This week’s ACCUSED is Frankie, a young soldier on a murder charge awaiting the jury’s verdict. As he sits in his cell we see his story in the second of six written by Jimmy McGovern.
Why do you join the Army? Duty, honour, pride? Frankie Nash and Peter McShane didn’t. They joined to escape a two year stretch for breaking a landlord’s jaw in a petty pub brawl, an attempt to show the judge they were men of character. One ends up putting a bullet in his own brain and the other sentenced to life for murder.
Accused is a powerful examination of ordinary young men sent to war and asked to do extraordinary things. A story of loyalty, honour and redemption.
When Peter lands a solid right hook in the pub and the two best friends run off giggling like school kids you find yourself giggling with them. Foolish yes but youthful moments of stupidity like that are what being young is all about. The innocence of that rebellion is shattered by the rattle of machine guns in Afghanistan as a terrified Peter cowers, shaking, unable to stand to return fire.
The catalyst in this story is Corporal Buckley (Mackenzie Crook) and his utter disgust at this cowardice. Renamed the Unit ‘Bitch’ Peter is constantly degraded and ridiculed by Buckley, shunned by everyone else.
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