The Interrogation by Roy Williams

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Afternoon Drama on BBC Radio 4

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BBC Radio 4, 13 February 2012
Rod Tyler (Joe Sims) appears to have it all; a successful Premier League footballer, he earns a fantastic salary - sufficient to buy his parents a new house - while young women congregate around him like bees round a honey-pot. However things start to go wrong for him one evening when he is involved in a fracas at a hotel that ends up with a bar-person being scarred for life after an unprovoked attack, and a young girl, Helen Cottol (Katie Angelou) accusing him of rape. He is summoned to the local police station to be interrogated by two police officers, DS Max Matthews (Kenneth Cranham), and DC Sean Armitage (Alex Lanipekun).
Roy Williams' drama revisited familiar territory by focusing on the relationship between the two officers. Max Matthews spent three decades in the force, experiencing both good and bad times. Once an alcoholic, addicted to Jack Daniels, he nonetheless retains a dogged determination to uphold the law, in spite of the legal red tape that often inhibits his investigations. Sean Armitage tries to establish himself as a detective; sometimes he wishes that he could return to a relatively quiet life on the beat - especially when the chief suspect in this case also happens to be one of his footballing heroes. He carries on regardless, even though he finds it difficult to keep his emotions at bay.
In thematic terms, Williams examined the difficulties facing a young man who finds it difficult, almost impossible to deal with wealth and celebrity. Although devoted to his family and respectful to his parents, he cannot really understand how his female admirers feel when he forces them to have sex against their will. DS Matthews understands his plight, but nonetheless believes that Tyler should be cut down to size; he is too "lairy" at the moment.
The Interrogation proved compelling listening, chiefly because of Williams' gift for dialogue. The two police officers bantered with one another about the relative merits of James Bond, but their tones rapidly changed as they embarked on the complicated task of determining precisely what happened on the night of the alleged rape. While trying not to intimidate their subjects, they refused to be sidetracked; any irrelevant comments were summarily dealt with. Dogged persistence was the only means by which a case could be successfully investigated.
This was the first of three dramas, all directed by Jessica Dromgoole, that explored the dilemmas, both professional and moral, facing the contemporary police force. I hope the other two will be equally as compelling.