Trevor Eve and Hermione Norris play the well-off middle class parents of Prue (28 Days Later’s Imogen Poots). She is adored by her father – rather too much, if truth be told – and has become entangled with Gavin (Tom Riley), a dangerous, manipulative and very attractive young man. He is her sixth form English teacher, and when she becomes pregnant with his child, they hurry into a wedding. Her parents are, to put it mildly, not best pleased. They know something is seriously wrong about their daughter’s relationship with her husband, but they are powerless to stop it; a fact that becomes ever more real and disturbing when Prue is brutally abused by Gavin but chooses to do nothing about it.
Although the shock value of the original television series may have gone (issues such as psychological abuse, domestic violence, marital control and implied incestual lust were not normally talked about on prime time television in the 70s) the addictive nature of the drama holds strong. Guy Andrews’s fabulously bitter screenplay is absolutely sparkling, and perfectly captures the really horrible atmosphere emanating from the loathsome but vulnerable characters.
Bouquet of Barbed Wire (2010), directed by Ashley Pearce, is released on DVD in the UK by ITV Studios Home Entertainment, Certificate 15.