Cape Wrath (3 stars)

Channel 4, Tue 10 Jul, 10pm


Channel 4 haven’t been too lucky of late with their new British serial dramas what with the dire sub-Footballers Wives romp Goldplated and the wildly overblown and overrated Skins. So, when news arrived of this witness protection drama, it might have left terrified viewers wishing that they too were in hiding. The amazing news is that Cape Wrath is actually not rubbish. But how could it be with the main roles taken by the estimable David Morrissey (Basic Instinct 2 aside) and the ever rising star of Lucy Cohu, who played the flighty young Princess Margaret in 2005’s gin-sodden drama, The Queen’s Sister.

In this eight-parter, Morrissey and Cohu are the parents of two teenagers, the family unit having fled some as yet unnamed horror involving a blaze which we see in flashback, probably in retaliation for them giving evidence in court. They are taken blindfolded to a seemingly idyllic community called Meadowlands, shut off from the outside world and rammed to the gunnels with felons and innocents who have fled similar retributions.

In a blood-stained opening episode, the traumas experienced by the Brogans’ son who has gone deep into a psychologically-troubled shell appear to hold some key to their woes, while his voyeurism and cross-dressing leads him into near-mortal danger. A tense and bleak affair so far, Cape Wrath could turn out to be a dramatic blessing for the channel or yet another wet fish in a sea of mediocrity.

(Brian Donaldson)

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