doesn't want to deal with him directly when he informs her of his new plans, she does speak to a journalist - one who's cashed in on the case with his own book - demanding to be kept informed of anything that does come about because of Tony's investigating.

With characters free from the glamorisation or gimmicks and cliché we may often associate with a show in this field, the series is promising to be a good one, and has the potential to be great. Eight episodes could be stretching things a tad, but judgement is best left reserved when we're not entirely sure what's to come next.

The Missing continues next Tuesday, 9pm on BBC One.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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