The Long Call viewers praise EastEnders legend for dramatic performance

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

The Long Call spoilers follow.

ITV's latest drama The Long Call solved its biggest mystery in its final episode tonight (October 28), elevated by a haunting turn from EastEnders icon Anita Dobson.

The four-part mystery drama set in a religious community in Devon starred Ben Aldridge as DI Matthew Venn.

After Venn went back to his hometown for his father's funeral, he and DC Jen Rafferty (Pearl Mackie) had to deal with the murder of Simon Walden (Luke Ireland), a mysterious man with a problematic past. The case proved to be a tricky one as it had no witnesses, no forensics and seemingly no motive.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

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Dobson featured in an almost unrecognisable, emotionally taxing role. She played Grace Stephenson, a fragile, shy woman in a controlling marriage with Dennis (Martin Shaw), a prime suspect in the murder investigation.

While some viewers found the series dragging to reach its conclusion, many were on the same page with the soap legend's performance.

"Anita Dobson deserves an award for her stunning, memorable performance as Grace in the equally stunning The Long Call," one viewer tweeted.

"Really enjoyed The Long Call on @ITV. Anita Dobson stole the show. I really must try reading some Ann Cleeves…" another person commented.

"I don't watch much tv, but I've been watching The Long Call. Very good tv with convincing performances & some uncomfortable questions. Martin Shaw & (especially) Anita Dobson were stunning," was another tweet on the series.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

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As the events progressed, Venn started to believe Dennis abused Grace, and tried to help the woman. As it turned out, Simon had also attempted to free Grace from her toxic relationship.

The heartbreaking final episode took an unexpected turn when Grace was revealed to be behind Simon's murder. At first, she claimed to be the only person responsible for his death. However, she then gave evidence that Dennis had ordered her to kill Simon, and the man was arrested.

"Anita Dobson in The Long Call has been phenomenal. Brilliant acting, really bringing to life and to light the reality of coercive control," another viewer said after watching the finale.

The Long Call is available on ITV Hub.

Organisations including The Mankind Initiative ( provide support and advice to male victims and survivors of domestic abuse, domestic violence and coercive control. Its confidential helpline, open weekdays between 10am and 4pm, is 01823 334244.

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