Get Ready for the TV Show Guilt
Guilt is a dramatic thriller from Scotland, with startling plot twists and a strong vein of black humor. The four episodes provide an unpredictable, contemporary tale that critics dubbed “[a]n absolute cracker” (The Times, UK), “precise and darkly witty” (BBC News, UK) and “immaculately crafted” (ABC Radio, AU). Find out how to watch, who’s in the cast, where it was filmed, and what to expect.
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What Can You Expect from Guilt?
The story starts with a bang when two estranged brothers are thrown together by a deadly accident. In attempting to cover up their involvement, the siblings make a series of dreadfully bad decisions, which lead them into a nightmarish situation where they can trust no one, including each other. Yet their desperate plight is endlessly entertaining to watch: Guilt is a high wire balancing act between pitch-black comedy and a suburban noir thriller.
“I wanted to write a drama where the characters are allowed to be funny,” series executive producer and writer Neil Forsyth said. “The whole point of drama is putting characters under extreme conditions. One of the ways that human beings react to extreme conditions is [with] humor … it should always be woven into drama and I think that’s what all the best dramas have done, from The Sopranos to Breaking Bad to The West Wing.”
Guilt won the 2020 Scottish British Academy of Film and Television Arts Scottish branch (BAFTA) Award for Best Drama.
Who’s in the Cast?
The bickering, mismatched McCall siblings are played by Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe, Shetland, Unforgotten) and Jamie Sives (Game of Thrones). Bonnar’s character Max is the elder brother—affluent, short-tempered and ruthlessly take-charge. Sives portrays younger brother Jake as the likeable, rumpled ex-musician and record shop owner with a moral conscience. The secret ingredient to the actors’ chemistry may be that they were once 11-year-old school mates at Edinburgh’s Leith Academy!
Max’s bored and disappointed wife, Claire is played by Siân Brooke (Sherlock). Moyo Akandé (The Hurricane Heist) is Claire’s more-than-friend from the gym. Ruth Bradley (Pursuit, Ted Lasso) takes the role of the victim’s American niece and Jake’s love interest. Emun Elliott (The Paradise) is a newly sober private detective trying to make a comeback. Bill Paterson (Fleabag) plays an underworld mobster and Ellie Haddington (Enola Holmes, Foyle’s War) is the victim’s pathologically vigilant neighbor.
The Soundtrack is a Guilty Pleasure
A celebration of classic rock and roll is another delightful vein running through the series. Brother Jake McCall runs an independent record shop called Leith Beats, which has more vinyl than customers. He adores early Rod Stewart and won’t stock Rolling Stones records released after 1981. Jake’s love interest, Angie, inherits an extensive record collection from the story’s victim, and she knows a thing or two about music herself. The two attempt to trip each other up on trivia about artists including Sam Cooke, Rick Danko, David Bowie and Bobby Womack.
Find the playlist here!
Where is it Filmed?
While the story is set in the Leith district of Edinburgh, Guilt was shot mostly in Glasgow and the nearby Lanarkshire town of East Kilbride. Outside Glasgow, a studio was constructed at Parkhouse Business Park with additional filming occurring in the historic village of Aberfoyle and at Clydebank Docks. Actual Edinburgh locations included Calton Hill and Charlotte Square, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
“Being on top of Calton Hill with the sun setting over Edinburgh, watching Mark [Bonnar] and Jamie [Sives] work so brilliantly together was an absolute privilege,“ Forsyth said. “For many years I was a barman in Edinburgh who dreamt of being a writer, and while that scene was being filmed, I could see my old flat in Leith. It was a very special moment.”
How to Watch
Watch the official trailer now.