Criminal Justice

What a fine actor Maxine Peake is! She can do more with a look than most people can do with a flood of words - it must be wonderful to write for such an actor, because you could allow yourself to be understated, knowing that she wouldn't need everything to be made too explicit. She seems to have gone from strength to strength over the years - not always a 'pleasure' to watch because she goes unerringly for roles which are demanding, of the viewer, as well as the actor. But always admirable, always real, always moving. Criminal Justice - five hours, five nights, finished last night and for a wonder, I managed to see every episode. I can't say I would ever want to watch it again. And I think if I had had a young child (remembering how vulnerable one feels on their behalf) I would never have managed to stay the pace. Too distressing. But none of that is to say that it wasn't categorically the best thing on TV for a very very long time. Everything else pales beside it. When it was finished, the now familiar announcement came on - 'If you were affected by any of the issues in this drama...' etc and we chorused 'who the hell wouldn't be?'