03/01/2012 13:22 GMT | Updated 04/03/2012 10:12 GMT

Tonight's TV Pick: Tuesday 3 - 'Public Enemies', Starring Anna Friel and Daniel Mays

Anna Friel is like a bus - in the best way. Nothing from her, on these shores at least, for ages, and then two come along at once.

Without You, the recent three-parter in which she played a widowed young woman desperate to find the truth about her husband's death, teetered on gothic melodrama - lots of Truly Madly Deeply envisagings, and talking to the wall... "I shouldn't a doubted ya, I'm sorry."

Public Enemies promises to be a much greyer, subtler affair. In the hands of veteran writer Tony Marchant (Holding On, The Whistleblowers, Crime and Punishment), Friel is a probation officer gingerly back at the wheel after a previous disaster when one of her freed prisoners murdered someone on parole.

Daniel Mays (Ashes to Ashes, Outcasts) is her new project, free and keen to restart his life, ten years after murdering his girlfriend.

This is strong, thought-provoking fodder for a dark night at the beginning of the year. What is the more powerful, guilt or shame? Can redemption occur in a society of recrimination? What place does mercy hold in relation to justice and redemption? Tony Marchant may not have the answer, but he's asking the right questions.

Public Enemies - Tonight, BBC1, 9pm