1980, West Yorkshire. It’s now six years after previous events, and police corruption is worse than ever. Following public outcry over failure to catch the infamous Yorkshire Ripper, straight-arrow Manchester Detective Peter Hunter (Considine) is transferred in to head up the case. Hand-picking his own team – including co-worker Helen Marshall (Peake) whom he previously had an affair with – Hunter starts from scratch and re-interviews many of the coppers involved. Facing open hostility – most notably from liaison Bob Craven (Harris) – Hunter’s determination to uncover the truth alienates him even further very quickly…
Hailed by many as the best of the three instalments, middle chapter Red Riding: In the Year Of Our Lord 1980 is a taut and involving slow-burn thriller which often veers into compelling territory. While filmmaker James Marsh opts for a slightly less stylistic approach than the one Julian Jarrold employed in 1974, the result is still an atmospheric one which matches the bleak and hopeless feel. Again, the narrative is something we’ve seen plenty of times before – the one honest copper trying to swim against a sea widespread corruption – but again a great lead performance (this time from the wonderful Paddy Considine) ensures that it’s worth watching. Like before, the supporting cast is fantastic, with David Morrissey, Warren Clarke, Peter Mullan and Robert Sheehan all impressive, while Sean Harris is a stand-out in an expanded role as the venomously hostile liaison.
Hailed by many as the best of the three instalments, middle chapter Red Riding: In the Year Of Our Lord 1980 is a taut and involving slow-burn thriller which often veers into compelling territory.