In 2008 the whole of the UK were saddened by the news that nine-year-old Shannon Matthews had gone missing and had never made it home from school. The country and local community were then distraught by the news that Matthews mother, Karen and her partners uncle had been behind the whole hoax.
On the Seventh of February 2017 the BBC aired a two-part drama series documenting the events that unfolded during the month that Shannon Matthews was missing.
With a star studded cast the first episode of the two-part drama series showed how a community came together to support a local family in their time of need. Despite the scepticism they faced from the police, Julie Bushby (wonderfully played by Sheridan Smith) appeared to stay positive throughout the search, organising community events to keep everyone together during a time of need.
Gemma Whelan (known for her role a Yara Greyjoy in the world renound series Game Of Thrones) did a wonderful job transforming herself to successfully play the part of Karen Matthews. Often throughout the episode it was easy enough to forget that she was an actress playing a part as she managed to morph into Matthews and put on an outstanding performance.
Sian Brook (known for recently playing Euros Holmes in the latest series of Sherlock on BBC1) also put on an equally astounding performance playing Matthews neighbour.
Not only was the acting definitely up to scratch, the editing, production and direction was impeccable, just as you would expect from the BBC. The use of on-screen graphics aided the audience in grasping a sense of time, allowing them to possibly recall the true events in real time.
Although the series could be seen as insensitive, we have to remember that this event was a terrible one, and we should be grateful for communities as close knit and helpful as the one involved in the search for Shannon.
As the telegraph put it, the series shows ‘the can-do crusade of neighbour Julie Bushby (Smith) to mobilise the community and demonstrate its moral worth to the police and the media’
The only criticism I do have of the episode is that the Yorkshire accents the actors put on were definitely cringe-worthy and, being from Yorkshire I would just like to verify that we do not all sound like that.
You can catch Episode One of The Moorside on BBCiPlayer now.