A gripping and thrilling 4-part BBC series, ‘One of Us’, follows the grieving families of two newly weds, Adam Elliot and Grace Douglas, found murdered after returning from their honeymoon. In a dark, distressing twist on events, the murderer makes his way to his victim’s home, crashing his stolen vehicle at their farm in the middle of a stormy night. At first, the intentions of the relatives are genuine, as they look after this man. However, on realising who the injured character is, the moral battle begins. The next morning, the murderer is found murdered himself – an eye for an eye? Unsure who, of the two families, committed this act of revenge, they agree to stick together, working as a group to hide the truth from the police.
In an unusual and refreshing twist on the traditional ‘whodunit’ format, writers and creators Harry and Jack Williams focus the drama around the families, rather than the detectives, provoking a more personal and emotional response in the viewer. The intense plot is only strengthened further by the numerous sub-plots – the drug dealing detective, the rape of Rob Elliot’s girlfriend and the role and death of the father of the Elliot children. Skilfully intertwined with the primary storyline, a relationship between the plots is suggested, adding to the suspense of the series.
Amongst the constant drama, the series questions the morality of revenge. Whilst the characters feel avenged for the trauma and distress inflicted on them by murderer Lee Walsh, involvement in a similar crime troubles many of the characters. We witness the internal battle of Claire Elliot as she struggles with the guilt of helping to cover up the crime, encouraging us as viewers to decide for ourselves the direction of our moral compasses. Furthermore, morality is questioned in the interlinked sub plot of the detective, selling fatal drugs in order to raise the money to pay for a life-saving operation for her beloved daughter.
Both captivating and thought-provoking, the series has found the perfect balance between entertainment and intellectual engagement. Set across the Scottish countryside and the city of Edinburgh (including many of our very own University buildings!) I would strongly recommend it to all University of Edinburgh students.
Image: Roberto Taddeo on Flickr