TV Review: Sherwood, Episode 1

Somehow James Graham does it once again with stonking new drama Sherwood, the first episode so very good

“Some people fuck themselves up”

Just a quickie to ensure that this is on everyone’s radar. James Graham’s unerring gift for incisively brilliant writing is turned in in an unusually personal way in Sherwood. The six part drama takes inspiration from two murders that happened in the Nottinghamshire mining village where he lived. And through the fictionalised versions presented here, he investigates the enduring fractures left in society by the miners’ strikes of the 1980s.

Expertly directed by Lewis Arnold, this first episode sets the scene perfectly, the ominous score sets the tone of unease that occupies so many of the interactions in the village. Sisters that don’t speak (Lesley Manville and Claire Rushbrook in great form), former colleagues who won’t forgive (Sean Gilder and Alun Armstrong particularly good), families that don’t forget (pretty much everyone). 

Without giving too much away, we follow David Morrissey’s DCS Ian St Clair as he returns to that former mining town of his early years. Quite handily, he’s at a wedding where all the key characters are present (and everyone had a good boogie to Girls Aloud) but when tragedy strikes later, his return is weighted with exorcising shadows of the past as well as solving an eye-catching murder. Absolutely one not to miss.

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