NOMINATED for a 2020 BAFTA Award for Best Mini-Series, The Victim centres on Anna Dean, a grieving mother who finds herself on trial for attempted murder after exposing the new identity and address of the man she believes murdered her son 15 years ago. On the flip-side of the equation is hard-working family man Craig Myers, who is viciously attacked after being identified online as a notorious child murderer.
Now available to binge on Showmax, The Victim has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it “an exceptionally taut, economical thriller… What looks like an ordinary mystery has a truly impressive depth and level of intellectual agility to it.”
The four-part miniseries stars Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Kelly Macdonald (pictured), who came to fame in Trainspotting, went on to star in No Country for Old Men, Boardwalk Empire, Line of Duty and Giri/Haji, and won the Best Actress Award at the Scotland BAFTAs for her role in The Victim.
The cast also includes BAFTA nominee John Hannah (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Four Weddings and a Funeral), BAFTA Scotland nominee Jamie Sives (Guilt, Game of Thrones) and James Harkness (Wild Rose).
Though much of the action surrounds Anna’s court case, Macdonald says The Victim isn’t just a courtroom drama. “It’s about family dynamics. It’s a mystery, it’s a thriller, but it’s grounded and real. It takes one tragic event and shows the domino effect on so many people. It’s basically about two families, good and bad. Nothing is black and white – it’s almost Shakespearean.”
Series creator, writer and producer Rob Williams (The Man in the High Castle, Killing Eve) agrees, calling the show “a thriller with a big question at the heart of it,” but “also, essentially, a character-driven piece about the lasting effect of crime…”
As The Victim’s story unfolds through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused, our sympathies become divided. More than just “What is the truth?”, we’re left wondering “Who is the real victim here?”
Says Williams: “By necessity, the system deals in the black and white. It demands a defendant and a plaintiff, a victim and an accused. But, outside court, life is far more complicated than that… Most crimes create an array of victims and a ripple effect of damage.”
The Independent calls The Victim, “a nuanced and well-crafted legal drama,” highlighting its well-timed narrative around the power of social media today: “The forces that give us blogs, Facebook and Netflix have also made vigilantism of all kinds easier to organise,” it points out. “For some, web anonymity is a licence to post information without accountability. For others, the internet is a place to evaporate and become someone else entirely. Whistleblowing is easier than ever, but so is ruining someone’s reputation with a false accusation. Either way, it’s not going away, and as The Victim shows, societies must find ways to deal with the asymmetries it enables.”
BY: Vianne Venter