Top positive review
61 people found this helpful
on 12 January 2011
The Accused is a set of meaty and often hard-hitting dramas by Jimmy McGovern, writer of The Street. Each episode opens with the accused (geddit?) being led from their cell to face trial for an unspecified crime. The story is then told in the next sixty minutes of how he or she, normally an honest and upstanding citizen found themself there and on what charge. There is the plumber facing bankruptcy and an expensive family wedding who comes across a bag of cash in a cab. The soldier whose best friend committed suicide unable to cope with the stresses of war and victimisation in Helmand. The lonely cabbie with a sick wife who develops a friendship with one of his fares and more.....the good, the bad and the unlucky.
McGovern picks from a cross section of society and weaves each plot beautifully to keep you guessing until the end who is guilty (or not) and of what crime although the result is secondary to the journey there. Hardly anytime is spent in the courtroom, we are just whisked in for the verdict and that is plenty. Great performances from the best of British actors including Christopher Eccleston, Juliet Stevenson and Marc Warren. As all the stories are separate, it does not have the character continuity or indeed community of The Street but fans of that excellent series will recognise and appreciate McGovern's DNA running right through this one as nobody does gritty English drama better.