After the phenomenal success of the award-wining British film Boiling Point, the cast and the crew of the screen’s most stressed-out kitchen return for a four-part television series on the BBC.
Born from an intense short film starring Stephen Graham and directed by Philip Barantini, of Band of Brothers fame, the short evolved to become a full-length feature, shot in 2020, just before lockdown, and released in late 2021 to international acclaim.
In the meantime, Chicago-based restaurant drama, The Bear and Oscar-nominated film The Menu, have confirmed audiences’ appetites for all things culinary. ‘Boiling Point’ arrived on British screens this week, with the first episode of the four-part series airing on the BBC.
While a raft of cast and characters return to the kitchen for the series, Stephen Graham’s former head chef Andy, is a rare sight among the brigade. The series picks up a few months after Andy’s spectacular implosion during service that makes the feature film and follows Carly, played expertly by award-winning Vinette Robinson (pictured), who is now Head Chef at a new restaurant called Point North.
The first episode aired with the introduction of a new team member to the Point North kitchen, Johnny, referred to as New Boy, and clearly out of his depth. It allows for a fresh look at the stressed egos and the frayed patience of the team, even without the toxic influence of chef Andy.
The Boiling Point full-length feature was shot as one continuous take (with some minimal, clever editing giving the impression of a drawn-out panic attack) and this series continues with the same, shaky, handheld, up-close-and-personal format that made the previous iteration so engaging, before settling into a more formulaic, episodic format.
Critics have been positive about this chef story with The Guardian giving it four out of five stars: “… this is an excellent cast as a whole, and it is remarkable how quickly Boiling Point drags you into its world and demands that you care about the people there.”
Regarding the missing Stephan Graham, The Telegraph wrote that “It’s a sign of Boiling Point’s quality that it can sideline Britain’s best actor and still prove to be one of the best shows of the year”.
The series is co-directed by Boiling Point’s creator Barantini who commands the first two episodes, with Lebanese filmmaker Mounia Akl taking over the helm for the second two.
Boiling Point is a series that continues the high anxiety-rolling boil of the film, played out over four episodes, in a new environment, perhaps reflecting the neuroses of kitchen life which translate to almost any restaurant in the world. Like a version of The Bear, Boiling Point typically looks at the stress and mental health problems that afflict the industry through a daring, grittier lens.