(Rated 4.5/5 )
I'm shaking and still horrified by the power, and again harsh reality, of this week's Accused. And yes - any questions from last week's end up clarified. Then again - maybe I was the only one who needed that clarity?! Or is hindsight a great thing? I mean now I know it's glaringly obvious! But perhaps it could be obvious in one way with still doubt in another. Haha now I'm being obscure!
For this one Jimmy McGovern is joined in writing by Isabelle Grey, and they write for Anna Maxwell Martin as prison officer Tina Dakin.
We meet her as she accompanies Stephen, from last week's story, on his journey into prison. Tina is normal, real, plain Jane, precise at her job, caring and compassionate but that's all appropriately hidden from fellow officers and inmates. She would not have fit amongst the cast of screws in Prisoner Cell Block H!! Tina has a young family, and a loving husband. What on earth could she have done wrong to be the accused?! We are kept guessing until the very end, though if you watch carefully there is a hint at the beginning - or should I say, at several times during the episode. But the skill here is it's hard to work out, and you really want to know, and don't want her to be punished any more for it. Because she does get 'punished' for doing the right thing - and a very severe punishment it ends up being! And again, this is where we are shocked - this kind of thing almost certainly could happen in our prisons. It's a dog eat dog environment, in which all cover their backs if they can - officers and prisoners alike. Whilst I felt Sheridan Smith attempted to play her role ambiguously, it was clear what Anna was doing - holding a whole lot in - to her cost - until she could no longer do so. John Bishop reprises his role as Stephen's father - and oh my goodness - I just had tingles down my spine as I said that. He was monumentally good in this episode. In fact the interaction between him and Anna brings out the best in them both for me.
Sam Hazeldine plays a very lovely hubby to Tina. And Ewen Bremner impresses as quite a contrasting character!
Again leaves us thinking about a lot of issues. Great Job!
Accused: Tina's Story – Review by TheRestrictedReviewer © 2012