The Singapore Grip viewers 'switch off' as they bemoan 'bizarre' switching timelines in the first episode and say they've 'already given up' trying to work out what's going on in ITV's new WWII Sunday night dramaby Jessica Green For Mailonline
- WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
- ITV's The Singapore Grip has failed to win over viewers with its first episode
- The premiere, which aired last night, left audiences at home 'switching off'
- Set during the Second World War, it follows a rich British family in Singapore
It follows in the footsteps of Downton Abbey and The Durrells as ITV's latest Sunday evening period drama - but The Singapore Grip has failed to win over viewers with its first episode.
The premiere, which aired last night, left audiences at home 'switching off' and complaining about the 'bizarre' storyline - after shifting timelines from before and during the Second World War's Battle of Singapore.
Adapted from JG Farrell’s 1978 satirical novel mocking British colonial attitudes, the episode started in the thick of fighting, with outlier Matthew Webb (Luke Treadaway) caught up in the fall of city as he desperately searched for an unnamed woman.
However, the story then goes back in time to Matthew's arrival in Singapore ahead of the Japanese army invading the British stronghold.
The son of a powerful aristocrat (Game of Throne’s Charles Dance), Matthew is then quickly and reluctantly included in the schemes of the Blackett family.
Another viewer added: 'I've already given up on The Singapore Grip. Couldn't get into it, despite a strong cast. Need another Downton Abbey or The Durrells for the perfect Sunday night viewing to get me watching.'
'I can't be alone in not having a clue about what's happening? It's bizarre,' a third unimpressed Twitter user wrote.
'I was quite looking forward to this series, but I am really struggling to get into the first episode,' another said.
While a fifth wrote: 'Managed the first 30 minutes of #TheSingaporeGrip (although 20 of those were under sufferance). I certainly shan't be bothering with any more.'
Based on the 1978 novel by JG Farrell, which drew on real events, The Singapore Grip is initially the story of rich Brits living lives of excess in the Crown colony in the early 1940s.
But the invasion of the island by Japan in 1942, one of the key events of the Second World War, throws their lives into turmoil.
Matthew is seen returning to the city in the first episode, after the passing of his father Mr Webb, and getting caught up in the schemes of the Blacketts.
David Morrissey and Jane Horrocks appear as Walter and Sylvia Blackett, expats enjoying the fruits of his success in the Far East rubber trade.
Australian actress Georgia Blizzard plays the Blacketts' scheming daughter Joan, a woman with her sights set on Matthew.
However, the changing timelines within the programme confused some, while others loved the first episode and couldn't wait to see how the drama unfolded.
One person wrote: '#TheSingaporeGrip very good. Better than #asuitableboy! Or #Strike', while another said: 'That was a promising first episode of #TheSingaporeGrip.'
A third added: 'Well overall I thought it was rather intriguing. Certainly interesting enough to stick with.'