Broken, Tuesday, 9pm, BBC One
Sean Bean stars as Father Michael Kerrigan, a Catholic priest presiding over a Northern urban parish, in Jimmy McGovern’s new landmark six-part drama.
Modern, maverick and reassuringly flawed, Father Michael is a man who must be confidant, counsellor and confessor to a community struggling to reconcile its beliefs with the realities of daily life in contemporary Britain.
After mass, Father Michael meets Christina Fitzsimmons (Anna Friel), a mother of three who works at the local betting shop, and is saving money for her daughter’s First Communion.
But when her attendance in Church sparks an unfortunate chain of events, she is left with no way to feed her children and keep a roof over their heads. Pushed to the edge when tragedy strikes, Christina makes a desperate plan to alleviate her situation. Will she go through with it, or can Father Michael - suspicious that all may not be as it seems - offer the family a lifeline?
Sean Bean said: “Jimmy’s (McGovern) writing is so visceral, real and just straight from the heart. He can write dialogue that is how people speak. I think it’s one of the reasons why a lot of actors want to work with him.
“He’s got a brilliant gift for flowing natural dialogue and he intersperses it with very dry, very funny lines.
“How he’s written six episodes I think is quite incredible.”