Undercover, BBC1

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 09/03/2016 - Programme Name: Undercover - TX: n/a - Episode: Early Release (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Picture embargoed for publication until Wednesday 09/03/2016 Maya Cobbina (SOPHIE OKONEDO), Nick Johnson (ADRIAN LESTER) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

Under pressure: Maya Cobbina (Sophie Okonedo) and Nick Johnson (Adrian Lester)

Powerful story about an undercover cop, the woman he loves and his secret past

★★★★ BBC1, Sunday, 3 April, 9pm

THE SCANDAL of how the police have in the past infiltrated protest groups and some officers went so far as to have affairs or even start families with women they were spying on forms the backdrop to this potent drama.

While packing an emotional wallop, it also raises issues about the morality and justice of the authorities treating everyone as potentially guilty of something and deserving to have their lives invaded.

Undercover ups the ante, as any decent fictional drama should, by exploring the human feelings damaged and betrayed, and exploring the trauma such deception engenders.

Ghosts from Nick’s past

Nick is married to Maya, a human rights barrister, who we first meet as she travels to the USA to defend Rudy Jones, a man on death row. It’s a harrowing start to the story, and Maya is deeply affected when Rudy says to her that her next move should be to ‘Go big’.

When she returns home, Maya discovers that she is in line to be made Director of Public Prosecutions. While her instinct has always been to defend the accused, becoming the DPP might be an opportunity to finally bring justice to her friend Michael Antwi, an anti-racism campaigner. Maybe to ‘Go big’.

Undercover - TX: n/a - Episode: Early Release (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Nick Johnson (ADRIAN LESTER), Maya Cobbina (SOPHIE OKONEDO), Ella (Shannon Hayes) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Lee Searle

Happy holiday? Maya, Nick and their children get away from it all

This would create a huge problem for old colleagues of Nick’s. Throughout the first of the drama’s six episodes, we’re unclear what’s going with Nick, whose behaviour is tragically bizarre.

He appears to be a loving husband and father, and the family scenes with their children, including their autistic son, are convincing and warm. But Nick also has a secret life… [Read more…]

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