A murky tale. A child goes missing in West Yorkshire, one of several over ten years; the police find a patsy, an acquaintance of Michael, a blood simple man serving a life sentence for another girl's death. Michael's mother asks John Piggott, a burned-out solicitor, to look into her son's conviction; Piggott finds injustices in current and past cases. Maurice Jobson, part of a group of corrupt cops, searches for the missing girl, involves a medium, finds nothing, leans hard on Piggott, and may be tiring of the sham. He's warned off going soft. Is there moral strength anywhere capable of facing down the cabal? Written by
Again, I must begin this review (and I apologise) by directing you to my reviews for the first two instalments in this trilogy. Just so that you know how truly amazed/mesmerised/impressed I was by this production.
It's now 1983 and we have a number of story strands coming together and, pay attention and you shouldn't get too confused, a number of flashbacks tying everything together and revealing more than we ever realised from the first outing (the middle, 1980, section isn't really as vital although it's still a connecting vein in the overall story arch). The police corruption continues, suspects are pulled in on a whim and shown the "force" in police force, while a few good souls (including a lawyer who feels in way over his head but realises that something must be done, brilliantly played by Mark Addy) try to actually ensure that justice is done and that some innocence is saved.
What can I say that I haven't already said about the "1974" and "1980" instalments of this peerless trilogy? This has consistently impressed me beyond belief from the very start to the last minute.
Mark Addy reminds us that he really can be a great actor and deserves some more, better roles like this one. David Morrisey, ever-present throughout the trilogy, takes centre-stage here and certainly gives one of his best ever performances (certainly from the little I have seen of him). Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, has fumbled so much as one line throughout this entire trilogy and all involved should be mightily proud of such an achievement.
Am I wittering on? Exaggerating the level of quality on display here? Maybe ever so slightly but I can only go by my personal reaction to such intense, original, rarely-seen, genuinely "adult" drama and I urge others to see how they react to the material. There is no easy ride in store for viewers, once again, but you will be rewarded with one of the finest viewing experiences you can have on the small screen.
See this if you like: Murder In The First, Red Riding "1974", Red Riding "1980".
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