ACCUSED. BBC-TV, UK. 15 November through 20 December 2010. Featured players, left to right: Mackenzie Crook, Marc Warren, Juliet Stevenson, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Andy Serkis, Benjamin Smith & Peter Capaldi. Creator: Jimmy McGovern.


   This was a series of six separate plays (one hour each, no adverts) in which the central character is on trial and we see the story build up by a series of flashbacks of events leading up to the trial.

   We see little of the trial itself until the final verdict which comes just before the conclusion of each story.

   The series seemed promising since the writer was the much respected Jimmy McGovern, the man behind Cracker. It fact it turned out to be a series of unremitting and absolute tosh. I carried on watching story after story thinking that at least one of them must turn out well, but they were all deplorable.

   The stories were designed, I think, to enlist sympathy for the defendant but in that respect (as in all others) they failed in this household. One problem, for this rosy-eyed watcher, was that it was difficult to find a likeable character in the whole series but, even worse, is that the actions of so many of the characters were just unbelievable on so many levels.

   A series to be avoided.