Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Several of you – you know who you are – have attempted to draw my attention to the television series “Life on Mars”, as it occurred to them that I might find it preferable to the dismal and dim “Lewis”.

I watch “Life on Mars” anyway, as it falls into the category that I make a point of watching – i.e. “any old rubbish”.

I have to tell you that “Life on Mars” does not match up to the standards of “The Sweeney” (which wasn’t one of my favourites, anyway). I will try to justify this statement.

The leading characters are portrayed in a mediocre fashion. Philip Glenister does not match up to John Thaw as Regan. The actor playing thingy, you know, the other one, reminds me too much of someone who used to be in Coronation Street – Trevor? Martin? Penelope? – I dunno. The whole series is too much of a caricature. Tonight’s episode featured the good old chestnut of a bent copper. This time a detective superintendent who was organising armed robberies. Every third rate series uses that device as an indication that the writers have run out of ideas. “Dalziel and Pascoe”, which has long since dropped out of the bottom of the “any old rubbish” category, even had one episode where they arrested the Chief Constable and his assistant. So, sorry, it did not do the trick.

My all time favourite Brit cop series was “Strangers”. It had the lead parts played by Don Henderson and Mark McManus (looked a bit like Alex Ferguson. On the day that United lost twelve nil to Arsenal), and had Thorley Walters and sometimes Richard Vernon to raise the standard even further. It was clever. I quite like that. I don’t mind stuff that you don’t have to think about, but clever is best.

I suppose I am going to have to write a series myself. I might subvert Wyndham’s idea of investing the hero with the characteristics of different detectives, and give him a really silly superhero power, such as the ability to curdle milk by power of thought. Although Wyndham’s idea bears some investigation. I would like to see Lewis dressed as Miss Marple (the Margaret Rutherford version of course), and that buffoon Lynley dress as Columbo.

“Between the Lines”. That was a good one. Tom Georgeson, he’s a bloody good actor isn’t he? And yes, I know given that what I said about bent coppers earlier it is not without some irony that I commend a series that was about nothing else, but this is my bloody blog, and I can do what I like, so shut it.

11 comments:

Richard said...

Yes, caricature. But that is the point surely? Even Tyler mentioned the thing about all the bent coppers in the 70s, didn't he. What was the one set in Nottingham with the bloke from The Full Monty in? Resnick. That was good. Not the one set in Scotland with the other bloke from the same film. Which was OK.

Damn your sodding comments box. Is this what beta is all about? Deserves a slap.

Dyna Girl said...

God. Why do I never know who the fuck you are talking about? I am beginning to feel dumb.

Dave said...

Evenin' All.

It's all gone downhill since Dixon of Dock Green finished. I don't watch any police 'dramas' these days.

Well, not all the way through. I tend to dip in, snort with annoyance, and change channel.

Richard said...

Dyna it's because the only UK Police dramas ever exported outside these shores were probably Monty Python sketches whereas we've had to suffer interminable US dramas, which have all been pretty much cut from the same cloth as Hill Street Blues (which I used to like a lot).

Vicus Scurra said...

Or, Dyna, it could be that you are dumb.

Richard said...

Between the Lines was very good, by the way, even if Tony Doyle was a bit miscast. On a vaguely related theme, did you like Edge of Darkness?

Geoff said...

Vicus, you deserve an award for watching every cop show ever broadcast.

The Sweeney was funnier than Life On Mars.

It was Martin Platt.

realdoc said...

I just want to bang the table and shout 'guv' before I die, is that too much to ask. Talking of detective shows did you like Jason King, apparently an old favourite of Mr realdoc.

First Nations said...

richard; not true. we had 'thin blue line' for awhile, featuring the crime fighting skillz of Rowan Atkinson, who would thwack criminals over the head with Teddy then back over them with his tiny car. and there was some east indian chick in. so there.

Arabella said...

I had to explain Jason King to the American Husband (daleks have been the hardest to explain so far).

Vicus Scurra said...

Welcome Arabella.
I found the hardest thing to explain to Americans was that the war of Independence was deliberately lost by the Brits in order to get rid of the religious loonies.