HCAU Reviews: The Moorside
The Moorside is a two-part drama that aired on the 7th and 14th February on BBC. It is based on the kidnapping of 9-year-old Shannon Matthews in Dewsbury back in 2008. When I first read there was going to be a BBC drama based on this kidnapping, I was horrified. Hadn’t these poor people been through enough? But it presented the community as friendly and caring, as they all gathered together on the estate to help find missing Shannon. I thought I knew this story, but I soon discovered it was a much worse crime than I imagined. Things were very complicated, with Shannon going missing and then turning up before her own mother being charged with false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. When it became apparent that Karen had drugged and hid her own child for reward money, it was shocking. Throughout the programme she acted very strangely, including ignoring police advice and dancing to the liaison officer’s ringtone. The drama revealed how Karen had teamed up with her boyfriend’s Uncle, Mick Donavan, and they planned that he would hide Shannon in a divan bed in his flat before ‘discovering’ her and splitting the 50K reward money. The casting of Karen Matthews, her boyfriend and her neighbours was scarily accurate, with Gemma Whelan looking like the spitting image of Karen Matthews. As always, Sheridan Smith, who played the feisty search organiser Julie Bushby was amazing, and was very similar to the real Julie who appeared on This Morning during the week before the show.
It’s hard to imagine what the real Shannon would think if she watched the programme and saw how her mum danced to ringtone while she was drugged and hid in a divan bed. Hopefully, she is in a much better position than she was.