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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Murder: Your views
Walters is scrutinised in the first episode
Julie Walters plays the murder victims' mother
Drama series Murder is a new take on the traditional TV crime tale, focusing on how the murder affects each character involved rather than the police investigation itself.

Julie Walters is in the spotlight for the first episode, as the victim's mother trying to come to terms with her loss.

"The plot is an irrelevance, what works extremely well here is how keeping the camera on the smaller characters humanises them and lets us explore what it is like to be them," wrote the BBC's William Gallagher.

But what do you think?

Is this a breath of fresh air for crime drama? What do you think of Julie Walters' performance?

Have your say

Once again Julie Walters triumphs, she is one of the best actors of our time. I was totally moved by her performance, fantastic stuff, more Julie Walters on our screens please.
Jacqueline Kennedy, UK

Almost too depressing for words.
Rawse, Hockley, Essex

I thought that Murder was well scripted and very believable. It seems to me that Julie Walters always appears in quality shows so it was always going to be good. The journalist was unbelievably insensitive, given the fact that he too suffered loss.
Leila Pullen, UK

The dramatisation of the murder was over the top and unwarranted. To see someone's head being smashed against a wall or piece of metal was unnecessary. Whilst the viewer knew what was happening to the victim the change of shot to show the impact was unnecessary. How long will it be before such scenes become commonplace in TV drama? We had a girl's arm and then head being put into boiling fat on Spooks last week and now this. Are the BBC trying to introduce even more violence ont o our screens just to increase viewer ratings?
Neil, UK

Depressing - yes - but only because of the superb talent of Julie Walters. After all we are British and I would rather have our kitchen sink reality then the self-indulgent schmaltz that it would have been if it came from across the water. Walters was unbelievable, at times it was difficult to watch as her grief seemed so real, it felt like an intrusion. I have to say the whodunnit side is irrelevant to me. I'll switch on to part two to see one of our greatest British talents in action.
Nicola Jude, England

Very depressing but highly recommended! The writing and Julie Walters performance were both excellent.
Kerry, Somerset, UK

Great potential but it was boring.
Anon, UK

I was totally moved by Julie Walters' portrayal of a mother whose son has been murdered. I also thought that the format for the programme made a refreshing change to the way we normally see crime dramas. More please.
Clare Brooks, UK

Have been looking forward to this for a few weeks. Julie Walters is an amazing actress, moved me to tears with her very convincing performance. Can't wait till next week!
Kris James, UK

Excellent, human, true to life, brilliant perfomances by all cast.
Yvonne Clement, UK

Walters, once again brilliant, and superb performances from the actors. Dramatically weak, not too life-like and, as usual in the journalistic case, badly clichéd.
Juliette Holtom, UK

Extremely moving. I love Julie Walters in her many comic roles with Victoria Wood - who can forget Mrs O! - but she gave a compelling and above all, believable performance. The scene with the football shirt was especially poignant. Certainly a refreshing change from the usual crime dramas.
Yvonne West, UK

I watched Murder initially just to find out what it was about, however, the performances were riveting. Julie Walters was excellent but I thought that the journalist was very good also, portraying the more salacious side of the tabloids as well as the character's own personal trauma.
Margaret O'Connor, UK

BBC Two has got it right on with this new drama, even if it might be a bit too much for some. It's refreshing on how the whole story is told and to top it all, Julie Walters' performance is unbeaten! I certainly won't miss the other episodes. Well done.
Drew Eastman, UK

The first few minutes were absolutely gripping and intense, although graphic for some. A well written "whodunnit" drama which story is true to life. Julie Walters and the rest of the cast were very convincing in their roles. Can't wait until the next episode. A must see for everyone!!
Gail, UK

Very moving. Another stunning performance from Julie Walters. One thing that jars, however, is how easily the journalist was accepted by the family.
Steven Morgan, England

I was disappointed with Murder - the acting was all highly commendable, especially Julie Walters but it came over as just another "gritty drama". Maybe this genre is becoming too commonplace?
Ian, UK

As always, Julie Walters delivered an amazing performance. She, like Dame Judi Dench, is an English treasure!
Victoria, Kent, UK

I knew it was going to be good when I noticed David Morriseey appear (The Journalist). I think the series will prove to be as great as the awesome 1997 Holding On that he also appeared in and had a similar approach where various people's sub plots are followed around one story. I can't tell how well thses stories will entwine until the second installment but I will look forward to it.
Steve Lovell, Leeds, UK

Murder is THE best TV drama to have graced our TV sets for a very long time. The acting, script and production are almost unspeakably good. I'm also so caught up in Ms Walters portrayal of the beraved mother that the actual detective part of the drama almost seems irrelevant!!
Sarah, UK

Julie Waters was, as always, magnificent. However, the play itself lacked pace and I lost interest when "Dame" Julie wasn't on screen. Hopefully the remaining three programmes will be better. If it doesn't improve in the second episode, I probably won't stick with it.
Carole, England

I thought Murder was brilliant, shocking - yes, disturbing - yes, unrealistic - no. It is good to show how people react to death and murder. After all, there is so much violence and crime these days but we don't see the families behind the tragedy. We can close the newspaper and turn off the TV but in the victims minds it's unforgettable. I was amongst my ex's family when his mother died and how each person in that family reacted was frighening, disturbing and probably the most emotional I've ever been in my life, something I'll never forget. Julie Walters is a brilliant actress and should be praised for her role in this, well done!
Jenny, Jersey

Outstanding and heartfelt performance from Julie Walters as the grieving mother, the violent scene I found to be quite distressing to watch. The journalist made my skin crawl, does he have no morals? Looking forward to the next episode of this emotional rollercoaster series.
Wayne Elliott, England

Superb, brilliantly acted, BBC at its best, well done! Julie Walters deserves a Bafta for this, my heart has broken each episode.
Lucy Callender, UK

With each episode the series is getting better and better. The scenes with Julie Walters and Imelda Staunton together were some of the best in any programme in recent years.
Steven Morgan, England

Having been involved in a real life similar situation I found it hard to believe that the mother's heart was really broken as she claimed it was. Not convincing. Also the police are not that compassionate. Did the script writer do any real research as he/she had obviously had no REAL experience of such a horrifying situation. I thought the whole thing was disappointing and padded out with the wrong sort of emotion.
Joy Martin, England

So far the drama Murder has been excellent, I've been hooked ever since the first episode. Julie Walters is excellent as usual.
Jude, N Ireland

Very moving drama, almost unwatchable as a parent. BUT... BUT... BUT,...it is a terrible insult to the acting talents of Julie Walters and the rest of the cast to drown the most poignant moments with music. There is no way a theatre director would be allowed to spoil a production in this way. For an example of how NOT to wreck a good play with music, please see the recently released film No Man's Land, which is a taught, gripping story, told almost entirely with natural sound....and more effective because of it. At the very saddest moment of Murder last night (June 13) I turned the sound off my TV. Not what the director or editor intended, I presume?
Hugh Sykes, UK

Julie Walters is beyond words in Murder. Her depth and gifts as an actress make it possibly the finest, most compelling drama I have witnessed for years. Thank God for the BBC! You would never get this type of quality from America.

I have never seen Julie Walters so captivating, which is really saying something when you consider the calibre of her previous work. Is she this country's finest working actress today? On the strength of the first episode alone I would answer this with a resounding yes. The sheer emotional reality and intensity of her performance didn't just move me to tears - it had me reduced to sobs. The whole thing just felt so real, and this is thanks to the lead performance. A wonderful, heartfelt, mesmerising and compelling performance which will stay with me for a long time.

I also want to add that the direction and excellent writing also compliment the excellence of Julie Walters, not to mention the brilliant supporting cast - here I would like to praise Imelda Staunton who excelled in those scenes with Angela in last week's episode.
Jennifer, UK

I found this to be an excellent drama and was particularly moved by Julie Walters portrayal of the grieving mum. I feel the writer has really taken care to find out how various people behave during the grieving process. Having followed the first three episodes of this excellent drama I missed the last one and am desperate to hear the outcome. Can somebody please tell me who the murderer was.
Janette, UK

Absolutely fantastic. Julie Walters was magnificent, as was every cast member. What also captivated me was the accompanying music - please, please release this series on video soon, and also where can I get my hands on the music used during the series?
Debs Armstrong, Belfast

Julie Walters' portrayal of the agony of grief was incredible. The shock and disbelief, the desperate questions - HOW do you deal with the loss, how do you come through? Her intense pain were so real, I almost forgot I was watching a drama and not a documentary. Congratulations too, must go to the writer - great to find a new angle on an old theme. PLEASE repeat this soon!!
Leanne, UK

Murder was an excellent drama - top rate writing and acting. Could you please tell me what the music was used in the programme?
John, UK

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See also:

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