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Licence to Kill

Wed Apr 24, 9-10pm, BBC3

Sophie Morgan was paralysed in a car crash nine years ago. She was driving – and speeding – just months after passing her test. Here she talks to others who have experienced life-changing car journeys in an effort to hammer home the dangers of speeding to young viewers.

This is educational TV, BBC3-style: trying to engage with young people on their level. Sensible in theory, but this documentary blurs the line between an appreciation of the (biological) irrationality of teenagers, and a sort of matey, accepting attitude towards wilful stupidity and insensitivity. Morgan is forced to fraternise with colossally idiotic ‘speed freaks’ who say they would rather die than end up disabled like her, then has to quiz a driver about how accidentally killing two people while speeding might affect his football career.

This need to cover all bases eventually distracts from the programme’s worthwhile aim of instilling a small dose of terror in inexperienced teens, as a sort of inoculation against the perpetual horror of being responsible for a car crash.