BBC's The Victim is a refreshing take on the popular British drama
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The BBC mini-series The Victim is full of originality, emotion and unpredictability, successfully navigating the previously unexplored territory of child criminality.
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Over four episodes The Victim tells the story of Anna Dean, a grieving mother seeking to avenge her son, Liam, who was murdered 15 years earlier. The killer, Eddie J. Turner, lives a new life under a new identity, having been just a child himself at the time of the murder. Though the new identity of Liam’s killer is is uncertain until the end of the series , a man called Craig Myers is brutally attacked after his image and address is circulated online. With Dean accused of instigating the attack on Myers, it is uncertain who the real victim is: the woman whose son has been murdered or the man who may have been falsely accused? Creator Rob Williams has confirmed that The Victim is not based on one true event, but it is difficult to not see the similarity between the plot and certain real-life cases. As such a sensitive topic, it was important for Williams to get a story about child criminality, new identity and victimhood right. With Liam’s killer having served his time, the series explores the moral implications of a new identity and inspects how lives are changed forever after such a heinous crime. The attack, interspersed with courtroom scenes, makes for a bold opening, leaving viewers somewhat disorientated from the beginning. At times it is exhausting to watch due to the absence of comedic relief (I don’t think Tom Carpenter’s vulgar comments can be counted) but it feels appropriate due to the dark subject matter.