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Boiling Point review: BBC restaurant drama serves up a treat

Carly (Vinette Robinson) in Boiling Point (BBC)
Carly (Vinette Robinson) in Boiling Point (BBC)
  • 📺 Where to watch Boiling Point: BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 1 October

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: The Bear, Help, Time

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Vinette Robinson, Stephen Graham, Gary Lamont, Izuka Hoyle, Hannah Walters, Stephen McMillian, Aime Rose Daly, Ray Panthaki and Cathy Tyson 

  • How long is it? 4 x 60 minute episodes

  • 📖 What’s it about? This continuation of the 2021 film sees head chef Carly and her team juggle the challenges of running new restaurant Point North.

The angst-ridden rattle and hum of a pressure cooker kitchen hits small screens this October, when Boiling Point makes its debut courtesy of the BBC.

Starting out life as a finely crafted short, before transitioning into feature film territory, Boiling Point was the brainchild of co-creators Philip Barantini (Chernobyl) and James Cummings who introduced audiences to Andy Jones (Stephen Graham), owner and head chef of highbrow destination restaurant Jones & Sons, as he emotionally imploded over a fraught ninety minutes.

Read more: Who's who in Boiling Point

Shot in one continual take and constructed to incorporate drama both sides of the pass, Boiling Point featured stand out performances from Ray Pathaki (Freeman), Hannah Walters (Emily) and Vinette Robinson (Carly) who returns to head up this small screen adaptation as audiences are welcomed inside the doors of Point North.

Freeman (Ray Panthaki) in Boiling Point (BBC)
Freeman (Ray Panthaki) in Boiling Point (BBC)

Everything which made the feature film such a success remains intact throughout this intimate relationship drama. Carly has stepped up to head chef alongside sous chef Freeman, while Emily and Jamie (Stephen MacMillian) remain on pastry with Camille (Izuka Hoyle) sticking to starters. Familiar favourites Dean (Gary Lamont) and Robyn (Aime Rose Daly) remain front of house charming customers, with Shaun Fagan rattling cages as main course maestro Bolton behind closed doors.

What will continue to astonish audiences who last the distance in this powder-keg kitchen is just how naturalistic it all feels as the intermittent one-shot structure injects this show with momentum and cranks up tensions over time. This approach makes the most of this pressurised environment drawing out drama and delivering personal moments amongst the mayhem.

Whether exploring the cost of a career in catering or highlighting its impact on personal relationships, Boiling Point never pulls any punches when it comes to capturing home truths. Vinette Robinson (Sherlock) takes up the mantle from Stephen Graham (Peaky Blinders), driving this drama home with a riveting central performance, gradually letting audiences into Carly’s inner sanctum, where she balances building a new business alongside caring for her mother Vivian (Cathy Tyson).

Dean (Gary Lamont) in Boiling Point (BBC)
Dean (Gary Lamont) in Boiling Point (BBC)

Following on from the final feature length moments of Boiling Point which saw Andy collapse, Stephen Graham remains a magnetic presence watching from the sidelines. He adds essential kudos through an understated performance but pushes others to excel and expand on their characters outside of the kitchen.

Boiling Point is one of the most watchable BBC dramas in recent years, alongside Jack Thorne’s Best Interests and the controversial Wolf.

Boiling Point: What other critics thought

Boiling Point is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer