I’m going to kill a man. I don’t know his name, what he looks like or where he comes from, but I’m going to find him and I’m going to kill him.’ What could be better than that?” Actor and exec producer Nathaniel Parker is enthusing about the opening lines to The Beast must die, a thriller by Nicholas Blake (the pen name of poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis) that has been turned into BritBox UK’s first original drama, a tale of grief, revenge, and good old-fashioned murder.
Cush Jumbo plays Frances Cairns (Frank in the original novel), a teacher and mother who vows to track down and kill the person she believes killed her six-year-old son in a hit-and-run on the Isle of Wight. Her prime suspect is the charismatic, self-absorbed George Rattery (Jared Harris). She must infiltrate his world of easy entitlement, ostentatious wealth, and obsession with status, negotiating the simmering suspicions of George’s sister Joy (Geraldine James) and D.I. Strangeways (Billy Howle), newly arrived from London. Following the death of his professional partner back on the mainland and facing a negligence complaint, Strangeways is wrestling with PTSD with the assistance of a therapist played by Parker, who came up with the idea to adapt the novel.
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