The Victim
The Victim 2019 BBC miniseries poster.jpg
Written byRob Williams
Directed byNiall McCormick
Country of originScotland
Original languagesEnglish, Scots
No. of series1
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Production companySTV Studios
Original networkBBC One
Original release8 April (2019-04-08) –
11 April 2019 (2019-04-11)

The Victim is a four-part Scottish thriller miniseries starring Kelly Macdonald, James Harkness, John Hannah and John Scougall. The series was produced by STV Studios and first broadcast on BBC One television in April 2019.[1] The series was shot on location in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Port Glasgow and Largs.


Bereaved mother Anna Dean, whose young son was murdered by an older boy 14 years prior, goes on trial for inciting murder after she is accused of posting online the new identity and address of the man she believes murdered her son: Craig Myers. Myers, a husband and father, is violently beaten and feels he must restore his reputation. The series revolves around the trial of the case, alongside its consequences for Myers' family and Dean's search to unmask the true identity of her son's killer.



No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [3]
1Episode 1Niall MacCormickRob Williams8 April 2019 (2019-04-08)7.38
Fourteen years after her 9-year-old son Liam Graham was brutally murdered, Scottish nurse Anna Dean continues to feel hatred towards his then teenage killer, Eddie J. Turner. Craig Myers, a 28-year-old bus driver, is nearly beaten to death at his home in Inverclyde after an anonymous online post identifies him as Eddie J. Turner, the teenage murderer who killed Liam. The post included his photo, address and a message: "Don't let evil live." Anna is outraged that Turner never had to explain his crimes and spent just seven years in juvenile detention before being released with a new identity. She is accused of posting the comment and arrested for attempted murder for inciting violence against Myers. DI Stephen Grover, who was falsely accused of a crime himself, relates to Craig and feels responsible to prove his innocence.
2Episode 2Niall MacCormickRob Williams9 April 2019 (2019-04-09)6.46
Craig recovers from his assault, but lingering suspicions remain about his identity, causing strain with his wife, Rebecca. He denies he is Turner, but is reluctant to reveal details of his past. He receives hate mail and fears for his wife and daughter's safety after a brick is thrown through their window. Suffering from PTSD from the attack, he loses his job. In court, he does not reveal details about his childhood except to say he was neglected and in an out of care. The police tell Anna that Craig is not Turner, though they are also blocked from knowing Turner's new identity. She continues to pursue the case with her private investigator, Margaret "Mo" Buckley, who has contacts with former prison guards, despite the apprehension of her family, particularly her daughter, Louise, a law student. At trial in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, Anna's attorney challenges Craig and his memory of the attack to cast doubt on whether the assailant was acting for another reason.
3Episode 3Niall MacCormickRob Williams10 April 2019 (2019-04-10)5.88
Anna gets her day in court, where she admits to being happy that Craig had been attacked because of her belief that he is Turner. After their daughter's teddy bear is burned and nailed to a fence, Rebecca decides to move out with their daughter. DI Grover suspects William, a troubled drug addict who is treated by Anna at the clinic, as the perpetrator in the attack against Craig. He interviews him without permission of the investigation. After the jury retires to begin deliberating their verdict, Anna is devastated when Liam's grave is defaced, with Turner's initials spray painted with yellow paint, and stunned again when she sees the same yellow paint on the shoes of her other son, Ben. Danny, Louise's boyfriend, acts oddly when introduced to Gerry Tythe, the detective in Liam's case. Gerry warns Louise that not only did Danny serve time in prison, he was the one who discovered Liam's body, and only reported it after several hours. Danny seeks out Ben and tell him he has to go. Anna meets with her ex-husband, Christian, an alcoholic who was just released from jail. She tells him she wants Turner dead, and that he meets frequently at a certain cafe with his social worker. Mo is shocked to spot Tom Carpenter, Craig's loyal best friend, with the social worker.
4Episode 4Niall MacCormickRob Williams11 April 2019 (2019-04-11)6.25

Mo informs Anna that Craig is not Turner and that they have ruined an innocent man's life. In court, the jury finds Anna guilty, but on a lesser charge of assault to danger life. She remains out on bail until sentencing. Louise confronts Danny and tells him to stay away from her family. DI Grover is suspended after William is admitted to hospital after a suicide attempt. William confesses to Anna that he attacked Craig. Anna meets with Craig to apologise. After a crying Anna begs his forgiveness, Craig reveals he is in fact Eddie J. Turner. As she stumbles out in shock, Christian texts her that Turner is at the cafe. She is able to stop him before he stabs Tom. Eddie admits to Rebecca his real identity and that Tom was his cellmate and she ends their relationship. Anna discovers that Eddie has left his phone number in her purse and decides to call him, seeking answers as to what happened to Liam, against her husband's advice. DI Grover goes to meet Craig to find out the result of the meeting and reacts furiously when he confesses to being Eddie J. Turner. She meets him at the spot where he killed Liam, under a bridge. He confesses that back in 2003, he had been sitting at the spot self-harming when Liam walked by. Liam, who could see Eddie bleeding, told him that his mum was a nurse and could help him. Eddie asked Liam to leave him alone, but when he did not, he stabbed him to death in a fit of rage. He apologises to Anna, telling her that he continues to live with crushing guilt as a result of his actions. Christian appears and intends to kill Eddie with a knife, with Anna left faced with the decision of whether to allow Eddie to die. She decides to stand between Christian and Eddie and she tells Christian: "He wanted to be big". This refers simultaneously to Liam, who said, "I want to be big" in an old video that Anna often watched and to Eddie, who has just taken responsibility for killing Liam when both of them were children. Anna thus finally acknowledges that Eddie is, like Liam, a person worthy of respect.

End screen quote...

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.

I'll meet you there."

-- Rumi


In an interview with, screenwriter Rob Williams, who had previously volunteered to teach in prisons, said, “What has become really clear to me is that there is always a story behind every crime, from the seemingly trivial to the biggest crimes... We look for the black and the white, not least because the law demands black and white, it demands a goodie and a baddie and a villain and a hero. Life’s not like that, it seems to me and when you dig into the reasons behind crimes, all sorts of crimes, they’re always just far more nuanced and fascinating as a result of going beyond the surface”.[4]


The series was first broadcast on BBC One at 9pm from Monday to Thursday, 8 to 11 April 2019.[1]


The series has an 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] It was well received by critics, some of whom pointed to plot similarities with real life cases involving child murderers such as the murder of James Bulger.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Meet the cast of BBC1's The Victim". Radio Times.
  2. ^ "John Scougall". IMDb. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  4. ^ "When is The Victim on TV?". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  5. ^ "The Victim". Rotten Tomatoes.
  6. ^ "The Victim review: BBC drama echoes the James Bulger story". The Independent. 8 April 2019. Archived from the original on 20 June 2022.