We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here

Martina Cole's The Runaway

Series 1-Episode 1

Series 1-Episode 1

not currently available
Add this to your watchlist to find out when it is available via broadcast or catch-up.


Delivering a punch to the solar plexus in almost every scene, Martina Cole's relentlessly brutal story about a pair of childhood sweethearts caught up in the violence of 1960s East End London is light years from the gentility of Midsomer Murders and clinical forensics of a CSI. In Cole's world mothers are prostitutes who'd save their own skins rather than their daughters, men are foul-mouthed bullies or vicious gangsters and even the police aren't averse to twisting the law when necessary. Newcomer Joanna Vanderham is nicely understated as Cathy, Jack O'Connell (Skins) scrubs up well to play her love interest Eamonn while Keith Allen wears the worst syrup imaginable as local gangster Danny. Although not in this first episode, Alan Cumming returns to British TV for the first time in 15 years to play transvestite Desrae while Ken Stott and Burn Gorman give additional weight to the cast. It's compelling but very nasty and slightly grubby - you may need to take a shower afterwards.


Young Eamonn Docherty endures a tough upbringing with his childhood sweetheart Cathy Connor in the East End of London, and eventually has no choice but to leave. Once the pair are separated, their lives stray onto different but equally unsavoury paths. Starring Joanna Vanderham and Jack O'Connell.

Cast & Crew

Cathy Connor Joanna Vanderham
Eamonn Docherty Jack O'Connell
Madge Connor Kierston Wareing
Eammon Docherty Snr Mark Womack
Desrae Alan Cumming
Danny Dixon Keith Allen
see more


Have Your Say What did you think of Martina Cole's The Runaway?

view all comments (0)