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Passer By (2004)

Joe is a successful man, a good man, a good father, a good husband. Until one night, in a moments decision, he makes the choice to walk away when a woman in distress asks for his help. As ... See full summary »


David Morrissey


Tony Marchant


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Nesbitt ... Joe Keyes
Chris Ryman ... Roger
Emil Marwa ... Dan Bell
Karl Hansen Karl Hansen ... Junior Radiographer
Emily Bruni ... Alice
Bryan Dick ... Ruddock
Joe Armstrong ... Tinley
Siobhan Finneran ... Helen Keyes
Billie North ... Louise Keyes
Ben Smith Ben Smith ... Reece Keyes (as Benjamin Smith)
Richard Freeman ... Chief Interviewer
Guy Scantlebury Guy Scantlebury ... Police Officer
Yvonne Gidden ... Education Welfare Officer
Stephen O'Toole Stephen O'Toole ... TV Presenter
Roger Blake Roger Blake ... Head Teacher


Joe is a successful man, a good man, a good father, a good husband. Until one night, in a moments decision, he makes the choice to walk away when a woman in distress asks for his help. As the dire consequences of that moment unfold, Joe tries desperately to repair the damage and his faith in himself and the man he thought he was. Written by daylinb

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Official Sites:






Release Date:

28 March 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Difícil decisión See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Drama Group See more »
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Technical Specs


(2 parts)

Sound Mix:



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User Reviews

Interesting,thought provoking moral dilemma drama
8 April 2004 | by davideo-2See all my reviews

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

Joe Keyes (James Nesbitt) is a radiographer at a top London hospital.At the end of another working day,he catches the train home.On his journey,he encounters two strangers,Ruddock (Bryan Dick) and Tinley (Joe Armstrong) who appear to have had too much to drink and are hassling a young woman named Alice (Emily Bruni).When his stop arrives,Joe convinces himself that they are just being a little drunk and merry,even though he is sub consciously aware this could very well not be the case,and gets off.The next day,he returns to the train station and learns that a young woman was raped the other night and that police are now appealing for witnesses.Wracked with guilt with the repurcussions of his cowardly actions,Joe finds his home life falling apart with relationships being tested with his wife Helen (Siobhan Finneran) and young son Reece (Benjamin Smith) who is suffering at the hands of school bullies.

This film presents a concept that any one of us could identify with and which ultimately makes it all the more intriguing.It forces us to examine traits within our own character and highlights the importance of how much we must depend on each other.Following on from his work in the excellent Wall of Silence,James Nesbitt is here given a very well written part as the central protagonist,with the script throwing up numourous instances that show how his dismissive attitude fits in to his everyday life as well as how he behaved on the train,when he loses his nerve again at another crucial point in the film and throws in the full emotional turmoil as he begins to doubt his own character and form a dismally low opinion of himself.We see him force himself to build up courage within himself to lay his own demons to rest and make him (and possibly the people he feels he is losing the respect of) believe in himself again.The supporting cast are on top form too,Finneran forcefully compelling as the disappointed but loyal and supporting wife,Bruni a very engaging character who's too assertive and mentally strong to allow herself to be classed as a victim,and Smith,a very young actor,forming a strong impression of himself,with his quietly riveting performance here and his previous portrayal of the obnoxious Damien in Only Fools and Horses.

Overall,this is a very inspired concept and strong work for the BBC to present.It truly peers deep in to the bowels of any of our souls and forces us to ask ourselves:what would you do?****

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