What is Yvonne Carmichael really getting into? The BBC presents the gripping and raunchy Apple Tree Yard (Spolier Alert)

The BBC series Apple Tree Yard is based on the book by Louise Doughty and has casted the renowned british actress, Emily Watson, as Yvonne Carmichael. Other cast members include Ben Chaplin as Costley and Mark Bonner as Gary Carmichael, her husband.

The book cover for Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

The plot

Costley and Yvonne in Apple Tree Yard

In this episode, Yvonne Carmichael, a Geneticist meets an unexpected stranger who influences her, not just in an emotional way, but a sexual way too. With trouble and suspicion surrounding her husband, Gary’s whereabouts, she embarks on a new, exciting relationship with Costley, a man that she met at a conference. He is charming, attractive and he makes Yvonne feel  wanted. Yvonne is no longer the sensible friend, but the friend who gets very close to a mysterious man in a chapel and in a side street – Apple Tree Yard. Their secret relationship got more serious – he gave her a phone and constantly texted and called her.

Yvonne in the office before getting a taxi from the party

It was all going well, until she was caught at a party. A colleague saw her text “JBILF” which was later revealed as “jelly bean I would like to….”. The colleague offered to share a taxi back from the party with her and invited her to his office while he packed his bag. He tried to kiss her. When she told him “not to be silly”, he got aggressive and attacked her – he knew she was having an affair and that if she moved, he would hit her again! He raped her and she was going in and out of focus.

We were then showed scenes of her in a prison of some sort – she was in there for some reason but what was it? She said “Fear… that’s what makes animals of all of us” – so was it the man who abused her in the office who made her do bad things or was it the mysterious man she was having secret relations with? Who Knows??


But really who is this mystery man? She does not know his name and is very suspicious of his job in the Civil Service? Is he hiding something and is he dangerous? He might be… but has she fallen for him and the way he makes her feel?

I found this episode gripping and very sexualised. The character of Costley is charming, but deep down, something is going on. Jvonne looks innocent, but she yearns for more. I do not want Yvonne to get hurt any more and I feel like when I watch her, I am on constant fear that something will happen. I just hope that we get to find out more about him and the truth in the next episode.

If you were a fan of Dr Forster, than you will definitely be a fan of this. You can catch up on the first episode on BBC Iplayer. The next episode is this Sunday at 9pm.

Bye for now.



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