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Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Crash: Powerful drama from BBC3


I’m writing this review surrounded by cuddly toys, tea and chocolate. After 10 minutes, I’ve finally stopped crying, having just watched The Crash, BBC3’s new two part drama exploring the emotional aftermath of a car crash involving seven teenage friends. Part one concerns the lead-up to the crash and the events immediately after.

At first, I wasn’t too gripped. The opening image of a handsome young man coming up from a bath reminded me strongly of an image I’d seen in a Skins trailer. I never got round to watching Skins, but I was worried that this meant The Crash would be a teen drama full of drugs and booze. The car crash itself wasn’t too dramatic, and certainly not very original. Dark night, excited kids, third car trying to overtake in wet weather, even without the show’s title you’d have known what was coming.


Then, ever so predictably, we had an extended flashback to six months earlier. Our characters are all attending their prom. Rachel has split with her boyfriend, but gets back together with Ethan, her previous boyfriend. Her best mate Kate gets engaged to Tom, using a ring that other best mate Ashley has designed. Ashley’s father has dementia and her mother has died. Tom’s brother Brian dreams of being a professional footballer and starts dating Rachel’s sister, Leah. Their happy smiles and carefree dancing is documented by plenty of photos and video, all uploaded to Facebook and no doubt to be poured over by grieving relatives in Part two. The best bit of this section was the utterly gorgeous proposal. Kate is a keen swimmer, so Tom decorates the school swimming pool with fairylights. I was totally charmed.

Without realising it, I’d grown to like these characters. Really like them. They were fun, essentially nice people. Why did any of them have to die? Especially Ashley, she’s really cool and arty and has a tragic life. But it was ok, because after the crash Ashley woke up and got out of the car. She is in shock, but she’ll make it. Lily Loveless, who plays her, will probably also get a BAFTA nomination because those scenes were tremendous. Suddenly, I am glued to the screen, as anxious as the parents now running across the field to find out their child’s fate.

There’s a horrible confusion as the police scramble to deliver the correct information. Brian has died, a gory mess of blood and wide-eyed terror. Kate and Rachel are going to hospital. Tom seems ok. Everyone’s forgotten Ethan. Leah is ok, but grief stricken by the loss of her boyfriend. And then the unthinkable happens. Ashley pitches forward, coughs up blood, and quietly dies. The howl of the fireman as he tried to revive her wins scene of the year so far for me. It’s only been an hour, but I care about these people. It remains to be seen whether next week we’ll trot out the clichés ‘they were too young to die’ etc, but actually, they are. I’m not familiar with most of the actors involved and this makes it worse. They could be real people. In fact, and this is the most horrible fact of all, The Crash is based on true events. I cannot imagine what life must be like for the real families involved, but I hope that if they watched The Crash, they felt that the performances did justice to the victims. The Crash felt like an incredibly important piece of drama. This is the sort of thing BBC3 should be showing to their younger demographic and I hope it hits home for a lot of people. I think that all concerned should be praised for an excellent, powerful drama. Cuddly toys at the ready, I shall be watching next week.

The Crash Concludes Tuesday at 9.00pm on BBC3

Contributed by Victoria Prior

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic review, captured the show spot on ! 10/10 :)

Anonymous said...

As said by the previous viewer, a great review which really summed up my feelings about the characters and the way I felt invested in them and what, thereafter, happened to them.

I really do believe that more programmes like this should be shown to audiences of the same demographic as the players involved in this drama.

Well done to the BBC for a great use of my licence fee!

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant Drama . Well done BBC 3!
Superb actors. Incredibly moving.story.
Thankyou .

Anonymous said...

Fantastic. Ive just watched last part. Floods of tears
fabulous acting by all the cast.

Anonymous said...

an amazingdrama.heartbreaking to say the least.should be watched by all young drivers.well done bbc3

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, I'm in my bed sobbing. Really hits home.

Anonymous said...

Should be shown in schools for senior pupils. Well done bbc3. Can't believe the statistics that 75 per cent of females killed in RTA's are caused by young male drivers,

Anonymous said...

very extremely emotional,gripping,well made...sticks in your mind.very tearfull.

Anonymous said...

Glad the film made people sit up and listen, yes it was emotional, yes it was well made,yes it was heartbreaking, thankyou to Lucy King & the bbc for researching for over a year to find the right story to make a film of, hope this film will stop anyone else having to go through what the actors portrayed, and lastly thankyou to the viewers for taking an interest in THE CRASH that we so tragically lost our beautiful daughter to in December 2010. A heartbroken mother x

Anonymous said...

Just amazing being 17 myself and starting driving its a masive eye opener and i acctualy cried! I felt toms pain and sorrow and feel this should be shown in all schools

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant drama, but to get point across needs to be shown on main BBC1 and advertised properly, I agree would be a great tool to be shown in schools and colleges, brilliant acting credit to all those involved in making the series, don't think anyone could have watched this without shedding a tear

Anonymous said...

Completely agree about showing this to college students...an amazingly moving and thought provoking drama. Would like to see it on BBC1 in the hope that the message hits home.

Anonymous said...

Traumatic, brilliant and so moving. Absolutely tore at my heart, and sitting at work today going over it in my mind and still feeling quite emotional. Made me appreciate who and what I have in my life, and to want to hold on to it with all of me.

That line 'I keep saying sorry, but it doesn't change anything.' echoes over and over in my mind. One momentary decision with such tragic, far-reaching effects.

Well done, BBC. Should have been on BBC1, I agree. Prime time.

Anonymous said...

Well done bbc3! Even though it wasnt exactly what happened to the 3 angles thats died in 2010 it was still just as upsetting and brought all the memories and tears of that horrific night flooding back! I think everyone that watched this should think twice about how they drive from now on, I wouldnt wish it on anyone what we had to go through. This was inspired by the friends we lost and it wasnt easy to watch and re-live it all but to know it touched so many people in the way it did its worth it! Rip LJB love and miss you more each day! Xoxoxoxox

jaybs said...

Will Crash get a DVD release?

Anonymous said...

I agree it was a very good drama but the actual crash really confused me. I had to go back and watch that part several times as I was sure I must of missed something. First of all. what happened to the car that they crashed into while overtaking (Mitsubishi 4x4) and also the red corsa??? they just seemed to vanish. second of all. Why did the blue saxo crash?? surely it wouldn't have been involved in the accident as it was so far behind plus the red corsa would of been inbetween the front car and the back car. I know people may think im being picky, but this really did kind of ruin it for me.

P said...

Just adding agreement to all the previous commenters. I cried quite a bit too, and thought all the actors / characters were brilliant (though I missed Ashley in the 2nd part! I suppose they just couldn't fit her story in?). Sorry for the people who this was based on, or find themselves in similar situations, and thankyou for sharing your stories with us.

Anon, I haven't re-watched the actual crash but it made sense to me. The front car crashed into the oncoming one (at the same time the red one would've just carried forwards past that collision as they were neck and neck), then the behind car crashed into that crash, they weren't that far behind, going quite fast, raining, dark, unexpected etc.

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