The Long Call viewers have applauded the ITV drama for having a gay detective, in a happy and loving marriage no less, at the centre of its story.
The brand new four-part mystery series, based on Ann Cleves’ bestselling book of the same name, started on Monday night and will continue throughout the course of the week.
Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, a gay man played by Ben Aldridge, leads the cast.
In the opening episode, it was revealed he recently returned to North Devon with his husband Jonathan (Declan Bennett) after being rejected by his family due to his sexuality 20 years ago.
His old Evangelical church also turned its back on him, with DI Venn having little support in the village he once loved.
Although battling his traumatic past, he is thrown straight into the horrors of a murder case after a man is stabbed on the beach and his team has to get to the bottom of the intricate case.
Viewers heaped praise on The Long Call for breaking new ground with DI Venn’s character, celebrating that his sexuality isn’t
‘I thought #TheLongCall was terrific. Cracking story, excellent cast & it looks stunning,’ wrote one. ‘Plus a primetime gay detective and his husband played by two out gay actors. This representation is important.’
Echoing a similar sentiment, another penned: ‘Thanks @AnnCleeves 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 would have you believe!’
A third said: ”#TheLongCall this is going to be good – so amazing to have a gay detective (and played by a gay man).’
Director Lee Haven Jones previously spoke to The Times of the importance of casting a gay actor in the part, which saw him land on Fleabag star Aldridge, who came out last year.
‘Sadly, the way a lot of queer people have had to navigate the world is to minimise their queerness and make it not the thing that defines them, but Matthew’s journey and his sexuality is integral to the show,’ Aldridge told the publication.
‘They could have hidden his gayness, so it’s great to see gay characters existing in here in an authentic way, and the driving force behind the story being the murder case.’
The Long Call continues on Tuesday at 9pm on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.