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Sherwood review: Gritty drama in the shadow of the miners’ strike

A heavyweight cast add to this immersive BBC series

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David Morrissey (left) and Leslie Manville (front) in the BBC’s Sherwood

David Morrissey (left) and Leslie Manville (front) in the BBC’s Sherwood

David Morrissey (left) and Leslie Manville (front) in the BBC’s Sherwood

In the best police thrillers, the crime itself is incidental to the characters who respond to it. This is certainly true of Sherwood, a gritty and ambitious BBC drama which cloaks its procedural investigation in the dark legacy of the 1980s miners’ strike. Before killing its first victim, the show winningly introduces us to him: Gary (Alun Armstrong) is a jovial and outspoken grandfather who recalls with pride his striking past and has not forgiven his enemies.

When he’s found lying dead outside his house in the small and close-knit former mining town of Sherwood, Nottingham with an arrow in his chest, witty references to Robin Hood are hard to resist. “Can we not do that?” chief investigating officer DCS Ian St Clair (David Morrissey) asks his colleagues — he grew up here, and those jokes are old.


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