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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who saw docu-drama Stockwell on TV?

I'm kicking myself that I forget to record last night's factual drama Stockwell. This is all the more annoying for me as earlier that day I attended an Amplified09 discussion about the
Future of Online Video. I remember saying that I couldn't remember the last time I used my VCR and that commonly people want to watch more TV on demand on a variety of devices.

It will be one of those programmes that I'll end up watching when it becomes available online on ITV1's iPlayer (but normally I'm old skool and prefer to watch anything over 15 minutes from my sofa.

Picture grab: Actor Jano Moskorz who plays Jean Charles de Menezes (c) ITV

But I digress, Stockwell, was going to be a fairly emotive film as no one still really knows the catalogue of events and errors that led to shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in a Tube carriage at Stockwell London Underground, after he was mistaken for a failed suicide bomber.

The press release says "Based on the evidence given during the criminal trial and inquest, the hour-long programme recreates the actions of the police surveillance and firearms teams in the hours leading up to the innocent 27-year-old's death.

The programme opens on the Stockwell Tube with the sound of screaming and chaos. As undercover police officers charge into a waiting train, people can be seen running from the carriage

The review from The Telegraph puts a lot more colour to this "Firearms officers arrived at Stockwell Tube station after de Menezes had gone down the escalator. We saw the killing in slow motion, which made the seven shots to the head seem more gratuitous than they were. In reality, de Menezes was doomed from the moment he entered the station, pursued by firearms officers who thought he was a suicide bomber about to blow a carriage to smithereens. Given their belief, they did what most armed officers would do: they made sure he was as dead as possible as quickly as possible

Picture grab: Actor Jano Moskorz who plays Jean Charles de Menezes (c) ITV

But the belief was wrong, and even now we don't know exactly how they acquired it. Who should be blamed for the shocking delay, and who (if anyone) positively identified de Menezes as the bomber? Stockwell did not guess, but subtly led us to the correct inference that someone at the Met has something to answer for. So, despite the odd melodramatic flourish, this was public service broadcasting in the true sense of the term – and a very fine piece of work.

I would love to know if anyone watched it last night and what you thought of it. As the film is based on evidence from the criminal trial and inquest, I wonder how many of you will make similar conclusion to the Telegraph reviewer?

"So why was Stockwell shocking? The answer is that – forgive the cliché – it turned 'unknown unknowns' into 'known unknowns'. Perhaps it's just laziness on my part, but I find it hard to visualise detailed media reports of events as complicated as this one. Until last night's programme, I didn't know how many questions about that morning remain unresolved. Now that I do, I can understand why the anger surrounding this case refuses to die down."

If you're in the UK you can watch Stockwell on ITV player it's on their site for the next 30 days.

; Posted by Unknown Thursday, January 22, 2009 Permalink COMMENT HERE