Can you imagine if one of your neighbour's kids vanished? Or if your own children disappeared? Would you function? How would you cope? Feel sick yet?
The two-part drama The Moorside on BBC One is the real-life horror story of 'abducted' nine-year-old Shannon Matthews who vanished after a swimming trip in 2008. Writer Neil McKay takes us into the heart of the story behind the media headlines, to unravel incomprehensible behaviour and remind us of the story's heroes and villains.
The Moorside about the extremes of human behaviour: strength, cruelty and weakness. Sheridan Smith stars as Julie Bushby, the neighbour who led the search for Shannon, organising a 24-day community effort to find the missing child and inadvertently inspiring the townspeople with purpose, pride and self-belief.
Busby's monumental efforts drew attention to the gulf in coverage between the missing middle-class child Madeleine McCann in 2007 and, just one year later, nine-year-old Shannon, daughter to a single mum with seven kids from five different fathers.
Tragically, the community's newly discovered pride crumbled to nothing when less than a month later, Shannon was found alive less than a mile from her home in a house belonging to the uncle of Karen's partner, Craig Meehan, who was in turn arrested for child pornography.
Is it possible to have sympathy for a woman who would leave her child drugged and held prisoner in a neighbour's house for 24 days and allow £3.2 million of police money to be spent on a search to have her found?
Smith is ingenious casting and gives a compelling performance as Bushby. Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones) makes for a pitiable, unhinged, blank-faced, lost, desperate, selfish, cruel, squirming, hopeless Karen Matthews, as DC Freeman (Siobhan Finneran) edges closer and closer to the truth. Absolutely unmissable TV this February.
|What||The Moorside review: BBC One|
|Where||BBC1 | MAP|
07 Feb 17 – 04 Mar 17, Catch up on iPlayer now