A well-made TV film about events that needed to be told
STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits
A dramatization of the Paddington and Hatfield train crashes in London and the shockingly quick succession in which they happened between 1999 and 2000. The film deals with the shattering impact of the crash on the families involved and the negligence of the company behind the railways, Railtrack and the bereaved families uniting together and fighting for justice.
There have been a number of high-profile stories in the headlines over the last few years, and the Paddington/Hatfield crashes has been one of them. And it's good that the BBC have come up with an increasingly rare bit of quality programming and made this well-made drama about them.
The film hauntingly portrays the events as if they were really happening and cleverly succeeds in making it all appear as realistically as possible (with the exception of the press people taking photographs of the inside of one of the lead character's house from outside, which I don't think they'd be allowed to do.) Some may find it a bit cheap and slapped together to use archive footage of real news presentations/interviews in between all the drama segments, but this wasn't a problem for me and didn't detract from the drama being any more gripping than it already was. But the main thing driving the whole thing along is the brilliant performances from the central cast, beautifully capturing the grief and vengeance of those involved.
It may be a BBC production all the way and it may be a bit too painful for some, but it's a sensitive and compassionate account of events that needed to be told. ****
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