Innocent: Everything you need to know about second series of ITV drama

Monday: Innocent; (ITV, 9pm)

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 12:07 pm
Former jailbird is teacher Sally Wright, played by Katherine Kelly
Former jailbird is teacher Sally Wright, played by Katherine Kelly

If you didn’t see the first series of Innocent, you missed out on a gripping thriller, starring Lee Ingleby as David, who was convicted of murdering his wife, only to be freed from prison seven years later on a legal technicality.

He claimed to be the victim of a miscarriage of justice, but not everyone believed him, and the drama kept viewers guessing about what had really happened.

However, the good news is that you don’t need to have seen it to watch the second series, which arrives on ITV tonight.

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Like its predecessor, it hinges on someone who is freed from prison after an apparent wrongful conviction, but it’s a new story with a whole new cast.

This time, the former jailbird is teacher Sally Wright played by Katherine Kelly, who first found fame as Becky McDonald in Coronation Street.

Sally’s life came crashing down when 16-year-old schoolboy Matthew Taylor was brutally stabbed in the Lake District – and she was convicted of his murder.

Now as the four-part series opens, Sally has just been found innocent on appeal after five years behind bars.

However, just because she’s now got her freedom, it doesn’t mean she can simply reclaim her old life.

Katherine says: “I don’t like to use the word victim, because she definitely doesn’t see herself as that, but Sally has been a victim of the system for one reason or another and she’s trying to re-establish her life in her community back in Keswick.

“It seems to me, we live in a world where people are mostly tried by the headlines and we don’t want to read the small print and the detail.

“Sally goes back to where she was born and bred and was a central part of the community, but she’s not accepted back.”

It’s not just Matty’s murder that’s hanging over her.

Katherine explains: “[Sally] has a quiet strength and wants to just get on with her life. She doesn’t like being in the spotlight. When she walks down the street, she doesn’t like people looking at her. I think she thought that once her name was cleared that would be it.

“The problem is that although she was wrongfully convicted of murder there was also a quite salacious story in the papers that she was supposed to have had an affair with this boy, Matty. It really is just a rumour, but that rumour has taken over from the actual facts. As Sally says, she was never even tried for that, never mind convicted of it.”

Of course, there’s also another very big question – if she didn’t kill Matty, who did? Shaun Dooley co-stars as DCI Michael Braithwaite, who returns to work after a period of absence to find he’s been put in charge of re-investigating the case and finding out what really happened to the tragic teen.

The good news for anyone else who wants answers is that they won’t have too long to wait – the four-part series is showing across consecutive evenings.

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