ACCUSED - David Chater, The Sunday Times

Posted on 2nd Sep 2012

The final episode of the series tonight should not be missed under any circumstances.


As ever the emphasis is fair and square on character-driven storytelling, which makes it difficult to talk about without spoiling the story. But without giving away anything crucial, it is safe to say that it dovetails with the episode last week. A young lad, played brilliantly by Robert Sheehan, above, has had a 24-carat crack-up. Following the death of his mother, he believed that Alastair Campbell was speaking to him through the television set and telling him to stab his stepmother, which resulted in a six-year prison sentence. Specifically, the episode describes what happened to him in prison and to the prison officer (Anna Maxwell Martin) who looked out for him. But it is also about deficiencies in the prison system itself. The episode also boasts a stunning performance from Maxwell Martin, who manages to reconcile the tough, pasty-faced mask required for her job in prison with an innate warmth and decency visible when she’s with her family. It is the most moving and powerful drama on television in a long time.

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