Dustbin Baby, BBC1

by | Dec 23, 2008 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

It’s a hard life if you’re dumped in a bin behind a pizza restaurant on the day you’re born but, in the wonderful world of BBC1 Sunday afternoon drama, it’ll be alright in the end and you’ll have a shiny pink mobile phone for your birthday alongside those unwanted moonstone earrings – and someone to call mum.

What was good about it?

• Juliet Stevenson can be truly maddening as an actress but we loved her as stately home guide Marion, who was trying her hardest to be a good mother to April Johnson (Dakota Blue Richards), a teenager who was only very slightly stroppy. Even Marion’s failure to grasp mobile phone technology was funny (“It’s got blue teeth or something”).

• Jacqueline Wilson’s story was slender but the 90 minutes didn’t drag as April went in search of her roots, with flashbacks to the troubles in her 14-year-old life, documented in a dictionary-thick social work file noting the suicide of her adoptive mother, brief brushes with unsuitable fosteri parents, being bullied in a care home and being forced to help the home’s delinquents break into houses.

• David Haig was jolly as Marion’s colleague Elliott.

What was bad about it?

• The yobby kids seemed to be based a little too closely on Daily Mail horror stories. “If we see her, we’ll bash her for you, right?” they told a frantic Marion, searching for the missing April. “I’d much rather you didn’t,” Marion replied disarmingly.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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