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Penance – start date, cast, plot and all you need to know

Julie Graham as Rosalie and Nico Mirallegro as Jed in Penance
(Image credit: Channel 5)

Julie Graham and Nico Mirallegro star in new psychological thriller about a grieving family torn apart when a seemingly kind stranger enters their lives. Here's all you need to know…

Powerful theme of grief, guilt and forbidden love are explored in Channel 5’s compelling new psychological thriller Penance. The story centres on Rosalie Douglas, a grieving mother who attends a bereavement counselling to try and cope with her loss. From that moment on, her world is turned upside down…

Penance start date: When will it be on Channel 5?

Penance starts on Tuesday March 17 and runs over three consecutive nights. Which is good because once you watch episode one, we promise you’ll be hooked!

What’s in store?

Rosalie Douglas is left devastated by the news that her teenage son Rob has drowned while away on holiday in Thailand. To try and cope with their terrible loss, Rosalie and her daughter Maddie attend bereavement counselling, where they meet Jed, a charming young man who is struggling with his own grief.

On the surface, Jed appears to be a sensitive soul who just wants to be loved. But years of trauma have left their mark on the boy and, as he and Rosalie become drawn to each other, his dark side emerges…

Penance: Who’s in it?

Shetland actress Julie Graham stars as grieving mother Rosalie, with Nico Mirallegro – who can be seen in the next series of Our Girl – playing tormented Jed.

Penance Julie Graham

Grief encounters... Rosalie (Julie Graham) enjoys having Jed around the house as she comes to terms with her loss...

“Rosalie’s lost her son and Jed’s lost his parents, so she can really relate to him,” reveals Julie. “Rosalie sees how her daughter Maddie responds to Jed; she hasn't responded to anyone like that for a long time. So, straight away, Rosalie invites Jed back to their house. And that’s when things start going horribly wrong…

“Grief does strange things to people and makes them act in ways they normally wouldn't, so Rosalie starts having all these confused feelings about Jed. And they end up having… an encounter.”

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Revealing what we can expect from his character, Nico says: “There’s certainly a chemistry, a fire and an intensity between them from the moment they meet. Jed becomes infatuated with Rosalie but there’s also this relationship he didn’t have with his own mum, so he’s confused. Gradually, Jed’s next layer comes out where he’s cruel, bitter and jealous towards Rosalie. His behaviour is brutal.”

Nico Mirallegro as Jed

In the family... Jed (Nico Mirallegro) forms a bond with Rosalie when she invites him into the family home...

Who else is in it?

Unforgotten’s Neil Morrissey plays Rosalie’s cheating husband Luke, with Homeland’s Art Malik as Rosalie’s friend and confidant, priest Tom. Millie in Between star Tallulah Greive completes the line-up as Rosalie’s troubled daughter Maddie.

Penance Channel 5 cast

Dangerous liaisons... (L-R) Tallulah Greive as Maddie, Neil Morrissey as Luke, Julie Graham as Rosalie, Nico Mirallegro as Jed and Art Malik as Father Tom

What else do we know about Penance?

  • The location of the Douglas family home is County Wicklow, Ireland