The Runaway is a 2011 TV series, which was based on the 1997 novel, Martina Cole’s The Runaway. The series stars Joanna Vanderham, Ken Stott, Alan Cumming, Keith Allen and Jack O’Connell. It is based in the 60s and 70s in London and focuses on a failed romance, which covers many years. During the beginning of the TV series, we’re introduced to step brother, Eamonn Doherty (Jack O’Connell) and step sister, Cathy (Joanna Vanderham). Despite their relationship, the pair also share a more intimate bond with one another.
Eamonn is a boxer, with a reckless attitude and temperament. He is trained by his father, Eamonn (Mark Womack), who is shacking up with Cathy’s mother, Madge (Kierston Waring). After an earring is found and senior Eamonn is accused of having an affair, the Eamonns are sent packing. Madge works as a prostitute and continues parading men in front of her daughter. This brings plenty of turmoil to the girl. Meanwhile, young Eamonn continues getting into his own troubles. He kills another boy, before he begins working for Danny Dixon (Keith Allen), who is somewhat of a mobster.
Madge brings home a man, who gets a little too frisky. After a struggle, Cathy rushes downstairs and stabs the man. The police detective, Richard Gates (Burn Gorman) is brought in to investigate the crime. Despite understanding the evidence, Gates colludes everything and points the murder to Madge. With the help of Gates, Cathy goes to reform school, her mother goes to prison and Cathy and Eamonn are separated. Both continue getting into massive amounts of trouble.
Eamonn gets involved with Danny Dixon’s daughter, despite Dixon’s wishes. Cathy is attacked at the reform school, but stands up for herself. Unfortunately, she discourse that there is a pedophile at the school and winds up planning her escape. After she escapes from the school, Cathy ends up falling into the good graces of Desrae (Alan Cumming). The drag queen performs for a nightclub, which is owned by Joey (Ken Stott).
After Cathy visits Eamonn, she discovers his new relationship with Danny Dixon’s daughter, despite Eamonn’s attempts to break it off. Cathy storms off and Eamonn ends up beating Danny’s daughter to death. This results in Eamonn and his father fleeing to America, while Cathy gets a new identity thanks to Joey. From there, the pair go their separate ways, but eventually come back together. To prevent spoilers, we’ll stop there.
The Runaway Review
The Runaway has a great premise and is set in a wonderful time period. The acting is great. Burn Gorman, Jack O’Connell, Keith Allen, Alan Cumming and Joanna Vanderham are great! It is really a strong performance from Vanderham considering it was her first TV role. Unless you’ve read the book, which I hadn’t, the story isn’t predictable in the least.
The series is truly somewhat of a triumph and tragedy wrapped into one. Although a few of the characters become a little unlikeable near the end, there are still a few left to root for. Overall, the show is definitely worth watching. An 8 out of 10 is deserved.