GUILT On MASTERPIECE
Fridays, March 3 - 24, 2023 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV / Watch Seasons 1 and 2 now with KPBS Passport!
“It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” goes the old saying. But that didn’t stop brothers Max and Jake from hiding their guilt after running into an elderly pedestrian during an inebriated drive home from a wedding.
Mark Bonnar (UNFORGOTTEN) and Jamie Sives (TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH) star as Max and Jake in a darkly absorbing tale of rascality and deceit, on GUILT, airing in four parts with back-to-back episodes on MASTERPIECE.
GUILT costars Ruth Bradley ("Pursuit") as Angie, the niece and closest relative of the hit-and-run victim, named Walter. Arriving in Edinburgh from her home in Chicago, Angie meets Max and Jake at Walter’s wake, where they have come to retrieve incriminating evidence. Angie and Jake hit it off, which complicates Max’s plan to escape justice.
Also appearing are Emun Elliott (THE PARADISE) as Kenny, Max’s alcoholic private detective; Sian Brooke (SHERLOCK) as Claire, Max’s suspicious wife; Moyo Akandé ("The Hurricane Heist") as Claire’s more-than-gym buddy, Tina; Ellie Haddington (FOYLE'S WAR) as Walter’s pathologically vigilant neighbor, Sheila; and Bill Paterson (WIVES AND DAUGHTERS) as Roy, a sinister mob boss in Edinburgh.
Hit-and-run perpetrators usually leave the body at the scene, but Max and Jake carry Walter’s corpse to his house nearby and set him up in an easy chair. There, they find a letter revealing that Walter had terminal cancer. “He was dying slowly. We just made it quick,” says Max with relief. “He’d probably thank us.”
Since Max is a high-powered attorney and savvy in the ways of police and coroners, he takes charge of the cover-up. Jake was actually behind the wheel of Max’s car during the accident, but he was stoned and uninsured, while Max was swilling champagne in the passenger seat. It’s hardly the image of a respectable lawyer.
For his part, Jake is a classic slacker, running a marginal used record shop with enough time on his hands to write custom liner notes for the albums. Although the brothers are no longer close, they are now co-conspirators in a crime that grows in severity as they dig a deeper and deeper pit of evasions and desperate stratagems.
Meanwhile, lovelorn Jake and fun-loving Angie are falling in love. Max’s wife, Claire, is uncovering the depth of her husband’s lies. Private eye Kenny, hired by Max to botch the investigation, has decided to go sober and get to the bottom of the case.
Sheila cryptically blurts out, “I saw.” And Roy says to a sweat-drenched Max, nearing the end of his rope: “For many years, myself and the people that work for me have committed significant amounts of extreme violence. Of course, that’s all in the past. I’m a businessman now. A businessman who in the past has committed significant amounts of extreme violence.”
Episode 1: Friday, March 3 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Returning intoxicated from a wedding, Jake and Max run down an old man and decide to tell no one. Their cover-up quickly snowballs in complexity, and the detective closes in on damaging evidence. Sheila adds a new wrinkle to the case.
Episode 2: Friday, March 10 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Max tries to sabotage Kenny’s investigation, but the detective closes in on damaging evidence. Sheila adds a new wrinkle to the case. Claire gets suspicious.
Episode 3: Friday, March 17 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Spurred by Angie, Jakes probes Max’s control of his finances. Jake also grows suspicious of Angie. Roy tightens the screws on Max by threatening Jake.
Episode 4: Friday, March 24 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - With facts surrounding Walter’s death increasingly in question, Max risks all to come out on top. Jake and Angie also take a gamble. Claire cuts her losses.
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An Expectation and Happy Tramp North production for BBC Scotland. The series is written and created by Neil Forsyth. The executive producers are Neil Forsyth, Kirstie MacDonald and Neil Webster. The producer is Jules Hussey. The director is Robert McKillop.