Little Boy Blue is a four-part drama based around the horrific real life situation of a drive-by shooting from a bike which hit young Rhys Jones, an 11-year-old boy, a Harry Potter fan like most children, a supporter of Everton FC, and out simply enjoying football practice.
After the tragedy, which took place on Wednesday 22nd August, 2007, this then led to Tony, one of Rhys’ coaches, racing to get the lad’s mother, Mel (Sinead Keenan), because “he’s been shot”. The doctors try and do everything they can, but you know when his she and husband Steve (Brian F O’Byrne) are being ushered out the operating room, that no good news will follow.
When we first see the yet-to-be-appointed senior investigating officer, Dave “Ned” Kelly (Stephen Graham), he’s mid-celebration because he’s been promoted to acting Detective Superintendent, but the mood soon changes when word comes in about what’s happened.
This was a case where everyone knew who’d done it, but finding the evidence to convict Mercer was the difficult task, and Kelly was determined to do everything by the book to reach to the right conclusion, despite pressure from above on a quick result. Elsewhere are lead suspects Sean Mercer (Paddy Rowan) and James Yates (James Nelson-Joyce), aka ‘Yatesy’, the former leaning on the latter to help as an accomplice in the aftermath, yet they think “Just say ‘no comment’ and you’ll be in the clear”. Thankfully, we know this wasn’t the case.
Little Boy Blue features first-rate performances from all the main actors on both sides of the law, Stephen Graham is a safe pair of hands for a strong drama. He was also great in the recent Orthodox, where he starred alongside Michael Smiley.
Episode 1: 8/10
Director: Paul Whittington
Producer: Kwadjo Dajan
Writer: Jeff Pope
Music: Niall Byrne
Det.Supt Dave Kelly: Stephen Graham
Mel Jones: Sinead Keenan
Sean Mercer: Paddy Rowan
James Yates: James Nelson-Joyce
Rhys Jones: Sonny Beyga
Steve Jones: Brian F O’Byrne
Morgue Chief Supt. Brian ‘Dixie’ McNeill: Dan Skinner
Nathan Quinn: Jak Corrie
Sam Moody: Michael Baker
Steve Geoghagen: Kent Riley
Owen Jones: Matthew Roberts
Donna Kelly: Laura Dos Santos
DCI Mark Guinness: Stephen Walters
Arrested youth: Danny Wilson
Carly Ellis: Alicia Brockenbrow
Mick: Howard Corlett
Dave Kelly Jr: Paddy Birkenhead
Jenny Kelly: Megan Dawson
Nicky Kelly: Olivia Manning
Debra Taylor: Elizabeth Berrington
Neil Jones: Neil Fitzmaurice
Asst.Chief Constable Pat Gallan: Sara Powell
WDC Jackie Carter: Jodie McNee
Yates’ solicitor: Steve Gribbin
Kevin Moody: Michael Moran
Kenny Richmond: Andrew Schofield
Jordan Olssen: Nathan Clark Smith
Janice Olssen: Sylvie Gatrill
Tony Edge: Jay Johnson
Teenaged Girl: Christina Bimpson
Young woman: Clara Mbirimi
Trauma Team Leader: Dr Kulbir Mann
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.