January 4th marks AMG’s first set of releases for 2011 and included in the group is 1992’s THE GUILTY. Writer Simon Burke’s follow-up to his genius CHANCER show is a gritty political thriller that will have you screaming for some form of real justice.
The Guilty is a tale of London attorney Steven Vey (Michael Kitchen) who’s court room talents have him on the verge of becoming Britain’s youngest-ever judge. The dark twists and turns of this suspense-filled thriller start out with Steven taking a night out with his secretary, Nicky Lennon (Caroline Catz), a little to far. Nicky’s so distraught over the rape that she doesn’t immediately report it and that choice causes a chain of events that ends up in lies, black-mail, and eventually murder.
Caroline Catz as Nicky Lennon and Michael Kitchens as Steven Vey.
Over in Birmingham, a young hood named Eddy Doyle (Sean Gallagher) has just found out the man he’s been hating for being his dad, is in fact not his father. This new information and a desire to stay out of jail push Eddy to find his real father in London.
Along with Eddy’s rough past his friends Leo (Andrew Tiernan) and Tommy (Leo Ross) are both brought into the chaos, though in very different ways. The heart of the story is the relationships that Eddy starts with Nicky and her roommate Tanya (Carol Starks). Though their is a hint of love in this wild story, it is always out shined by the brilliant darkness in this show. Michael Kitchen is utterly diabolical and vulnerable throughout the show. The show’s first DVD does a fantastic job of endearing you towards the youngsters and vilifying the elders in the show. The second DVD completely destroys any predictions you may have had of how it’ll all end. Mainly because in the end, everyone is guilty of something—and justice isn’t always served.
I highly recommend this show. It’s got a gripping lead character that has so many aspects to him you really can’t help yourself wanting to see what will happen to Steven Vey. Just as Simon Burke’s Chancer introduced Clive Owen to the masses, The Guilty heralds its own young stars. Caroline Catz is wonderful as Nicky Lennon. She is more then just the pretty girl and you have the chance to see her tackle so many emotions in the first act alone.
Mixed in with the boldness of Sean Gallagher’s performance of Eddy, by far the wildest back story of any of the characters, is also his desire to be a good person. The supporting cast is also very well rounded. Andrew Tiernan’s Leo is the perfect “hood” kid who takes things to far and Leo Ross’ Tommy is ironically the only honest bloke in the entire group. If there is any character that you want to see not get caught up in the craziness its the hard-working Tommy. But Carol Starks as Tanya is a character that really comes to life in the second act. Peter Blythe plays Steven Vey’s best friend, Chris Bouch, and his performance has a wild twist in the second act that makes you question his kindness throughout the first act. Peter is a very quiet character in the grand scheme of the show, but his impact is massive.
This one of the more well acted and well thought out scripts i’ve seen from a TV show. Its dark, bold, and doesn’t end up the way you think it will. Its captivating and rich in its ability to surprise you with where things lead.
“A tour de force for Kitchen”—The Sunday Times
“Terrific psychological thriller”—The Sunday Times
“Brilliant drama”—The Mail on Sunday
Street: January 4, 2011
DVD 2-Disc Set: Approx. 201 min. – SDH subtitles
Contains violence and brief nudity M
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