23 January 2007

Double Cross!


Yet more disappointment with Channel 4, not about Jade Goody starting WWIII, but with the intriguingly

premised "Consent".

Billed as a first for TV, Consent showed the audience the build up to and fall out from an alleged rape, perpetrated on Anna Madeley (left), and her decision to report it to the Police, the aftermath of this, the eventual trial and the deliberation of a jury picked at random from the electoral roll, who then delivered a verdict.

The twist was that the jury did not see the "drama" part of the story before the trial as the viewers did, and had only the testimony of the actors and "performances" of the real life Police and Legal folk in the court to decide on.

Unfortunately it was soon clear that the producers had scheduled 2 hours of telly with a hook (the jury deliberations) that barely lasted 20. We saw the alleged victim and attacker carousing at the staff night out, him stepping somewhat over the line by following her into her room, her seeming quite happy to kiss him, and then no more until the next morning and a few days afterwards when she was told she had been promoted, but not to the more senior position she wanted, as that had gone to him.

In court the evidence revolved around was was said and done in the bedroom, that the viewer had not seen. So really we were as in the dark as the jury were, although by this time most viewers would probably have reached a view on the case.

As it was the fascinating, but short, deliberations of the jury ended with a not guilty verdict. Relief in the dock and tears in the public gallery, and then we saw some more of the encounter. Now it was clear it had not been consensual and she had been raped. However, I couldn't help but feel this was a bit of a cheap shot at the members of the jury who participated openly and willingly and I am sure that, had the verdict gone the other way, there was film ready to be used showing that a rape had clearly not taken place.

Come on TV, you can do better than this!

1 comment:

Rose said...

And now the BBC are doing the same thing, only theirs features Michael Portillo and Honor Blackman.