Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stark Portrait of a Modern Nightmare

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stark Portrait of a Modern Nightmare

Article excerpt


The Street 9pm, BBC1

WHEN highly respected teacher Brian is out for a run in the local park and finds himself caught short, he does what most other chaps would do - nips into the bushes.

It's a big mistake. Because a small girl sees him and runs away screaming to her father.

And from that moment, Brian's innocent action plunges him into a modern nightmare.

First there is a complaint to his school, then the police are involved and then his wife, children and neighbours. Then the whispering starts.

And no matter how much Brian protests his innocence, there are people happy to believe that he is a "perv". As the police investigate, even things for which he had once been praised are twisted to look sinister.

The fact that he gave up his own time for his pupils - by directing the school play, for example - is seen as a tactic to get close to the children.

And a verse he gave one of his female pupils to study is held up as a love poem. And, ask the police, couldn't it be seen as suggestive about a young girl's developing body?

"Yes, I suppose it could," snaps Brian. "You'd have to take it up with John bleeding Keats - and he's been dead since 1821."

Neil Dudgeon gives an excellent performance as the teacher who finds his world crumbling, with Lindsey Coulson as his troubled wife.

And, even though the resolution seems a bit rushed, this is another memorable piece of drama in a series which is turning out to be one of the best of the year.

Suburban Shootout

11pm, Five

When Joyce and Jeremy Hazeldine move into the idyllic English village of Little Stempington, they hardly expect it to turn out to be a cross between Desperate Housewives and The Sopranos.

But that's what happens in this entertaining new comedy. Or, rather, that's what happens to her.

Policeman Jeremy is blissfully unaware that his wife has become caught up in turf war between two gangs of, er, desperate housewives. …

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