Red Riding - Thursday's Top TV

Source: The Times
Date : 28 Feb 2009
By : David Chater

Red Riding

Channel 4, 9pm

Judging by this horrible and utterly compulsive film, the first in a trilogy based on David Peace’s Red Riding quartet, Yorkshire in the early 1970s was a bad, bad place to be. When three small girls between the ages of eight and 10 disappear, a reporter (Andrew Garfield) believes all three are linked. As he investigates the disappearances, he uncovers a web of corruption extending from local government to the West Yorkshire police, all of it revolving around a Mister Big of the North (Sean Bean).

In the process, he grows up from being a boy full of glib cynicism into someone with a clear sense of right and wrong. It is a hard-won maturity, hammered into him by the appalling brutality of the police and a growing awareness of the extent of the corruption. “This is the north,” says a policeman, “We do what we want.” It is a horrible saga, acted with hideous conviction by a stellar cast.


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