The Field of Blood (2011– )

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Glasgow 1982, a young girl investigates mysterious murders in a world of men.

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2   1  
2013   2011  
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
Matt Costello ...
 Con Meehan (4 episodes, 2011-2013)
Jayd Johnson ...
 Paddy Meehan (4 episodes, 2011-2013)
 Trisha Meehan (4 episodes, 2011-2013)
 George McVie (4 episodes, 2011-2013)
Kelsey Griffin ...
 Mary Ann Meehan (4 episodes, 2011-2013)
 Murray Devlin (4 episodes, 2011-2013)
Brian Pettifer ...
 Father Richards (4 episodes, 2011-2013)
 Terry Hewitt (2 episodes, 2011)
 Dr. Pete (2 episodes, 2011)
 Sean (2 episodes, 2011)
Robert Dickson ...
 Calum Ogilvey (2 episodes, 2011)
 DCI Sullivan (2 episodes, 2013)
Louise Goodall ...
 Tracy Dempsie (2 episodes, 2011)
Brian Ferguson ...
 Shug Grant (2 episodes, 2013)
Alana Hood ...
 Heather Allen (2 episodes, 2011)
 Red Willie McDade (2 episodes, 2013)
Barrie Hunter ...
 Duty Sergeant (2 episodes, 2011)
Pauline King ...
 Caroline / ... (2 episodes, 2011)
 Danny Ogilvey (2 episodes, 2011)
Gavin Mitchell ...
 Henry Naismith (2 episodes, 2011)
 Karen Burnett (2 episodes, 2013)
 DC Dan Burns (2 episodes, 2013)
Des McAleer ...
 Paul Neilson / ... (2 episodes, 2013)
Martin McCardie ...
 Lafferty (2 episodes, 2013)
Brian Vernel ...
 Darren Naismith / ... (2 episodes, 2011)
 DI Michael Gallagher (2 episodes, 2013)
 Maloney (2 episodes, 2013)
Andrew Sloey ...
 Daily News Journalist (2 episodes, 2011)


Set in Glasgow in 1982, Paddy Meehan is a young girl in a world of men; a feisty copy boy in the sexist, hard-boozing, cutthroat world of journalism. Paddy dreams of being an investigative reporter, and she grabs the opportunity when a young boy, Brian Wilcox, is kidnapped and found murdered. Paddy sees connections to a year-old crime that nobody else sees and she is determined to make it her story. But when Paddy crosses the line, she becomes outcast from her devoutly Catholic family and puts the lives of her colleagues, as well as her own, at risk. The closer she gets to the murderer, the closer she gets to murder; and the price of achieving her dream will prove greater than she can ever imagine. Written by Bye

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2011 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Glasgow kiss-off.
9 May 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I read the Denise Mina source novel a couple of years ago and was pleased that this adaptation seemed to stay true to its good source. As a Glaswegian, myself, I always get a kick out of spotting known locations, especially as I'm an Eastender where much of the location work was done.

The story here of course recalls the awful Jamie Bulger case, although being set in the early 80's it actually predates that horrific crime, the association can't help but provoke a certain amount of discomfort (almost certainly evincing the prominent "Any similarity..." legend over the end titles) but there is a good deal more to the narrative than this, with a related almost identical murder some 10 years previously and a good twist at the end as the true murderer is revealed.

The back stories centre on young, ambitious Catholic copy-girl Paddy Meehan trying to get on in the male-dominated newspaper world and her relationship to her strictly R.C. family, rightly dispensing with the original book's insertion of the dichotomy between this Paddy Meehan and the famous miscarriage of justice victim of the same name from years ago (although the original Paddy Meehan was a male). That said, viewers unfamiliar with the real-life Paddy Meehan story might scratch their heads over these references at all and to be truthful adds nothing to this dramatisation. I also wasn't taken with the mother-daughter relationship conveyed between Paddy and her strictly Irish mother, even as I appreciate it too was in the original writing.

The acting was mostly good, Jayd Johnson making a good central character, although she could have done, I think with being fatter and less attractive as befits her description in the book, the better support acting coming from those south of the border (David Morrissey & an almost unrecognisable Jonas "Robin Hood" Armstrong). It was however strange and off-putting for me at any case to see well known Scottish comedy actors from the likes of "Still Game" in prominent roles which lessened realism for me, Ford Kiernan in particular seeming both miscast and out of his depth. Outshining them all though was Peter Capaldi as the newspaper's doomed, veteran reporter, Dr Pete, declaiming Dylan Thomas' and dying where many a Glaswegian would like to, in a pub, with whom Meehan strikes up a mutual respect and the paternal relationship lacking in her own life.

The depiction of Thatcher-era Glasgow was well done, from fashion to language with a decent post punk soundtrack (Gang of Four, Elvis Costello etc) to boot. There are one or two scenes of extreme violence, although thankfully none involving minors. More of Mina's mordant humour could perhaps have been employed but on the whole this was an above-average production which will hopefully beget more adaptations of this writer's work.

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