Preview: The Accident

The Accident - Sarah Lancashire

Set in the fictional community of Glyngolau – a ‘left behind’ town in Wales where a large construction project offers the security of employment and a better future for the local area.

However, an explosion on the construction site claims the lives of several teenagers who have broken onto the site to make mischief. As grief gives way to anger, the search for answers begins and uncomfortable truths are revealed. 

Polly Bevan (Sarah Lancashire) is the wife of the local politician who championed the project and the person to whom the stricken community turns following the disaster. Her husband, Iwan, (Mark Lewis Jones) loves his home town and is passionate about restoring the town to its former glory, but at what cost?

Behind closed doors Iwan and Polly’s relationship is more complicated than outward appearances suggest, made even more so by the fact that their rebellious teenage daughter Leona (Jade Croot) does all she can to aggravate her father – and was the ringleader of the teenagers who break onto the site. But when Leona emerges as the only survivor of the accident, and suffers life-changing injuries as a result, the family finds itself tested to its limits.

Harriet Paulsen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), the executive at Kallbridge Developments, arrives at the site to find herself the focus of raw grief and simmering anger. She’s tough, but her desire for self-preservation and to protect the business she’s helped build comes into sharp conflict with her compulsion to do the right thing. Her assistant at Kallbridge, Tim, is smart and eager, but his good sense may be clouded by his desire to protect Harriet.

While the search for the truth behind these terrible events unfolds, the community seeks strength in each other. Polly relies on her oldest friends, Angela (Joanna Scanlan) and Greta (Eiry Thomas), and also Debbie (Genevieve Barr), whose husband, Alan, died in the accident. But community strength is thrown into doubt when it emerges that Alan, Debbie’s husband, may have been responsible for what happened.

As questions deepen, the families are approached by lawyer, Philip (Adrian Scarborough). He circles the community, asking questions and probing for details about what happened. What’s his agenda, and should the community place their trust in his action plan for justice?

As the gears of justice turn, the families come to realise that if they want someone to be held responsible for the tragedy, they may have to take things into their own hands. But the cost of fighting for justice may be prove too much to bear for Polly.

The Accident aims to explore the nexus between blame, revenge and justice, and explores the contentious question of responsibility – social, corporate and personal – that the accident gives rise to.

The Accident – Thursday at 9.00pm on Channel 4.