A missing child, warring parents, and a police show that has eerie parallels to real-life – Ten Days in the Valley has all the ingredients of a suspense-filled, edge-of-your-seat television drama.
Fresh from her success behind the camera with her directorial debut in TV movie Story of a Girl, Kyra Sedgwick is back on screen playing television producer Jane Sadler in the emotionally charged series premiering October 1 on ABC.
Single mother Jane has her life turned upside down when her eight year-old daughter Lake goes missing in the middle of the night and her controversial police TV show implodes.
Suspense: Emmy Award-winning actress Kyra Sedgwick stars in new drama Ten Days in the Valley premiering on ABC this week
Over the course of ten episodes, tension mounts, secrets multiply, and the lines between fiction and reality blur.
Against a backdrop where nobody can be trusted and the truth is increasingly elusive, the drama is sure to have you watching from the edge of your seat. In case you’re not yet convinced, we’ve brought you ten reasons why Ten Days in the Valley is definitely worth checking out.
1. We can’t trust our protagonist
Although Jane is clearly a strong and successful woman, she is also dangerously flawed. Shortly after her daughter disappears, Jane admits to Detective John Bird, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, that she has not been entirely truthful with the police.
Back on screen: Kyra Sedgwick plays overworked television producer and single mother Jane Sadler in the emotionally charged drama
Flawed: Kyra’s character Jane admits to Detective John Bird (left), played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, that she has not been entirely truthful with the police
She is clearly trying to protect herself and has things that she wants to hide, but we get the feeling that it won’t be long until they come to the surface.
2. The layers
It is not only Jane that we cannot trust, as it seems that nearly every character in Ten Days in the Valley has secrets of their own.
With twists at every turn, it is not long before we realize that this is very different to your average crime drama, and that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Lake’s mysterious disappearance and everyone in Jane’s life.
On edge: Although Jane is clearly a strong and successful woman, we get the sense that she is also deeply troubled and that her past will come back to haunt her
3. The flashbacks
From the opening moments of Ten Days in the Valley we are given glimpses into Jane’s past through flashbacks, which make us realize that there were events in her life that will no doubt come back to haunt her.
Before long we start to question what she has to hide and just how long the past can remain buried.
4. It taps into our greatest fears
Jane plays on one of many mothers’ greatest anxieties: not being a good enough parent. Not only is she juggling a demanding career with raising her young daughter, but she is also negotiating the minefield of an acrimonious separation from Lake’s father.
Single mom: Jane juggles her demanding career with raising her eight-year-old daughter Lake, and she clearly feels the pressure to succeed on both counts
Tension: Jane is separated from Lake’s father Pete, played by Australian actor Kick Gurry, and the two have a fractious relationship, particularly when it comes to their daughter
This sense of guilt and failure reaches chilling heights when Lake goes missing while Jane is working through the night away from her little girl in her backyard office.
5. The run-ins with her ex
We quickly discover that Jane has emerged from a deeply troubled relationship with her former partner Pete, played by Kick Gurry.
We don’t know exactly what went on, but we do know that it’s dark. The pair battle over their daughter from the start, and there’s a sense of unresolved issues in their own relationship.
6. The sister
Jane’s sister Ali, played by Erika Christensen, might feel like a grounded, rational presence in Ten Days in the Valley, but she raises some troubling questions.
Family ties: Ali (left), played by Erika Christensen, raises some troubling questions about her sister Jane (right) when eight-year-old Lake goes missing in the middle of the night
Leading ladies: Kyra Sedgwick (left) leads a cast of notable actors in Ten Days in the Valley, including Erika Christensen (right), who plays her sister Ali
It is Ali who calls the police after Lake goes missing, when Jane insists that it’s not necessary, and it is also Ali who also finds Jane clearing her office before the police arrive.
When we look at Jane through her sister’s eyes, we see not only a mother who is desperate to protect her child, but also a woman who is trying to protect herself.
7. Tension at the studios
The tension that we see building in Jane’s personal life is mirrored by that in her work life. Jane’s team at the television studios are overworked and highly stressed, and they don’t seem to trust one another.
The parallels between work and home life start to feel overwhelming when the crew suggest that the new storyline for the show should involve a missing child, just moments after Jane discovers her own daughter cannot be found.
Suspense: When Jane hears that the studios want to write a storyline involving a missing child, we get the sense that the lines between real-life and fiction are starting to blur
Secrets: We discover that Jane is meeting with a ‘source’ who fills her in on real police stories, which she turns into dark and dangerous storylines for her television show
8. The illicit meetings
It seems that Jane herself has already been blurring the lines between truth and fiction. We know that something seriously untoward is going on when Jane meets with a ‘source’ who is filling her in on real police stories, which she turns into dark and dangerous storylines for the television show.
‘I read the latest draft. It’s everything I told you off the record,’ her source fumes in one of these meetings.
Jane responds: ‘Nobody is going to know this came from you’. But we’re not so sure we believe her.
9. The assistant
From the get-go, there’s something that makes us feel uneasy about Jane’s chirpy young assistant Casey, played by Emily Kinney.
Betrayal: We feel that Jane’s assistant Casey, played by Emily Kinney, may know some of her employer’s secrets and fears
Under pressure: Jane is a woman who is used to being in control, but we get the sense that everything is starting to unravel for her
It seems that Casey knows some of Jane’s secrets and fears, and her role in her employer’s life slides from comforting to threatening disturbingly quickly.
10. The unknown
Whether it’s to be a good mother, to succeed in her career or to stay one step ahead of her ex, Jane is constantly under pressure, and we can see the cracks starting to show.
Jane is a woman who is used to being in control, but circumstances suggest that she might not be shaping her own story anymore.
Most chilling of all is that we don’t actually know what is shaping our troubled heroine’s course. Everything is starting to unravel for Jane and, with so much at stake, the consequences could be terrifying.
Ten Days in the Valley premieres Sunday October 1 at 10|9c on ABC.