Without Sin review, British mini-series

Vicky McClure in Without Sin

Without Sin is a 4 part British crime drama. Vicky McClure stars as Stella, a grieving mom who begins to suspect that the man imprisoned for the murder of her daughter is actually innocent. She begins to investigate what happened and follows a trail of hidden clues and surprises.

Without Sin was compared to Happy Valley in some of the comments I read before I decided to watch it. Absolutely nothing compares to Happy Valley, but this brief series is strong and good with excellent performances. The Without Sin title refers to a quote from the Bible that is usually repeated as ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ There’s plenty of feeling guilty and responsible in this series; no one is without sin.

It’s been a couple of years since Stella’s daughter was killed. She’s driving a taxi now. Her marriage to Paul (Perry Fitzpatrick) has fallen apart and he’s with someone new.

Charles Stone (Johnny Harris) was seen by Stella leaning over her daughter’s dead body. He was tried and convicted of the murder.

Stella and Paul receive a request from Bobbi Carter (Andrea Lowe) to participate in ‘the scheme.’ The scheme is a program that puts prisoners and the people they harmed in touch face to face. Paul refused to go, but Stella talked to Charles.

Vicky McClure and Johnny Harris in Without Sin
Vicky McClure and Johnny Harris produced this series and star in it.

Charles doesn’t confess to the crime and ask for forgiveness as Stella expected. Instead he says he didn’t do it. Her daughter was already dead when he got there. And another girl from their town has just gone missing. He insists it’s connected.

Stella and Paul talk this news over. Paul thinks it’s a scam to get Charles out of prison. But Stella is curious. She begins asking questions. She looks for the missing girl.

Her lifelong friend Remy (Johann Myers) is a police officer. He’s some help to her. She gets unexpected clues from her mother (Dorothy Atkinson), from her daughter’s mates at school, and from the local drug dealers. She even talks to the dangerous and menacing Roman McKeller (Con O’Neill). McKeller heads up the town’s illegal drug business and is threatening to Stella and Charles in jail.

The more she learns, the more sure she is that Charles is telling her the truth. She doesn’t like what she’s learning. She doesn’t like her own feelings of guilt about what she was doing at the time of the murder. But she keeps looking until the truth comes out.

Vicky McClure gave an outstanding performance in this. I thought it was well written (by Frances Poletti). It was tight, tense, and peppered with surprises and turns that kept Stella troubled and confused.

I watched the series on Acorn TV, but it’s available in several other places as well. It is short and good.

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