11 July 2013 | phantom_fan89
Emotionally harrowing but expertly written and performed drama
Criminally underrated writer/producer, Peter Moffat, showcases his prodigious versatility by following up his brilliant legal drama, Silk, with the equally compelling The Village.
The Village chronicles the lives of the inhabitants of a small country town as they struggle to adjust to the turbulent societal upheaval brought about by the First World War. From the gentry to the poverty stricken working class, the shocking realities behind closed doors belie the idyllic surrounds of the Derbyshire countryside.
The Village is far from feel good entertainment. It's dark themes and gritty period realism creates viewing that is often emotionally harrowing, but undeniably brilliant.
Despite the explosive era in which it is set, the narrative threads of the series are predominately insular and familial, relying on interpersonal relationships to create drama. The results are riveting, primarily thanks to the vast array of intriguing characters and superb performances by the stellar cast. Moffat is a genius at writing fascinatingly unconventional characters that are neither heroes nor villains, but ambiguously grey. Unlike many male writers, he also consistently imbues his shows with multifaceted females roles that are equally if not more dynamic than their male counterparts.
Moffat's leading lady from Silk, Maxine Peake, is the emotional center of the series. Peake remains one of the finest actresses working today and if there is any justice The Village should garner her some long overdue recognition.