A teenage girl, Jessica, befriends a teenage boy called Tom, who is bullied by a local gang. She is abused by Jack, who is both her neighbour and school teacher, and Tom is sexually abused ... See full summary »
Teenagers did not always exist. In this living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and voices lifted from early 20th Century diary entries, a struggle erupts between adults and adolescents to define a new idea of youth.
Centers on an inveterate twenty-something slacker who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, only to find himself entangled with a murder mystery, a femme fatale and the loose ends of his own past.
It's very rarely that a dramatisation of a novel outstrips it in intensity, but this TV adaption surprised me. Joanna Trollope's novel, like all her novels in my opinion (and I've read them all to date) was much gentler than the series suggests. Particularly strong were the child actors, showing the viewer with very few words how traumatic their parents' troubles were for them. Watching this, I was tempted to think that the children were the strong ones, and the adults could have done with standing in a corner for a while!
The adult cast is also strong, with particular mention of Denis Lawson - aging beautifully!!! - as the father ground down by the manipulating of his grown daughter, and also Lesley Manville as the very distressed and disturbed Nadine. Also worth a mention is Emilia Fox as Dale, the manipulative, but very childlike daughter of Tom, the Denis Lawson character. I almost didn't give her special mention because I've never yet seen a performance of hers which is anything other than extrordinary!
This is a very modern tale well told. A must-see for all who enjoy people-stories.
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