Exclusive Clip and Review of Britbox's Isolation Stories: An Emotionally Satisfying Look at Coronavirus Lockdown

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Britbox is the exclusive home of ITV's Isolation Stories, and we have an exclusive look at the first of four episodes, all of which drop tomorrow, June 23.

If you've wondered what the future of television could look like after the world suffered together for the first six months of the year, Isolation Stories is a great place to start.

Leave it to the British to come up with an emotionally charged look at lockdown and its impact.

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If we're to believe statements such as "things will never be the same until we have a vaccine," then you know we're in for a long haul with this virus.

That means that we could be subjected to even more quarantine's in the future. As viruses grow and change, the stage has now been set to respond quickly, urgently, and in a way that impacts the business community, sure, but can really wreak havoc with individuals.

Isolation Stories attacks the problem both professionally because the entire production was filmed while the actors and crew were under lockdown, and personally through the poignant stories they tell.

Perhaps it's never been clearer that technology can only get us so far. We crave contact with others. When it's forbidden, everyone deals with it differently, but all are affected.

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Isolation Stories are four short stories about people surviving through quarantine.

There is a story of a prodigal son quarantining with his father who has caught the virus, starring father and son Robert and Tom Glenister.

Another features two friends, one a therapist and the other her client, meeting via Zoom for a session.

Their interaction takes an unexpected turn that makes complete sense in terms of the touching relationship they share.

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Yet another examines a family falling apart, with the kids quarantined with their father who doesn't want to expose his children to any danger -- including seeing their mother, even if through the glass door.

The first of the four stories is especially moving.

A heavily pregnant woman faces the thought of giving birth all alone without anyone at her side.

In this exclusive clip, pregnant in real life Sheridan Smith plays Mel as she navigates the tricky waters of a coworker, played by Daniel Lawrence Taylor, knowing just a little more about her personal life than she'd care to share.

Here's the official information from Britbox about their new release:

Executive produced and written by Oscar-nominee Jeff Pope, Isolation Stories was filmed observing the strict rules of lockdown, and each focuses on different life-in-lockdown situations.

Guided remotely by a selection of acclaimed directors including Paul Whittington (Hatton Garden Heist, The Moorside), Paul Andrew Williams (A Confession, Broadchurch), Louise Hooper (Flesh & Blood, Colby Street) and David Blair (The Street, Accused), the actors and their families filmed the scenes themselves.

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Sheridan Smith, Robert Glenister, Tom Glenister, Darren Boyd, Angela Griffin, David Threlfall, and Eddie Marsan headline the cast.

It's been a while since I was as moved as I was watching Isolation Stores.

Every vignette offered a situation so different from my own but earnestly exploring the human condition that we all just experienced.

They tear right into the loneliness of lockdown as well as the many ways that people can come together to inspire and comfort each other even when they're very far apart.

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We get to know so little about the characters on screen, but the emotional punch is fully developed.

I say it too often, but if you've not taken advantage of the free trial to get a look at Britbox and all that it offers, now's a great time to take the chance.

You won't be disappointed.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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