TV drama on Infected Blood Scandal could ignite outrage and demand for justice

Virgin Radio

20 May 2024, 15:49

L to R: Infected Blood Scandal protests

Credit: Getty

Mr Bates Vs The Post Office TV drama on the infected blood scandal has been commissioned by ITV in the hopes of spreading further attention to the cause.

A TV drama focusing on the infected blood scandal could spark a wave of 'injustice and outrage' following a damning inquiry into what has been deemed the NHS's most catastrophic treatment disaster.

ITV has greenlit a series penned by Peter Moffat, the BAFTA-winning writer of BBC's Criminal Justice. The drama will portray the harrowing experiences of those with blood disorders who were infected with HIV and hepatitis C during the 1970s and 1980s.



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Previously, ITV released Mr Bates Vs The Post Office, which reignited the fight for justice for subpostmasters wrongfully prosecuted in the Horizon IT scandal. Now, they aim to shine a light on another grave injustice.

Adding to this narrative, The Crown actor Seb Carrington, who has haemophilia, is working on a series about boys who contracted hepatitis at Treloar College, a school for disabled children with an on-site facility for haemophiliacs.

Carrington believes TV dramas are pivotal in raising awareness and galvanising public sentiment.

Speaking to PA news agency, Carrington emphasised the power of television in educating and mobilising the public.

"We’re able to be empathetic in that way and then that can mobilise … some sort of sense of injustice and outrage and (allow people to) get a sense of what’s happened and only then can you start to make power accountable," he said.

Carrington's personal connection to the scandal runs deep.

His brother James, who contracted hepatitis through tainted blood treatments in the 1980s, later died in a car accident.

Reflecting on the potential impact of the drama, Carrington said it would help 'show the strength and resolve of the people that have been through this pain and this terror and the shame' and who 'have still somehow managed to stand up fighting.'

At the recent inquiry findings reveal in Central Hall, Westminster, Carrington sensed a 'feeling of vindication' among adults who were children at Treloar.

The inquiry concluded that these schoolchildren were used as 'objects for research' and subjected to 'multiple, riskier' treatments.

Carrington acknowledged the challenge of translating the report’s conclusions into drama.

"I don’t think today should be seen as the kind of drawing the line in the sand. You know, for some people, they want closure," he said.

"But I don’t know if you can ever really have closure from something like this."

The relentless campaigners who have fought for decades may find it psychologically challenging to stop now.

"We’ve yet to see what the government is going to say and it might not be satisfactory," Carrington noted.

Carrington is collaborating with Moffat on a speech addressing 'what justice is' as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak prepares to deliver an apology in the House of Commons on Monday.

"We need the apology, and then we also need the accountability," he asserted.

"And that, unfortunately, is something that will never fully be achieved, because it can’t, after all this time."

The forthcoming TV drama promises to be more than just a retelling of events; it aims to be a catalyst for justice, urging viewers to confront the painful truths and demand accountability.

With its blend of historical accuracy and emotional depth, the series hopes to not only inform but also mobilise a public outcry for those affected by this tragic scandal.