The Secret

Series 1 - Episode 4



James Nesbitt has been mesmerising all the way through this true-crime drama. He plays double murderer Colin Howell as a cocky charmer, his creepy self-belief fuelled by Bible-quoting piety. But it’s all going wrong for Colin, and we’re reminded that Nesbitt is just as good portraying a character coming apart at the seams.

As Colin copes with the aftermath of his son’s death, he initially sees it as divine providence, because now, “God and I are all square.” But a bizarre get-rich-quick scheme shows up his tragic flaw: he thought he could cheat a shortcut to the perfect life. In the end it’s a perverse story made completely believable – and very sad.


Seeing Matthew's death as God's full and final punishment for his past sins, Colin convinces himself that God will now allow him to prosper. However, when he loses all his money in a financial scam and his second wife Kyle threatens to leave him, he offers a full confession to the church and police. When Hazel later pleads her innocence, Colin agrees to appear as a key witness for the prosecution, determined to take her down with him. Drama, starring James Nesbitt, Genevieve O'Reilly and Katherine Kingsley.

Cast & Crew

Colin Howell James Nesbitt
Hazel Buchanan Genevieve O'Reilly
Kyle Howell Katherine Kingsley
Dave Stuart Stuart Graham
Andrew Buchanan (adult) Rhys Dunlop
Lisa Buchanan (adult) Amy Shiels
DS Ferris Liam McMahon
Paul Ramsey QC Michael Colgan
Ciaran Murphy QC Nigel O'Neill
DC Devine Jonathan Harden
Peter Gordon Fulton
Willie Patrick Molloy
Judge Hart Colin Carnegie
Lauren Howell Danielle Magennis
Victor Buchanan Patrick O'Kane
County clerk Peter Ballance
Jury foreman Paul Kennedy
Dental receptionist Ruth Jennings
Adapted By Stuart Urban
Director Nick Murphy
Executive Producer Mark Redhead
Producer Jonathan Curling
Writer Deric Henderson
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