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
Here we have the final chapter of the this turbulently dark and maturely free-flowing three part mini-series, picking up three years after the second chapter, the story for 1983 might be a little convoluted (with the plot digging further into past events --- where some passages are set-up flashbacks leading us to even more surprises) it still was a fulfilling, harrowing and exciting way to close it off. It might not reach the heights of the first two chapters, as it came down a notch but for me it didn't disappoint and remained just as acceptably engaging as the previous entries.
1983 sets the story that another young girl has vanished from the same area, where nine years earlier (set-up in the first chapter; 1974) a young girl's mutilated dead body was found with angel wings. Detective Maurice Jobson was originally on the case with an autistic man Michael Mishkin being accused of the murder/s, but now of this new development the family of the accused seeks the help from dreary lawyer John Piggott to get an appeal. At first hesitant, but Piggott learns some astonishing facts from Michael about police brutality and corruption at the core. There he goes on trying to take on the Yorkshire police on his own. While Detective Jobson seems to be having a change of heart and starts digging in to the case wanting to do the correct thing, which some of his fellow officers begin questioning.
1983 pretty much follows on from 1974, as while 1980 seemed there more so there to connect/hold together some issues that worked its way in. The sprawling plot brings together all the pieces (child abuse, serial murders and police corruption) to put them as one; as every little detail, lead and revelation about this deeply crafted and intelligent crime story comes to a conclusion. Recurring characters seem to find themselves being wrapped up too and it actually centres more on the endlessly brutal actions of the police behind closed doors. The story was never about the bigger picture of police corruption and violence, but just a small note of it with how this case (and also Yorkshire ripper) was manipulated for self-gain and power the series focused on that aspect.
Here the narrative for the last chapter is about someone trying to make a difference, no matter how much they're out of their league or badly tainted. This can be seen from the viewpoint of two central characters ; lawyer John Piggott and Detective Maurice Jobson. Both have regrets and troubled minds, but see this crusade to not turn a blind eye and at least add a touch of hope amongst such bleak, unflinching and fearful circumstances. David Morrisey had lesser roles in the early films, but this one its all about his character's transformation in what is a superbly reflective performance as Jobson. Mark Addy is also outstanding as lawyer Piggott. Then there's a third character; BJ (Robert Sheehan) who ties all the incidents together from all three chapters. The support is up to game with brilliant show-ins by Warren Clarke, Jim Carter, Daniel Mays and Peter Mullan.
Director Anand Tucker just like the other additions captures the times through place and time, embarking with a visually crisp look but never forgetting the glassy and hardened edge that made this series an uneasy and challenging viewing. What always left a mark with me throughout the series, were the music scores and this chapter was no exception. Gloomy, but soulful and emotionally tailored.
An unforgettable and stimulating TV crime drama.
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