Shane Meadows

Wonderfully naturalistic and intriguingly odd: BBC2’s The Gallows Pole reviewed

In advance, The Gallows Pole: This Valley Will Rise was touted as a radical departure for director Shane Meadows. After all, he made his name with the film This Is England and its three rightly acclaimed TV sequels, about a group of working-class folks struggling to survive against the heartless backdrop of that reliable old enemy: Thatcher’s Britain. Now, he’s giving us a costume drama set in 18th-century Yorkshire. In fact, though, it didn’t take long to realise that Meadows’s departure mightn’t be as radical as advertised – because the programme could easily have been entitled This Was England. Wednesday’s opening episode even began with a series of captions making