Guilt, BBC Two, review: An unexpected Scottish treat with a pitch-black tone
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Guilt, BBC Two, review: An unexpected Scottish treat with a pitch-black tone

The series finale added up to an hour of superb TV, ending one of the year’s best surprises

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 10:00 pm

Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 10:03 pm
Guilt arrived on the BBC with little fanfare (Photo: BBC)

Guilt, BBC Two, 9pm ★★★★★

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After all, this is the place that gave us Deacon Brodie, upstanding citizen and housebreaker, murderous grave robbers Burke and Hare, and, in fiction, James Hogg’s devilish Justified Sinner and Trainspotting’s sociopathic Francis Begbie.

To that motley crew can now be added the name of Max McCall, sharp-suited solicitor, finesser of fraud with one eye permanently on the main chance, played by Bonnar as a man who was only ever one step away from giving in to the fury that powered him through each day. Fury at his lot, his life, his lies, his hapless brother, even at his apparently naive wife.

Sives and Bonnar play brothers Jake and Max in the BBC Scotland production (Photo: BBC)

All that anger has to find a release somehow and so it proved as the series’ conclusion saw Max shoot for glory, attempting to cut mob boss Roy (a gloriously sinister Bill Paterson) out of the equation and deal with the real criminal masterminds himself. Meanwhile marginally more honest brother Jake faced his own reckoning as the lies of the past and the sins of the present came back to haunt him.

It all added up to a superb hour of TV and one which cemented Guilt’s place as the unexpected treat of the year. If you haven’t watched it yet, clear four hours to do so.

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