When is The Woman in the Wall on TV and how many episodes are there in the series?

The brand-new drama based on the Magdalene Laundries already has viewers wanting to know when the next episode will air.

Ruth Wilson in The Woman in the Wall looking through a hole in a wall
(Image credit: BBC)

There's a new BBC drama that has viewers hooked, and TV fans want to know when The Woman in the Wall is on TV next and how many episodes there will be.

Released over the August bank holiday weekend, The Woman in the Wall has caused a stir among viewers, with some singing the praises of the gripping thriller, while others are less than impressed with the story's cliches. The new show shines a light on the Magdalene Laundries - institutions that incarcerated thousands of women in Ireland across the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries - and has left viewers wondering if The Woman in the Wall is a true story, as well as where it was filmed. For those who have watched that far, we also have a full breakdown of The Woman in the Wall ending.

It's the latest of several BBC dramas that have got TV fans talking, with those interested in the Maids Moreton murder wanting to know if The Sixth Commandment was based on a true story, while others gripped by the adaptation of Mo Hayder’s Jack Caffery novels are wondering where Wolf was filmed. Now, similar questions are being asked of The Woman in the Wall. Here's how you can watch the drama and when it will next be on TV...

When is The Woman in the Wall on TV?

The Woman in the Wall is broadcast on BBC One on Sundays. The first episode aired on Sunday 27 August, with the second episode arriving on screens the day after. Subsequent episodes will run weekly on Sundays at 9pm.

Unlike other recent BBC dramas, which have seen the entire season released on iPlayer at the same time as the first episode aired, episodes of The Woman in the Wall will not be available to stream until after they have been broadcast on BBC One.

Outside of the UK, the drama will air on Showtime in the US and on Paramount+ in Canada, Australia, Latin America, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and South Korea following its BBC debut.

How many episodes of The Woman in the Wall are there?

There are six episodes of The Woman in the Wall. The first two episodes were broadcast over the August bank holiday, leaving four episodes left to air over the following four weeks. This means the final episode is expected to air on Sunday 24 September.

You can catch up on all the episodes of The Woman in the Wall that have been released so far on the BBC iPlayer website.

The Woman in the Wall release schedule

  • Episode 1 - Sunday 27 August
  • Episode 2 - Monday 28 August
  • Episode 3 -Sunday 3 September 
  • Episode 4 - Sunday 10 September
  • Episode 5 - Sunday 17 September
  • Episode 6 - Sunday 24 September

What is The Woman in the Wall about?

The Woman in the Wall is based on The Magdalene Laundries - one of Ireland's most shocking scandals. Though the characters and place where the story takes place are fictional, it's true that thousands of women who fell pregnant outside of marriage were incarcerated and had their children taken away from them. 

Ruth Wilson and Daryl McCormack, star in the thriller, which tells the story of a woman from a fictional small Irish town called Kilkinure who wakes one morning to find a corpse in her house.

Lorna has suffered from extreme bouts of sleepwalking following her incarceration in a convent where she gave birth to her daughter Agnes - who was cruelly taken away from her - and therefore can't be sure whether she was involved in the murder or not.

Lorna from The Woman in the Wall sleeping in the middle of a road

(Image credit: BBC)

Detective Colman Akande (played by McCormack) is on her tail, but as he works on the murder and Lorna searches for her daughter, the pair start to see their secrets unravel, with both facing their past.

The BBC says of the drama: "As Colman searches for a murderer and Lorna searches for her daughter, their paths collide in ways they could never have anticipated. Lorna’s search for Agnes will take her deep into her own past and to the heart of Kilkinure’s darkest secrets, as she and Colman seek the answers they each so desperately need."

Meanwhile, writer and creator Joe Murtagh shared his motivations for the series, saying, "My hope is that someone in a random corner of the world, someone who's never heard about the Magdalene Laundries, is going to sit down to watch this show because they want to watch a heightened type of murder mystery, and it will totally deliver on that and they will be engaged by it but then by the end of all, they've also learned all about the Magdalene Laundries too."

The Woman in the Wall cast

  • Ruth Wilson as Lorna Brady
  • Daryl McCormack as Detective Colman Akande
  • Simon Delaney as Sgt. Aidan Massey
  • Philippa Dunne as Niamh
  • Mark Huberman as Michael Kearney
  • Hilda Fay as Amy Kane
  • Abby Fitz as Young Lorna
  • Lynn Rafferty as Anna
  • Frances Tomelty as Sister Eileen
  • Alexandra Moloney as Lesley
  • Chizzy Akudolu as Lola Akande
  • Fiona Browne as Margaret Brady
  • Eimear Morrissey as Louise Byrne
  • Charles Abomeli as Tayo Akande

The Woman in the Wall reviews

Viewers have been divided by The Woman in the Wall, with some gripped by the new drama while others were quick to switch off or complained about predictable stereotypes.

Taking to X - the social media platform formerly known as Twitter - one viewer wrote, "The Woman In The Wall is very good. Ruth Wilson never seems to miss", while another said, "The Woman in the Wall on BBC1 is edgy, brave, troubling and brilliant, with a stunning performance by Ruth Wilson in the central role." 

However, another user said, "God I hate when British or Americans try make Irish stories, especially when it's based on real sh** and just fill with super annoying stereotypes and bad accents [sic]."

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Meanwhile, TV critics were divided too. While The Guardian's Lucy Mangan and The Evening Standard's Suzannah Ramsdale both gave the show four stars - calling it "mesmerising" and "captivating" respectively - Nick Hilton gave the drama just two stars in The Independent, writing that it "relies too often on pained expressions, distorted flashbacks, and cop drama tropes".

Ed Power for The Irish Times wrote a searing review, saying, "The BBC’s hysterically overcooked Magdalene-laundry series is like a reboot of EastEnders’ donkey-in-the-pub episode." He added: "Irish viewers will come away with a taste in their mouths that not all the Kimberleys in the world will wash away."

In other TV news, we've revealed where You Are So Not Invited to my Bat Mitzvah was filmed, as well as where Richard Sackler is now, following the success of Netflix's Painkiller.

Ellie Hutchings
Features Editor

Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.