The Crow Road is essentially a story about growing up. But while most productions on this theme tend to be mawkish, the Crow Road is a brilliantly suspenseful, moving drama mixing elements of murder mystery, comedy, tragedy, love, sex and faith. The series comprises 4 hour-long episodes that follow Prentice McHoan, a young lad brought up by his father to question things in life. So when friends and family start dying, his older brother steals off with the woman of his dreams, and his beloved Uncle Rory goes missing, Prentice starts casting round for answers. Is there some spiritual meaning to all these people leaving him or is there a more human, and sinister, reason? Aided by his old friend Ashley Watt and imaginary visitations from the missing Rory, Prentice tries to solve the McHoan mysteries.
The acting here is superb, particularly from Bill Paterson. The story skips deftly between the present, Prentice's younger days, and even the childhood of his father and uncles, allowing the relationships between the characters to be fully realised and making it all the more heartbreaking when they break down. The extras don't amount to much unfortunately, with the audio commentary from the director and other crew a bit dry. Some contribution here from the charismatic cast (including such faces as Peter Capaldi, and even Supergran!) would have helped. Quite how this TV series compares with the book it's based on I don't know as I haven't read it but here's the author Iain Banks' opinion: "annoyingly better than the book in far too many places". There you go. Do watch this.