The Guilty

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2008 – a glorious May bank holiday weekend. A four-year-old boy goes missing after a neighbourhood barbecue. Believed to have been abducted, a nationwide search and media frenzy ensue, but the boy is never found.

Present day – the wettest spring on record. Workmen digging up a burst water main uncover a body under the communal garden. Little Callum Reid – buried just yards from his own front door. This dual-timeline drama moves between the days before and after Callum’s disappearance, and the same bank holiday weekend five years later when his body is discovered.


Darren Boyd as Daniel Reid, Tamsin Greig as DCI Maggie Brand, Katherine Kelly as Claire Reid

Produced by

Elaine Cameron

Executive producer(s)

Beryl Vertue

Written by

Debbie O'Malley

Directed by

Ed Bazalgette



First transmitted

5th September 2013


3 x 60'

Press comments

“***** [five stars] An evocative piece, with a well-woven script and superb performances.” – TV Times

“Pick of the day – a thoughtful and promising drama.” – Radio Times

“Pick of the day – this tense and emotional three-part drama gets off to an intriguing start…” – Daily Mail Weekend

“Pick of the week” – The Sunday Times

“Critic’s Choice – the standout programme of the week.” – The Times Saturday Review

“**** [four stars] Pick of the day – … the unfolding investigation is a gripping drama, as the story goes back and forth between the present day and the events on the night that the boy vanished. You can’t help but wonder what will be revealed about the seemingly quiet suburban lives of Claire, Daniel and their neighbours by the end of this three-part series.” – The Mail on Sunday

“Pick of the day… a stellar performance from Katherine Kelly… this is definitely a drama that we’ll be discussing around the water cooler in the coming three weeks.” – The Sun TV Magazine

“**** [four stars] Troubling and intriguing all at once” – The Daily Star

“TV Choice – … thus begins this cleverly constructed drama about the repercussions of that fateful weekend. As DCI Maggie Brand, Tamsin Greig anchors the compelling new investigation. Well worth watching.” – The Observer

“In the opening minutes there was a moment of scene-setting so clever that I wanted to stand up and applaud… this promised to be a masterful drama, and it didn’t disappoint.” – The Daily Mail

“Best Mystery… building on its brilliant opening last week, this three-parter continues to hook you in.” – The Sun

“The hunt for Callum’s killer gives the whodunnit formula a new lease of life.” – Radio Times

“The third and final episode of this gripping series finds Maggie feeling pressured into charging her suspect with murder… a terrific end to the series.” – Daily Mail Weekend

“Operating a world away from her usual levity, yet still full of warmth, Grieg gives the standout performance here, a pitch-perfect portrait of both her character’s professionalism and worries over her own son’s possible autism.” – The Sunday Times

“It’s been a terrific series, with Tamsin Greig brilliant as the lead, and we hope they will write another run of it soon.” – The Sun TV Magazine


BBC Worldwide