The Children (miniseries)

The Children is a three-part thriller first shown on ITV on 1 September 2008. Starring Kevin Whately and Geraldine Somerville, and written by Lucy Gannon, the story focuses on the murder of an eight-year-old girl, who is found on the patio of her home, and the subsequent investigation to discover which one of the adults who cared for her could have killed her. The series was released on DVD on 26 December 2008.[1]

The Children
GenreCrime drama
Written by
  • Lucy Gannon
Directed by
  • David Evans
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
Original language(s)
  • English
No. of series1
No. of episodes3 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Hilary Bevan Jones
  • Tim Whitby
Production location(s)
  • United Kingdom
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Tightrope Pictures
Original network
Picture format16:9
Original release1 September (2008-09-01) 
15 September 2008 (2008-09-15)


The series centres on the dysfunctional lives of Cameron (Kevin Whately), Sue (Geraldine Somerville), Sue's daughter, Emily (Sinead Michael), Sue's ex-husband and DJ Paul (Ian Puleston-Davies), his new girlfriend Natasha (Kate Ashfield), Cameron's ex-wife Anne (Lesley Sharp) and their son Jack (Freddie Boath). The main plot follows Cameron's family life at home, dealing with life living as a step family. The plot is told in a backwards flashback mode. Arguments and tensions rise throughout the story, and eventually, following her strange and naughty behaviour, little Emily is killed. Any one of the adults could have been responsible - and were all placed at the scene.

As the plot reaches its climax, Cameron is shown hitting Emily and accidentally smashing her through a glass patio door, however there is a twist to the tale as all the suspects are then seen killing her one by one - all except one of them. Natasha, the only character not seen killing Emily, is seen crying and sobbing whilst shouting "I'm sorry". This scene was particularly disliked by some critics, because viewers were not shown how or indeed why, or if, Natasha killed her. That, however, said the writer, was the crux of the drama, that any one of them could have, and that her position within her family had become so marginalized that she was, at times, perceived as a nuisance or problem by all of them.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byBritish air dateUK viewers
1"Episode 1"David EvansLucy Gannon1 September 2008 (2008-09-01)5.45
2"Episode 2"David EvansLucy Gannon8 September 2008 (2008-09-08)5.20
3"Episode 3"David EvansLucy Gannon15 September 2008 (2008-09-15)5.17


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