Shane Meadows’ “The Gallow’s Pole” begins tonight on BBC One and it promises to be a real treat.
The Gallows Pole is a three-part adaptation of the novel by the same name, written by Benjamin Myers. Set in the early 18th century, it follows the exploits of a group of weavers in Yorkshire who turn to coin forgery in order to make ends meet. It’s a dark and hauntingly atmospheric tale of poverty, desperation, and violence.
Myers’ original story is a visceral examination of the lengths people will go to in order to survive and, hopefully, thrive in a country that seems determined to subjugate the less wealthy. Unsurprisingly, the darker side of human nature features heavily as the forgers look to build their illicit business and the authorities brutally seek to stop them. The traditions of Yorkshire life feature heavily and there are strong overtones of folk horror.
The Gallows Pole starts tonight at 9pm on BBC2.