Viewers are praising the groundbreaking LGBTQ+ representation in ITV’s The Long Call

Viewers are praising the groundbreaking LGBTQ+ representation in ITV’s The Long Call

Here’s everything you need to know about ITV’s groundbreaking new detective series, The Long Call.

ITV has long been the home of gritty detective dramas, with the likes of Marcella, Unforgotten, The Pembrokeshire Murders and Whitechapel considered staples of the genre.

But fans aren’t only praising the “cracking story, excellent cast and stunning” scenery in it’s latest drama, The Long Call for it’s important LGBTQ+ representation, too.

The new four-part mystery series, which started on Monday night and will continue throughout the course of the week, is the first  primetime detective drama to feature gay male lead in a relationship.

Inspired by the best-selling novel of the same title from writer Ann Cleeves, creator of the iconic Vera and Shetland series, it follows intriguing and flawed protagonist, Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, who has returned to live in a small community in North Devon with his husband, Jonathan after the death of his father. But when the body of a man is found on the beach close to Matthew’s home, the investigation throws a cast of doubt on the whole community. 

“I thought #TheLongCall was terrific. Cracking story, excellent cast and it looks stunning.

Plus a primetime gay detective and his husband played by two out gay actors. This representation is important,” read one tweet.

“I enjoyed the first episode of #TheLongCall tonight it’s interesting can’t wait till the next episode tomorrow night. And for the main character DI Venn to be gay thats some good representationand Pearl Mackie is great in this too,” praised another. 

Others on social media praised the ‘normality’ of the relationship, writing: “A man in the positive lead role and happy marriage that’s also gay. Finally. We aren’t all promiscuous and depressed in terrible relationships that soaps wouldhave you believe!”

The show also comes as a first gay role for lead actor Ben Aldridge (DI Matthew Venn), who has played a string of heterosexual characters in the likes of Our Girl and Fleabag.

Already drawing comparisons to the likes of Broadchurch and Unforgotten, viewers are eagerly awaiting the second installment of the series tonight, which will uncover more about the dark and deadly secrets of the ‘sleepy’ North Devon town. 

As reported on 27 September 2021: Here’s everything we know about The Long Call so far.

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What is the plot of The Long Call?

The atmospheric crime drama is set in the beautiful yet haunting North Devon coastline, in a closed-off community that DI Matthew Venn (played by Fleabag and Our Girl actor Ben Aldridge) walked away from 20 years ago, after being rejected by his family.

We first meet the reserved but intense Venn outside the local church as his father’s funeral takes place. Having turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up after coming out as LGBTQ+, he became estranged from his family.

But now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major murder.A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, has been stabbed to death.

Venn and his team have to get to the bottom of a case which brings with it old wounds and a deadly secret in order to expose the killer.

The series is based on the best-selling novel of the same name, by Ann Cleeves

Who stars in The Long Call?

Aldridge is joined by a cast including Juliet Stevenson, as Venn’s mother, Dorothy and Martin Shaw as the spiritual Brethren leader Dennis.

Anita Dobson, Neil Morrissey, Dylan Edwards, Sarah Gordy, Amit Shah and Alan Williams will also add their talents to the series, alongside Pearl Mackie as his colleague and confidant DS Jen Rafferty.

Ben Aldridge, who played Arsehole Guy in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag will take the lead as DI Matthew Venn

Is there a trailer for The Long Call?

Sadly not yet, but with a projected autumn release date, we imagine it won’t be long until we have our first proper look at the series. In the meantime, ITV have released a promotional image of Aldridge and Mackie as detective duo Venn and Rafferty.

Ben Aldridge and Pearl Mackie play a detective duo in The Long Call

What are people saying about The Long Call?

Lead actor Aldridge previously told ITV: “I’m delighted to be playing Matthew Venn, a brilliantly unorthodox detective who audiences will see solving a gripping and intricate case, while simultaneously surmounting a deeper, more personal mystery within himself.”

Aldridge called the series a “poignant and complex journey of self-discovery and sexual and religious identity, which navigates the tension between pride and shame.”

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Where can I watch The Long Call?

The Long Call continues on Tuesday 26 October at 9pm on ITV.

Images: ITV

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