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Unforgiven (TV series)

Unforgiven is a three-part British television drama series written by Sally Wainwright which was first broadcast on ITV and UTV in January 2009, and STV in 2012. It was made by the Red Production Company.

Unforgiven DVD Cover
Created bySally Wainwright
StarringSuranne Jones
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes3
Running time135 minutes
Production company(s)Red Production Company
Original networkITV, STV, UTV
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release12 January (2009-01-12) – 26 January 2009 (2009-01-26)

Suranne Jones plays a woman found guilty of murdering two police officers when she was a teenager who, upon release from prison, is determined to see her sister who was adopted.

Unforgiven won Best Drama Series or Serial at the 2009 RTS Programme Awards.[1]



Episode ListEdit

Episode 1 (original air date 12 January 2009 (2009-01-12))Edit

Ruth is attempting to rebuild her life and to start the search for her sister Katie after serving 15 years of a life sentence for murdering two police officers. She finds out from her probation officer that her sister was adopted and for legal reasons could not disclose where she was or her adopted name. The Belcombe's adopted daughter Lucy gets herself into a serious car accident and is in a coma in hospital. Her sister Emily reveals that Lucy was unhappy and unable to cope with the pressures of university. John and Izzie Ingram move into their new house at Upper Hanging Stones Farm which Izzie believes to be haunted. Kieran and Steve Whelan, whose father, was one of the police officers Ruth shot, find out Ruth has been released and begin plotting revenge. When Ruth visits her old home, she meets John who is a family lawyer, and he agrees to help Ruth seek out her sister. Ruth develops her first intimate relationship with a co-worker named Brad at the meat factory where she works.

Episode 2 (original air date 19 January 2009 (2009-01-19))Edit

Steve has tracked down his old nemesis Ruth, but his plans to exact revenge are scuttled when Ruth's neighbour shows up at her door. He develops another plan for revenge after overhearing that Ruth has a sister. Ruth confesses to Brad about her past and the next day became the target of a hate campaign at work. John finds out for Ruth that her sister Katie was adopted, living with Rachel and Michael Belcombe, and renamed Lucy. Meanwhile, Lucy wakes from her coma and begins to grapple with issues regarding her past. Michael and Rachel Belcombe find out that Ruth wants to re-establish contact with Lucy and are cold to the idea. Izzie finds out about Ruth's past, giving Ruth a frosty reception when she visits them again and Izzie is also livid to find out her youngest son was responsible for making her believe the house was haunted. With John's help, Ruth manages to meet the Belcombes but the meeting does not go well when it was found out the Belcombes never gave her letters to Katie/Lucy. Steve discovers his wife is having an affair with his brother. Emily stumbles upon Ruth's letters, and is moved by them and sends Ruth an anonymous letter telling her where to find her sister.

Episode 3 (original air date 26 January 2009 (2009-01-26))Edit

Ruth is haunted by flashbacks of her arrest as she goes to York University to seek out Lucy. Upon arriving there, she could not summon the courage to speak to Lucy but rather only watches her from afar. Izzie who had regretted her conduct towards Ruth makes amends when Ruth visits the house. On the edge after discovering his wife's infidelity, Steve's finds out from a private eye Katie's new name and address. Steve's plan for revenge, however, starts to goes wrong when he kidnaps Lucy's sister Emily instead. Ruth, back at York University, receives a call from Steve that he had kidnapped and threatening to kill her sister; a baffled Ruth tells Steve that Lucy is at her location and Steve only realizes his mistake when Emily confirms her identity. With Izzie's help, Ruth summons the courage to tell an incredulous Lucy about the turn of events and to notify the Belcombes. During the drive to rescue Emily, Lucy's true relationship to Ruth begins to reveal itself and the two sisters are finally reunited.


The series is set in Yorkshire.

Film adaptationEdit

On 25 June 2013 Christopher McQuarrie will write and direct the film adaptation of the miniseries.[2]


  1. ^ "Programme Awards 2009". Archived from the original on 12 March 2012.
  2. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (25 June 2013). "Christopher McQuarrie Returns To Write, Direct GK Films Adaptation Of British Miniseries 'Unforgiven'". Deadline. Retrieved 29 March 2017.

Set in Boothtown Halifax

External linksEdit