The 30th January 2020 brought the release of the new psychological thriller “The Stranger” based on the novel by written by Harlan Coben. The mini-series is an 8 episode piece, revolving around suburban families whose stories are all found to be intertwined.
“The Stranger” Season 1
The series follows main character Adam Price (Richard Armitage) as he discovers the multitude of secrets that surround his family, particularly his wife Corinne Price (Dervla Kirwan), after being approached by a stranger. The stranger later referred to as Christine (Hannah John-Kamen), reveals to Adam that his wife faked a pregnancy leading to Adam confronting Corinne who later disappears. The stranger continues to reveal secrets to other members of the same family and other families even blackmailing some, and we later come to understand she does this to make an income.
We are also introduced to the two main detectives in the investigation of Corinne’s disappearance, Wes and Johanna (Kadiff Kirwan and Siobhan Finneran) and their co-worker John Katz (Paul Kaye) who later comes to light as a mole within the force. We watch the investigation unfold whilst discovering other events that toward the end of the series all show to link in with each other. Adam Price is a lawyer and his father has plans to create a new community by destroying a current one, and Adam helps to protect one of the residents. Toward the end of the series we find out that the resident killed his wife to stop her going off with another man and to protect his daughter, however, we later find out that his daughter is Christine/ The Stranger and she is not actually his, she is Adam’s fathers making them step-siblings. The series also looks at Adam and Corinne’s children who try to help Adam find their mum. “The Stranger” also delves into elder son Tom’s high school life, showing his friend Olivia (John Katz’s daughter) who is being made purposefully ill by her mother.
All of the different storylines that are written into “The Stranger” are interlinked in ways that make for an extraordinarily satisfying ending. Coben has created a psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, using cliffhangers at the end of each episode it really does make for a binge-worthy series.
Harlan Coben struck up a deal with Netflix back in 2016. The first release under this deal was “The Five” and then “Safe” in 2018. After these two releases, in 2018 Coben gave the streaming service rights to 14 of his stand-alone novels.
“The Stranger” series has made a few changes from the original book. These adaptations include the main character of “The Stranger” originally being a white male called Chris, changing to a female character called Christine. Whilst this particular change was not actually supposed to happen, it came about after Coben saw Hannah John-Kamen’s audition tape. He found it so powerful and knew that she needed to be cast as “The Stranger”. More on the differences between the series and the book can be found here
The official renewal status of “The Stranger” as of the 31st January is ‘not yet renewed’. Harlan Coben has not speculated to a second season, with the ending of season one bringing nearly every loose string together. “The Stranger” was only meant to be a one-season series, and Coben has said “it’s not our plan. Our plan is to give you one great, great season”. However, he has said “never say never”.
So if we were to expect a second season, what could it be about? Ultimately we wouldn’t see the return of all of the first season characters due to their deaths within the series, this rules out seeing Corinne, Tripp and Heidi. However all of the other original characters could be open to a comeback.
The season ends with Adam and Johanna discussing their secret between each other, framing Katz for the death of Tripp (which was actually Adam on finding that Tripp had murdered Corinne) and Johanna explaining that “The Stranger” is now missing. Although it ties off most of the loose ends, there could be a plot based around “The Stranger” and the secrets she continues to reveal, or we could follow Adam and Johanna as they try to keep their secret hidden.
Whether a second season is released or not, we will be seeing a lot more of Harlan Coben on Netflix, with “El Inocente” scheduled for release in late 2020.
He also has titles “Tell No One” and “Missing You” which are already in script stage and another four projects are in development, these are all part of the 2016 Netflix output deal. Based on the reaction to “The Stranger”, we can probably expect the pieces being released onto Netflix in the future will be just as well written and well cast.
Find out more about another Netflix Original show “Stranger Things” here .