apple tree yard
Apple Tree Yard stars Ben Chaplin and Emily Watson BBC

BBC1's new drama Apple Tree Yard has proven a hit with viewers with its chilling plot line and superb acting from Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin, and it continues to end the weekends on a riveting note while taking post-watershed Sunday viewing to a whole new level.

We've now reached the third and penultimate episode of the series, which has been adapted from Louise Doughty's novel. So far, the show's taut depiction of the aftermath of sexual assault has been commended with acclaim and high ratings.

Last week's episode saw Yvonne Carmichael (Watson) and her lover Mark Costley (Chaplin) go to her sex attacker George Selway's house, with Mark disappearing inside the property.

We'll see during tonight's offering that Costley refuses to tell Yvonne what happened inside the home, insisting she does not contact the police. As she sits in the car outside anxiously waiting, Costley rushes back in a frenzy and demands, "Drive. Now, now!"

After he also chirps, "Everything is under control," the viewing audience will soon gather that it really isn't. He then goes on to tell her: "Just trust me," and we all get a sneaking feeling she really shouldn't.

Surprise, surprise, poor Yvonne – as if she hasn't been through the wars already – is arrested by the police for murder, yet she hastily denies everything.

Who will believe her, though? Her story does not convince the police and she and Costley stand trial together. Safe to say the honeymoon period is well and truly over...

As the case unfolds, a surprising witness takes the stand which leads to a shock revelation. In another twist, we find out that everything Yvonne's handsome, mysterious lover told her was a complete lie. Her only hope of eschewing a lengthy prison sentence lies with a man that may as well be a complete stranger – and judging how things started off between them, he is.

The grown-up thriller doesn't fail to impress yet again.

Apple Tree Yard airs tonight (5 February) at 9pm on BBC1.