Three Girls Episode 1 – The DVDfever Review

Three Girls Three Girls takes place over three nights on BBC1 and is based on a true story.

The story began with schoolgirl Holly (Molly Windsor) being assaulted in the local ‘Top Curry’ takeaway, her father, Jim (Paul Kaye), not believing her story and insisting they get out of the police station ASAP so they can let the cops “do some proper work”. It then periodically goes back to recent times to explain how they got there.

The men who run the takeaway have been grooming her and some of her friends, with a view to exploiting them sexually, telling the girls that they’re ‘friends’ and “friends do things for each other”. What follows is very grim indeed, but which gets even worse as one throws £10 at Holly, adding, “You’re my bitch now, and if you cross me, I’ll kill you”.

Bringing things to the present, as they’re all in the police station and she’s about to be charged with criminal damage for smashing the display unit in the takeaway, she tells them she’s been raped.

Her parents struggle to understand why this happened more than once, quizzing her why she went back – unintentionally making it sound like they lay some of the blame at her door, while the senior police officer interviewing her shows his disdain for doing any work by yawning as he explains her trauma, and putting the blame on her for having consensual sex twice before. While I have, thankfully, never had to deal with a case like this in my lifetime, the depiction of that senior officer is spot-on compared to my experiences with them in the past.


Three Girls, whilst based on a true story of the Rochdale child sex abuse ring – which began in 2008, and being broadcast over three consecutive nights, dramatises the events, not specifying a timeframe in the drama itself – rather odd for one that’s based on a true-life story. However, it tells a very dark tale, including when we learn for one 13-year-old girl that she seems quite chuffed that she’s “famous in Pakistan” since the men involved filmed her dancing naked and broadcast it on the internet to their friends. It turns your stomach, and it took sexual health worker Sara Rowbotham (Maxine Peake) to bring the case to the authorities, insisting they do something about it.

In this drama, everyone is on point acting-wise, particularly Molly Windsor as 15-year-old Holly, and Maxine Peake, who’s always a safe pair of hands in an intense drama.

And I presume the names of the victims have had their names changed in this drama, understandably, but the names of the convicted perpetrators have been given.

Three Girls continues tomorrow night on BBC1 at 9pm, and the first episode is available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.


Three Girls – Series trailer – BBC One


Episode 1 Score: 8/10

Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Writer: Nicole Taylor

Cast:
Holly Winshaw: Molly Windsor
Sara Rowbotham: Maxine Peake
DC Margaret Oliver: Lesley Sharp
Lorna Bowen: Lisa Riley
Nazir Afzal: Ace Bhatti
Jim Winshaw: Paul Kaye
Julie Winshaw: Jill Halfpenny
Amber Bowen: Ria Zmitrowicz
Ruby Bowen: Liv Hill
Mr. Nadin: Peter Singh
Immy: Antonio Aakeel
DC Sandy Guthrie: Jason Hughes
DC Jack Harrop: Rupert Procter
PC Richard Bran: Ross Anderson
Tariq: Wasim Zakir
Car Zero: Satnam Bhogal
Daddy: Simon Nagra
Billy: Zee Sulleyman
Yvonne: Naomi Radcliffe
Elliot Young: Brian Fletcher
DC Nina Pretiss: Kerrie Hayes
Emily Stone: Katherine Pearce
Rachel Winshaw: Bo Bragason
Saj: Haider Mohammed Javed
Zoe: Ellie Lightfoot
Tiger: Tebraiz Shahzad
Arresting Police Officer: Dean Ashton
Aisha: Perveen Hussain

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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