So during my recent Easter TV binge I finally got round to watching 2009 miniseries, The Red Riding Trilogy. It’s a three part series of films all based on murder cases in Yorkshire and the corrupt way in which the police department dealt with things. Each film is based in a different year starting with 1974 and continuing with 1980 and 1984. Each film features a different protagonist, plot and director but there a threads that run through all three of them. The cast is one of the most impressive ever assembled on British TV, with Andrew Garfield, Paddy Considine, David Morrissey and Sean Bean being just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s a very dark miniseries content on showing you a grimy side of history where corruption ruled the roost in the police force leading to these murder cases being kept going way longer than they should have. While it would be appear that this series should have everything going for it I must say overall I was disappointed. While stylistically the films are done incredibly well; they are superbly acted and the dense plotlines should be enough to make an outstanding TV drama I felt that the emotion never really got out there. The feel of the show ultimately just seemed too cold, making it very hard to get properly in to. The idea to have hour and a half long episodes, done so well on the more recent Sherlock, I think, hinders Red Riding making it over-long and somehow, strangely boring. Don’t get me wrong on some levels I enjoyed the show greatly, it had some fantastic moments but the overall sensation I got was not one of entertainment, more just of boredom.
My favourite of the three was the first one starring Andrew Garfield as a journalist who asks too many questions, I found this to be the most personal stroyline as we follow Garfield’s character as he digs deeper into a system that was rotten to the core. The second episode was my least favourite, despite me normally being a huge fan of Considine, while the plot was excellent I never felt much of a connection with any of the characters in the episode. By the third and final feature the coldness of the series is fully realised and for much of the episode I found myself caring very little, but the last twenty minutes or so give us the miniseries most entertaining moments of all making the episode so much better than it could have been. It’s overall a very interesting series but, unfortunately, one that did not fully meet my expectations.
The following is filed as classified evidence for the Simon Falmouth case.
I’m not a fan of Mary, that bitch thinks she knows what’s best for me. To tell you the truth I fantasised about hurting her in the past. She always tells me though, ‘Violence solves nothing.’ She has no idea. I don’t want to solve anything. She doesn’t understand what I’ve been through. The others live their lives in blissful ignorance, I’m the one who has to take the pain. I just wish every once in a while I could get the pain out. But I can’t. Why don’t they try living with this baggage? Rather than complaining at me for acting out, why don’t they take some responsibility for once? Especially that fucking Mary.
People always tell me off for the scars I leave on my arm. They don’t understand that either. When the pain inside is so great it’s a relief to be able to concentrate on a lesser pain on the outside. I cut an artery once and almost died. That did shake me up a bit and I admitted to some of the stuff I’d been keeping in. I told people some of my memories, the really bad ones, the ones that haunt my dreams. The ones that Chris and the others have managed to forget. Do you want me to tell you those memories? Of course you fucking do everyone wants to know about my tortured past that’d make great reading material wouldn’t it? Well fuck you, fuck everyone. I deal with that by myself, why should it be anyone else’s business? Mary’s always poking that beak-like nose of hers into my business trying to find out what stuff’s happened to me so she can study and fix me. I’m already too far broken.
When I was younger, about fourteen, my brother showed me how to set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. Sometimes I just used to go down to the woods for hours with my magnifying glass and burn as many of them as I could. It used to make me feel calm, I was in control of everything in those moments. Nowadays I wish I had a giant magnifying glass that I could hold over Mary until I see her shrivel into a clump of black ash on the floor. Sometimes I wish someone would do the same to me. I do wish I was there to see Badman stab her though, I want to see the bitch die and I’m glad she’s gone now.
There are lots of people that think they can understand my problems. They are wrong. First of all no one who has a fully functioning mind can possibly cope with the things I’ve been through without ending up as fucked up as me and then they wouldn’t care to have to learn about other people’s issues. Another reason is that if people understood my problems they would know that I can take care of myself without fucking Mary following me around and making sure I’m not making the rest of the world feel uncomfortable. But the biggest thing that gets me is that if people understood my problems they wouldn’t spend their whole pathetic lives trying to get me to tell them stuff because they’d know how painful it all is, that’s why I know that no one understands because all anyone ever wants is to hear my story. They want to know why I’m like this. With Mary gone that’s one less person to poke around in my head.