Unforgiven with Suranne Jones

by Lisa McGarry

Ruth Slater (Suranne Jones) has been in prison for 15 years after being found guilty of the murder of two policemen. Today she is being released. She has been in a low security prison for the past two years, so it’s not a huge shock seeing the outside world, but it’s still very daunting. Ruth reports into her probation officer and after being assigned a flat she’s given the details of her new job at the local meat factory in Halifax. In her new flat, she explains to the probation officer that she has a younger sister, Katie, whom she virtually brought up and loves deeply. She was taken into care when Ruth was arrested and despite frequent attempts, she’s heard nothing from her for the 15 years she was in prison. Will she be able to track down the sister who means so much to her?

Elsewhere, Kieran (Jack Deam) is furious his father’s killer has been released, and is frustrated that his brother, Steve (Matthew McNulty), doesn’t seem as angry. Kieran turns to Steve’s wife, Hannah (Faye McKeever) for support – they’ve been having an affair and, as Steve leaves for work, they head to the bedroom.

In hospital, Michael (Douglas Hodge) and Rachel Belcombe (Jemma Redgrave) are at the bedside of their eldest adopted daughter, Lucy (Emily Beecham). She’s in a coma after a terrible car accident and there’s no telling whether she’ll come out of it. The police have surmised that she drove through a red light whilst drunk, without a license or insurance in her friend’s car, who also happens to be the local drug dealer. She has also injured another driver and could be in serious trouble if he doesn’t recover.

Meanwhile, Ruth’s devastated after her probation officer reveals there is a clause in her sister’s adoption which means she’s not allowed to make contact with Katie. She’s been waiting 15 years to reunited with her sister and this news shatters her. Feeling utterly bereft she goes back to the house she and Katie used to live in, Upper Hanging Stones Farm. As she stands by the driveway, her memories are sad and bloody – this is where the murders took place. The new occupants, John (Peter Davison) and Izzie (Siobhan Finneran) have been worrying about the house being haunted and are freaked out when they see a lone figure watching them in the garden.

John heads outside and invites Ruth into the house and as she explains she used to live there with her sister, Katie, she finds herself opening up to him. John and Izzie are sympathetic as Ruth reveals she hasn’t seen, or had any contact with her younger sister since she was taken into care. Katie was six when she last saw her and Social Services won’t help her make contact. There’s something about Ruth that John likes and he agrees to help. The next day he looks into the case and discovers that Katie was adopted by a couple called Michael and Rachel, who have two daughters, Lucy and Emily.

Ruth is working hard at the factory and is starting to fall for a very cute guy, Brad (Will Mellor). After a night out, they have sex. Brad is the first man Ruth’s ever slept with in her life and it’s a scary but fabulous experience for her. Can Ruth maintain a relationship without revealing her criminal past?

Elsewhere, Steve is working as a janitor at the local authority flats and is horrified when he realises one of the new tenants is Ruth Slater. His suppressed anger and fury rises quickly to the surface and he calls Kieran to tell him he’s ready to hatch a plan of revenge – Ruth Slater will pay for what she did to their father.

Monday, 12 January 2009, 9:00PM – 10:00PM ITV1