Christopher Eccleston explores some of the most controversial verdicts in British history for Sky History in The Guilty Innocent

Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston returns to British television screens tonight with The Guilty Innocent. The Sky History documentary series marks the famous actor’s first presenting role, as he looks into two notoriously controversial convictions. This first series features two cases, those of George Davis and James Hanratty. These fascinating stories are brought to life in an exploration of how the justice system decided its verdict and what it says about our world today.

 

Each meticulously researched episode of The Guilty Innocent will see Christopher Eccleston lead an in-depth contemporary investigation into some of the world’s most controversial convictions. Using archive footage, talking head interviews with historical experts and reconstruction, each exciting close-ended episode will bring to life these fascinating stories and explore why and how the system got the wrong person and what it says about our world today.

On the case of George Davis, and the “George Davis is innocent, ok?’ motto that began to appear across England in protest, Eccleston says, “I was just a child so just seeing the graffiti. Usually, the graffiti I saw was about football allegiance or the name of a pop star. I remember thinking ‘George Davis’ was not a particularly exciting name. It’s not ‘Jimi Hendrix’, it’s not ‘Marvin Gaye’, it’s not ‘MUFC’, so what is that?

“Of course, my mother and father would have known but I had no idea it was the tip of this working-class grassroots movement of rebellion and challenge”

Although this is Eccleston’s first documentary, the subject echoes the role that first brought him to national attention. Let Him Have It starred the future Doctor Who as a young man with learning difficulties convicted and executed for the use of the ambiguous phrase “let him have it,” to a fellow criminal.

 

The Guilty Innocent with Christopher Eccleston starts at 9pm on the 14th of May on Sky History

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