Guilt is what is felt by brothers Max (Mark Bonnar) and Jake (Jamie Sives) as they’re driving along after a night out, drunk and not paying attention to the road. And then, they hit an old man and, in advertently, bump him off.
As this review is going online after the first episode has aired, I will discuss elements of that because it’s impossible not to. If you don’t want to know anything, then just skip to the final line in this review, and the review score.
In a ‘normal’ TV/movie situation, you’d just run off, but here, it starts to go a bit “Weekend at Bernie’s” and beyond, as Jake rang the doorbell for the closest house, then realised it was empty, THEN realised it was the dead man’s house, and THEN realised that he had terminal can -cer… So, instead of just deciding to put him back where they found him, they should just prop him up at home, and then all’s fine, right? Erm…
The ridiculousness of the situation increases when neice Angie (Ruth Bradley) gets involved and takes everything up a notch into ‘farce’ territory, as you’ll see.
The 2.35:1 cinema-style widescreen ratio uses a slight fish-eye lens look, resulting in a look as if it was shot on Anamorphic Panavision. Normally, I don’t like this in a TV drama, but it actually rather suits this one.
Also, in anything in which I’ve seen Mark Bonnar, he always perfects a look of anger that could stop a clock.
On the downside, the preview I saw didn’t have any subtitles, which is unfortunate as sometimes, the Scots accent was too strong.
Overall, there are one or two twists in this opening episode, but Guilt is a bit of a mixed bag. It has an interesting premise, but then goes down a route so unbelieveable that you don’t really care if the two brothers get out of it or not, as they put themselves in an increasingly ridiculous situation.
Guilt continues next Thursday on BBC Scotland at 10pm, but this first episode is on BBC2 on Wednesday 30th October on BBC2 at 9pm. It’s available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on December 9th.
If you missed it, you can watch the first episode on BBC iPlayer.
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Director: Robert McKillop
Producer: Jules Hussey
Writer: Neil Forsyth
Max McCall: Mark Bonnar
Jake McCall: Jamie Sives
Angie Curtis: Ruth Bradley
Walter: Joe Donnelly
Claire McCall: Sian Brooke
Sheila Gemmell: Ellie Haddington
Maurice: Gordon Brown
Spin instructor: Natali McCleary
Tina Hicks: Moyo Akandé
Henry McKinnon: Michael Nardone
Kenny Burns: Emun Elliott
Archie: Gregor Firth
Cameron: Noof McEwan
Gordie: Tom Urie
Lena: Tereza Duskova
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.