A few months ago we saw the BBC’s attempt to bring to life a harrowing true-life crime story – that of the Shannon Matthews disappearance – and now ITV is getting in on the act. True crime stories are always fraught with difficulty and come with potential controversy – how do you depict things that are still so raw for a lot of people? The last time ITV did a true crime story (Jimmy Nesbitt’s excellent The Secret and Martin Compston’s In Plain Sight) the former was actually discussed in British Parliament because of an outcry from one of the victim’s family. The Moorside attracted a lot of attention, and I’m expecting ITV’s latest true crime adaptation, Little Boy Blue, to also provoke intense discussion. But at least we now know when it’s on…
The four-part series – starring the always-excellent Stephen Graham – depicts the murder of 11-year-old Liverpool lad, Rhys Jones, who was callously shot on his way back from football practice one summer’s evening. Rhys’s death shocked the city, and shocked the nation.
With full support from Rhys’s parents – Melanie and Steve – the drama sees DS David Kelly (Graham) investigate the crime, but also examines the toll it took on the city of Liverpool – that unique, close community – and on the Jones family itself.
It’ll be worth a watch, but also heartbreaking, I’m sure.
Little Boy Blue: Monday 24th April, 9pm, ITV