The Accident (miniseries)

The Accident is a four-part British television drama miniseries starring Sarah Lancashire, which first aired on Channel 4 from 24 October 2019. It explores a fictional Welsh community's fight for justice after an explosion on a construction site, which killed several local children.[1]


The series is set in the fictional town of Glyngolau, filmed in a number of locations in South Wales. A large building project called 'The Light', offering 1000 local jobs, is being built in the town by Kallbridge Developments. A group of local teenagers manage to climb into the site but, while they are drawing graffiti inside the building, an explosion takes place. The building collapses before rescuers can reach the children and all except one of the ten teenagers, 15-year-old Leona, is killed by the collapse. The site security manager also dies.[2]

Leona's mother, Polly (Sarah Lancashire), leads a campaign to find out who was responsible for the incident. Leona's father Iwan (Mark Lewis Jones) is a leading local politician who secured the project for the town. Polly and Iwan have a tempestuous relationship, struggling with their daughter's injuries and the jealousy of the other parents. Polly also suspects Iwan may know more than he's letting on.

A campaigning lawyer (Adrian Scarborough) takes an interest in the legal case and offers his services. The second episode ends with him listing all the major disasters, which have ended with no-one at fault going to jail.[3]

Harriet (Sidse Babett Knudsen), the executive of the development company behind 'The Light', is under scrutiny from the legal case. She tries to show sympathy without admitting any culpability, supported by her assistant and lover, Tim (Nabhaan Rizwan). Tim leaks to the newspapers an allegation that the late site foreman was negligent.

Cast and characters

  • Sarah Lancashire as Polly Bevan, a hairdresser married to a local politician[1]
  • Mark Lewis Jones as Iwan Bevan, a leading local councillor hoping to improve the town's fortunes
  • Jade Croot as Leona Bevan, Polly and Iwan's rebellious daughter, who survives the explosion
  • Sidse Babett Knudsen as Harriet Paulsen, executive at Kallbridge Developments who were behind the development project
  • Nabhaan Rizwan as Tim, Harriett Paulsen's assistant and love interest
  • Joanna Scanlan as Angela, Polly's friend and mother of one of the dead children
  • Eiry Thomas as Greta, one of Polly's friends
  • Genevieve Barr as Debbie, another of Polly's friends. Her husband dies in the accident.
  • Adrian Scarborough as Philip Walters, a campaigning lawyer who takes an interest in the case and offers to become the families' lawyer


The series was filmed at a variety of locations throughout South Wales, mainly in the Rhondda Valley, Swansea and Caldicot. Polly and Iwan's house was in Blaengarw, Kallbridge Developments' plush offices were filmed at the University of South Wales campus in Newport and the Crown Court scenes were filmed in the coroner's court at Cardiff Central Police Station.[4]


The viewing figures for the series' opening episode were 2.8 million, falling to 2.0 million for the second episode. These were higher than any preceding Channel 4 drama for 2019.[5]

The series was reviewed by The Independent after the first episode, giving it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, complimenting the cast "packed with sensitive, subtle actors, who can convey emotional blows with a glance".[2] The Telegraph reviewed episode 2 positively, describing it as a "righteous, deceptively smart drama, leavened with flashes of warm wit, alive to both the complexities of culpability and the nuances of human relationships".[3]

The series also attracted a lot of negative criticism. The Telegraph reviewer of the final episode gave the series one star out of five, describing the climax as "like an episode of the old Granada Television series, Crown Court, but without the dramatic tension".[6]


  1. ^ a b Laura Martin (14 November 2019). "The Accident cast: who stars with Sarah Lancashire in the Channel 4 drama series, and when it's on tonight". i. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Ed Cumming (25 October 2019). "The Accident review: Devastating, Grenfell-inspired portrayal of how a disaster affects a community". The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b Michael Hogan (31 October 2019). "The Accident, episode 2, review: 'A devastating fight for justice'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  4. ^ Kathryn Williams (24 October 2019). "The locations in Wales where Channel 4's The Accident was filmed". Wales Online. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  5. ^ Robin Parker (1 November 2019). "The Accident loses viewers but still tops 2m". Broadcast Now. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  6. ^ Anita Singh (15 November 2019). "The Accident, episode 4 review: 'bafflingly bad Very Important TV'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 January 2020.

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