In 1974, Eddie Dunford, comes home from South England and gets a job as a cub reporter for the Yorkshire Post. A schoolgirl has gone missing, and Eddie suspects it's one of several crimes dating back six years; the police think not and blame gypsies. Eddie digs; the police stonewall him then two of them beat him after he visits the widowed mother of one of the girls missing for a few years. When a child's body turns up at a construction site of local building magnate John Dawson, Eddie has another thread to pull. By now, he's begun an affair with Paula, the widowed mom, and he suspects collusion among Dawson, the police, and his newspaper - but what are they covering up? Written by
The title of the trilogy, "Red Riding", derives from two main sources - Yorkshire, the location of the crimes, and Red Riding Hood, the traditional tale. Yorkshire, a county of England, is divided into three sections or ridings. The action takes place in the West Riding. One of the girls who goes missing is wearing a red anorak or hooded jacket, and one of the attackers bears the nickname, Wolf. See more »
Little girl goes missing, the pack salivates. If it bleeds it leads, right? Eddie Dunford, crime correspondent, back home to take the north. Business first. Dad won't mind waiting.
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Wow. Just . . . . wow! This is quite possibly the finest drama I have EVER seen on British TV in years and years and years, possibly even the finest drama ever. But before I begin the review let me just say that you really need to see all 3 parts of the trilogy to get the most from the overall tapestry.
When a little girl's body turns up (with swan wings stitched into her back) in Yorkshire all eyes turn to the police force to apprehend the killer as swiftly as possible. Unofrtunately, the police seem to be too busy lining their own pockets and framing other people to find any real justice. After a life of relative inadequacy (and I know THAT feeling), a returning local lad (played by Andrew Garfield) decides to dig a little deeper but it's not long before he's in way over his head with more victims linked to the crime and more suspects that may well seem "untouchable".
Okay, it may still feel like a TV production but if it does then it's certainly one with the best production values. Cinematic in many ways that could, hopefully, make you forget that you're watching a small-screen opus.
The cast list, as is the case with the entire trilogy, is a dream one. You may not know all of the names but, trust me, these people are great actors firing on all cylinders. Peter Mullan (always great), David Morrisey (so good that he made me forget all about the travesty he was in with Sharon Stone), Sean Bean, Warren Clarke, Eddie Marsan, Rebecca Hall and Sean Harris (again, is he EVER bad??) are just some of my favourites from this outing.
The subject matter certainly doesn't make for comfortable viewing and there were times when even a lifelong horror fan such as myself began to wince and worry about what was yet to come. In many ways I feel that this actually did trip into horror territory but with a very real, unsafe horror that encroaches on our reality more often than any of us would like it to. The helplessness of child victims and the helplessness of those left in the hands of corrupt authorities/guardians ensures that you won't have an easy viewing experience. But you will have a damn worthwhile one.
See this if you like: Zodiac, The Woodsman, L.A. Confidential.
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