BBC’s The Driver – One Man’s Descent Into Hell. Miniseries Stars April 13 on Acorn TV

b1What happens when someone upsets the moral and social applecart with a split second decision? Ruined lives and reputations initially, but what may be far worse is the irreversible butterfly effect that lives on far into the future. An example of this phenomenon is made clear in a riveting drama set in place by answering an irresistible impulse.
b The Driver, a three part series from England opens with a chilling, nerve shredding, four minute and some police chase through the narrow city backstreets. In front is a taxi driver, pulling dangerous stunts with police close behind in hot pursuit. Suddenly he breaks away and loses them. His hands shake and he feels sick then his expression changes, he smiles and cheers. He gets out breathing the free air looks in the trunk and something in there makes him wince, slam it shut and drive off. Some opening.

It’s present day Manchester, Vince McKee (David Morrissey) is an affable taxi driver living a nice domestic life with his wife and children; he goes about his business with quiet calm. He’s a big powerful man that people don’t confront, but he’s gentle as a lamb.
He’s surprised when his childhood friend Col (Ian Hart, Morrissey’s real life best friend since childhood) shows up after serving six years in prison. Col’s persona non grata at the McKee house, but Vince feels sorry for him and they hang out. b2Col suggests he join him in a side job driving for a local businessman The Horse (Colm Meany). The man may be a criminal, but it doesn’t take much for McKee to agree to work for extra cash and that is the beginning of his hell on earth.
Vince witnesses unspeakably brutal mob style murders, is at the boss’ permanent beck and call, he foolishly attempts to help the boss’ victims. Danger and disgust are now part of Vince’s daily life and his wife has guessed that Col has led him stray. She threatens to leave with their daughter.
b3 She won’t have that luxury, the decision making ability will be taken from her hands. The police will use Vince as a snitch. What follows is high drama and genuinely shocking, and looking back with the knowledge that Vince had, not unexpected. The events illustrate that thinking before doing is the best policy for living a healthy life.
There is not a dull moment over. The pace is frenetic, the weight of crime and the burden of knowledge are painful. Somehow life continues. If you can take the pace The Driver’s a terrific thriller.