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Airdate: Friday 27 December 2003   9 - 11pm on ITV1

When actors of John Hurt and Sheila Hancock's calibre are starring in a TV drama, you know it's likely to be good. So, even without the benefit of a preview tape, we're recommending this complex thriller written by Daniel Boyle (who adapted many of the Insp. Morse books to tv).

Hurt plays a widower tortured by the mysterious disappearance of his daughter. When he rescues a womand and her daughter on the run from a violent man, he is struck how the younger woman resembles his own missing daughter. They are gratefully accept his offer of refuge, unaware that he's hatching a plant to use the girl as bait to catch the man he suspects have killed his daughter.

Director Nicholas Rentor describes it as a story of loss and revenge that reveals all the whys and wherefores, but keeps the final piece of the puzzle until the very last scene. But it's also a love story with a thread of morality woven into it, and almost every character has a dake side or a sinister secret. Intriguing

Jane Rackham   (Radio Times feature)

9.00  Bait  ***Choice***

When Jack Blake rescues Pam Raeburn and her daughte Stephanie from their stranded car on a rainy night, he is immediately struck by Stephanie's resemblance to his murdered daughter. The two women then become unwitting pawns in a dangerous plan to lure Jack's daughter's killer from the shadows.

Jack Blake   John Hurt
Pam Raeburn  Sheila Hancock
Stephanie Raeburn  Rachael Stirling
Millicent White  Angeline Ball
Vincent White  Jonathan Firth
Alfred White  Nicholas Farrell
DCI Fynch  Matthew Scurfield

Written by Daniel Boyle; Director Nicholas Renton; Producers Eileen Quinn and Dave Edwards (S)

(Radio Times listing)

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