The Ice Cream Girls

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The Ice Cream Girls
Genre Crime drama
Created by Dorothy Koomson
Written by Kate Brooke
Directed by Dan Zeff
Starring Lorraine Burroughs
Jodhi May
Martin Compston
Nicholas Pinnock
Georgina Campbell
Holli Dempsey
Dominique Jackson
Bryan Dick
Composer(s) Samuel Sim
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 3 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Andy Harries
Producer(s) Lucy Dyke
James Flynn
Ronan Flynn
Location(s) Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
Cinematography Martin Fuhrer
Editor(s) Úna Ní Dhonghaíle
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Left Bank Pictures
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 19 April (2013-04-19) – 3 May 2013 (2013-05-03)

The Ice Cream Girls is a three-part British television crime drama, first broadcast in 2013, based on the bestselling novel by Dorothy Koomson.[1] The story follows two vulnerable teenage girls, Serena Gorringe (Lorraine Burroughs) and Poppy Carlisle (Jodhi May), who in the summer of 1995, are accused of murdering their schoolteacher, Marcus Hansley (Martin Compston) after becoming involved in a tryst of violence and sexual abuse. Although Serena is acquitted, Poppy is convicted of murder. In the following years, the two girls lead very different lives - Poppy's family rebuff her, leaving her to serve her prison sentence alone. Serena, however, finds love with childhood sweetheart Evan (Nicholas Pinnock) and has a daughter, Verity (Dominique Jackson).

But seventeen years later, Poppy and Serena are unexpectedly reunited, and they are forced to confront each other and reveal the truth behind their dark, shared history.[2] The series, broadcast on ITV, was shot in Bray, County Wicklow, which is used to represent the town of Brighton. The series achieved good viewing figures, with the first episode gathering 5.53 million, 4.83 million tuning in for the second episode and 5.18 million for the final episode.[3] Notably, the series has never been released on DVD.

Critical reception[edit]

Sam Wollaston of The Guardian said of the first episode; "There's a nagging little bell going off in my head during the first of three episodes of The Ice Cream Girls. And it's getting louder. Someone leaves prison; there's the whiff of a miscarriage of justice; a family moves to the seaside, by Volvo, for a fresh start; then FLASHBACK! – bad shit happened in the past; now it's time for it to catch up. Got it! The Poison Tree, which aired just a few months ago on the same channel. They love the old prison-Volvo-to-the-coast-flashback-novel psychological-thriller adaptation at ITV. That's not to say there's not plenty of intrigue here. Serena (Lorraine Burroughs) returns to her childhood town with her new family, to a dying mother and to terrible memories. Of a rape, a murder, and another girl, Poppy (Jodhi May), who was convicted of murder – of a teacher who abused them both – but may not have done it.

But, and it shares this with The Poison Tree, too, there's an obviousness to it. An ITV drama-ness about it. It's so consciously trying to be a psychological thriller, not just your bog-standard thriller. Brows are knitted to mournful cellos, Poppy shouts from a motorway bridge, and there's a lot of staring out to sea, which inevitably brings on further flashbacks. These are triggered by almost anything: photos, newspaper cuttings, the beach hut, a particular street. At one point Serena, driving in the Volvo with her husband, even overtakes her younger self. Maybe they should have given her a lift. "Hop in, love – oh, I'm you, by the way, in the future. I wouldn't go in there, incidentally, it's trouble." I also thought Evan, the husband, was a bit too cheerful and unbothered about moving in with his sick mother-in-law. What kind of man are you? A small thing, I know. I'll watch the rest, because it's enthralling enough for me to want to know what happens, or rather what happened. But I won't be lying awake at night thinking about it."[4]



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [5]
1 "Episode 1" Dan Zeff Kate Brooke 19 April 2013 (2013-04-19) 5.53
After learning of her mother's failing health, Serena Farley (Lorraine Burroughs) decides to move back home to Brighton with husband Evan (Nicholas Pinnock) and daughter Verity (Dominique Jackson). Serena's childhood home, however, holds bad memories of the summer of 1995, in which she and another schoolgirl, Poppy Carlisle (Jodhi May) were accused of the murder of their schoolteacher, Marcus Hansley (Martin Compston). Meanwhile, Poppy, who was convicted and has served seventeen years for the murder, is released and struggles to adapt to life on the outside. Her mother's pleasure at finally having her daughter home is scuppered by her step-father, Jim, who has been convinced of her guilt from the very start. Unable to let her demons lie, Poppy sets about tracking Serena down in an attempt to finally reveal the truth about what happened that summer.
2 "Episode 2" Dan Zeff Kate Brooke 26 April 2013 (2013-04-26) 4.83
As Poppy discovers that she has an unexpected ally in Al (Bryan Dick), Serena visits the probation service, angered that she wasn't warned about Poppy's release. Following Poppy's advice, Evan plans to surprise Serena with a trip to Wavenden Point, unaware that it holds the key to the terrible events of 1995. Poppy approaches Verity and attempts to find about more about her. Al offers to help Poppy uncover the truth about what happened that day, and attempts to track down Marcus' girlfriend at the time, Marlene Riley. However, unbeknown to Poppy, Al is secretly a journalist working on a story about her release, and now aware of who the second Ice Cream girl was, makes an unexpected visit to Serena.
3 "Episode 3" Dan Zeff Kate Brooke 3 May 2013 (2013-05-03) 5.18
Serena's sister Fez calls the probation service, and Poppy is subsequently arrested. Facing recall to prison for breaking the conditions of her parole, Poppy is distraught and vows to uncover the truth. Al manages to track down Marlene Riley, but she denies all knowledge of the murder. During a heart-to-heart with Poppy, Serena realises that neither of them could have been Marcus' killer, and that a third party was involved. As Poppy recalls the tragic events of that night, Serena realises that her own mother could be the killer. As Evan comes to terms with his wife's true identity, Serena is forced to confront Rachel and finally get to the truth - before Poppy is sent back to prison for a crime she didn't commit.


  1. ^ "The Ice Cream Girls are coming to ITV". The Ice Cream Girls. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  2. ^ The Arts Desk:, accessdate: February 8, 2016
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Retrieved 12 January 2014.  (No permanent link available. Search for relevant dates.)

External links[edit]